Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level



Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology


Estepp, Christopher

Committee Member/Reader

Mosley, Jacquelyn

Committee Member/Second Reader

Whitehead, Isabel


Since its founding, the United States has faced a constant turmoil surrounding the equitable treatment of people from non-Caucasian backgrounds, especially regarding education. This study sought to examine BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) students experiences prior to entry and during their studies in colleges of agriculture within the State of Arkansas. Research has shown that across the country there are discrepancies between the percentage of BIPOC students in the State, university, and colleges of agriculture. This study used a qualitative interview method to determine the factors influencing minority students to enter and stay within a program of study in college of agriculture. The study used a semi-structed interview guide to question participants about their experiences as minoritized students in their major. Members of the study were selected based on the following criteria: Being enrolled in a college of agriculture in Arkansas and identifying as BIPOC. The most common theme among the participants was the presence of a mentor who guided them into the field. School-based agricultural education and participation in youth-based agriculture organizations also played key roles among the participants’ choice of major. The study also found that BIPOC individuals often face many additional barriers and challenges within colleges of agriculture, such as financial restrictions, lack of minority representation in their field, and stereotyping. While the study cannot be generalized, it provides a set of common themes that were experienced by students who were within the target demographic.


Agricultural Education, DEI, Colleges of Agriculture