Download Enrollment Trends By Agricultural Academic Areas presentation. June 2023 ( pdf )

Presented at NACTA 2023 conference.


Deelan Jalil, Dr. Pete Ziegler, Andrew Meeks, Virginia Tech, BLACKSBURG, VA, 24060 USA

Tracking and understanding enrollment trends is important to university administrators for strategic planning, benchmarking and recruitment. The Food and Agricultural Education Information System (FAEIS) compiles nationwide higher education data for the food, agricultural, natural resources, and family and consumer science fields from approximately 200 institutions of higher education.

Studies show there is a shortage in the number of agriculture educators nationwide. This shortage presents multiple challenges, including the reduction of the number of agriculture classes offered and lack of advisors for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs at the secondary education level. The issue is exacerbated by the decline in undergraduate student enrollment in Agricultural Teacher Education programs. An analysis of the institutions surveyed by FAEIS shows undergraduate enrollment in Agricultural Teacher Education decreased 16% from 2017 to 2021. This downward trend is not limited to any region or institution type - it is seen across almost all universities. The overall female to male gender ratio across Agricultural Teacher Education programs is 65/35 and the minority enrollment hovers around 20%.

These results illustrate how the voluntary data FAEIS makes available to the public enables and enhances student enrollment discussions and trends at a national level.