Volume 52(3) - 2011 - DOI: 10.5032/jae.2011.03016


Academic program rankings are highly anticipated by many university administrators, faculty, and alumni. This study analyzed the perceptions of agricultural education departmental contact persons to identify esteemed post-secondary agricultural education programs and the distinguishing characteristics of each program. The ten most distinguished programs were located at the University of Florida, Texas A&M University, The Ohio State University, University of Missouri, Iowa State University, Oklahoma State University, North Carolina State University, The Pennsylvania State University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Arizona. Faculty were cited as a distinguishing feature of each program. Other distinguishing characteristics included research, graduate programs, range of programs, communication program, and teacher education. Based on the conclusion that faculty are the most common distinguishing characteristic of highly regarded agricultural education programs, administrators should focus their efforts on recruiting, retaining, and continually developing talented faculty. Program administrators should also review other distinguishing characteristics cited in this study and consider strategies to enhance those features in their respective program. Recognizing that faculty and program changes occur frequently, there is a need to replicate this survey periodically to reflect such changes in order to acknowledge distinguished programs and the characteristics of those programs.
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