Overview and analysis of agricultural programs in higher education in Costa Rica
Programs of instruction in agriculture within higher education is a subject which has seldom been studied in Latin America. Yet, during the past two decades, the number of agricultural career programs in Latin American universities has increased significantly. This dissertation describes and analyzes the programs of instruction in agriculture within the system of higher education in Costa Rica, including the results of a follow-up study conducted among graduates of the Agronomy Faculty of the University of Costa Rica (UCR);A general overview and description of the agricultural programs in each higher education institution in Costa Rica were presented. This revealed that there were four public institutions which offered some 15 basic career programs in agriculture. Nine (9) of these were at the level of licenciatura, the highest degree available in agricultural subject areas in the Costa Rican system. The Agronomy Faculty of the University of Costa Rica was by far the most prominent institution in agricultural career preparation;Information from the follow-up study of UCR Agronomy Faculty graduates was also presented in two sections. A stratified random sample of 1979, 1980, and 1981 graduates from the Faculty's three (3) escuelas (schools or discipline specialties) was selected. Personal interviews utilizing a prepared interview schedule was the means for data collection. A total of 71 respondents were interviewed;Graduates surveyed had very favorable impressions of their professional preparation by the Agronomy Faculty. However, there was unanimity of concern that programs of study needed more opportunities for practical or field-related experience. Graduates also expressed a desire to have more, and more frequent contact with and direction from their major professors. They also felt that the results of their thesis research, while important, were not put to any beneficial use;Survey results also indicate that few respondents were unemployed, and that the Costa Rican government was the single largest employer of graduates. The data revealed that research, program execution, personnel supervision, program planning, and extension were the most common work-related duties carried out by graduates. Graduates expressed a desire for more preparation in administration/management functions.