Follow-up evaluation of the agriculture minority summer research internship program

Gale, Nicole
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As the world becomes more diverse, campus and communities must provide opportunities and conditions conducive to learning for all students of color. Iowa State University is attempting to increase awareness about agriculture-related areas among minority high school and undergraduate students. The College of Agriculture has sponsored an Agriculture Minority Summer Research Program (AMSRIP) each summer since 1994. Students utilize experiential learning skills working under the guidance of faculty mentors to conduct research in agriculture-related areas.;The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the experiences students received while attending the Iowa State University Agriculture Minority Summer Research Internship Program. A second purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the AMSRIP as a recruitment and retention tool. This research addresses experiential learning, recruitment strategies, retention methods, and career exploration relating to minorities, specifically within agriculture-related areas.;A descriptive survey method was used in this census study to collect data from 1998--2001 for Agriculture Minority Summer Research Interns. A total of 85% of the former interns completed and returned the survey.;Results of this study indicate that participants were interested in attending the internship program to gain research experience. Respondents indicated they were interested in learning more about the career options available to them in agriculture-related areas. The program is successfully recruiting and retaining minority students in agriculture-related areas. Based on the results of this study, the program has an 18% return on investment. The overall expectations and perceptions of the interns for the program were met.;This study serves as a model for internship programs in other colleges at Iowa State University as well as other institutions. The program is not only benefiting minority students but the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University, and the society as a whole.

Agricultural education and studies, Agricultural education