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Factors influencing students with and without an agricultural background to choose a major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University
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The objectives of this study were to develop a profile of freshmen enrollees in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (COALS) at Texas A&M University (TAMU), determine if there were differences in reasons for students with and without agricultural backgrounds to attend TAMU and to choose a major in agriculture, and to examine relationships between personal and situational characteristics of students and their reasons for attending TAMU and choosing to major in agriculture. Freshmen enrollees in COALS responded to a questionnaire which attempted to identify personal and situational characteristics of the students and reasons for enrollment at TAMU and in COALS. Results of the questionnaire revealed that students with agricultural experience prior to college were significantly more influenced to attend TAMU by the factors campus traditions, parent's preference, scholarships offered, and specific academic major than were students without prior agricultural experience. The factors rated significantly higher by those without agricultural experience prior to college were distance from home, honors program, housing opportunities, and perception of community. Although the two groups rated most factors differently, they did rank some factors the same. The factors opportunities after graduation, campus environment, academic major, and variety of courses were ranked among the top four by both groups. The factors rated significantly higher by students with agricultural experience as influencing them to choose a major in COALS at TAMU included ag/life science work experience, brother/sister, county extension agent, current TAMU student, 4-H leader, friend, high school agricultural science instructor, high school counselor, other high school instructor, parent, other relative, past TAMU student, personal letter from COALS, TAMU video/media coverage, visit from COALS representative, and visit to TAMU for some activity. Students without agricultural experience only rated high school science instructor significantly higher than students with agricultural experience as influencing them to enroll in COALS at TAMU. Again, some factors were ranked similarly although they had different means. These included ag/life science work experience, visit to TAMU for some activity, parent, TAMU literature, and past TAMU student.
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Freeman, Donna Mayo (1994). Factors influencing students with and without an agricultural background to choose a major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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