Faculty and staff members' perceptions of internships in the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University

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Wu, Chia-Hsing
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B. Lynn Jones
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 as a result of the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education with the Department of Agricultural Studies. Its focus includes two these fields: agricultural education leading to teacher-certification or outreach communication; and agricultural studies leading to production agriculture or other agricultural industries.

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education and the Department of Agricultural Studies.

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Given its theoretical potential, an experiential internship could serve substantial purposes for all that participate: students, educational institutions, and employers. The value of an internship in college curricula has received increased attention in recent years. Internships appear to offer benefits to all three entities. While the benefits of internships toward students and employers are generally well known, little information concerns their potential benefits to educational institutions. Faculty and staff members' support and commitment are vital in planning and implementing the program. Identification of their concerns and perceptions of internships is the first step in gaining respect for the programs.;The College of Agriculture at Iowa State University is committed to excellence in preparing students for careers or further education. Some types of internships have been offered as means to achieve this goal in the departments of the College. Currently, there is little information available on the faculty and staff perceptions of internship programs in the College of Agriculture. Two hundred and eight faculty and staff members, with undergraduate teaching and/or advising responsibilities in the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University, were mailed questionnaires asking the extent of their agreement with the benefits and disadvantages of an internship and their opinions as to the purpose and development of the program. A total of 109 (44.7%) faculty and staff members completed and returned the questionnaire.;Results of this study indicate that most faculty and staff respondents, especially those having associated experiences in some types of internships, held positive perceptions about the value of internships. The respondents were neutral about the potential disadvantages listed on the questionnaire. Overall, most of the respondents were positive about the potentialities of internships and their conceptions of what internships could achieve. Their departmental goals were consistent with what they believed concerning the purposes of internships.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2001