Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural & Extension Education (MS)

Degree Level



Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology


Jefferson Miller

Committee Member

Katherine Rucker

Second Committee Member

Kate Shoulders

Third Committee Member

Emily Buck


Agricultural Communications, Curriculum Instruction, Higher Education


This study was designed to characterize agricultural communications undergraduate programs nationwide. A total of 41 undergraduate agricultural communications programs were identified via the National ACT database, Internet searches, and previous academic program research. Objectives included creating an accounting of existing programs, a description of those programs, identifying trends in program demographics, curriculum development and identifying top programs. This study employed a census approach and used a mixed methods design. A mixed-methods survey instrument was used to collect the data. The survey included questions to gain both qualitative and quantitative data to meet this study's objectives. The quantitative data were analyzed via descriptive statistics, and qualitative data were analyzed via thematic analysis, which included open and axial coding. A total of 26 respondents from undergraduate agricultural communications programs participated in this study. An increase in the number of academic programs across the U.S. was observed, suggesting an increase in popularity and student demand, which is most likely a result of an increase in industry demand for agricultural communications graduates. Current faculty projected an increase in enrollment, driven by industry needs. This study confirmed agricultural communications programs use teaching methods aligned with Bloom's Taxonomy. The most common teaching methods in those courses were problem-based learning, experiential/capstone/internships, and collaborative learning. In comparison with data from previous similar studies, this study showed an increase in the use of program advisory committees to guide curriculum and instruction. Faculty's opinions regarding the value of a national accreditation program for the discipline were mixed. Recommendations for practice include faculty continuing to employ teaching methods focus on higher-order cognitive skills. Internship and capstone courses are vital for program success. Program advisory committees are standard nationwide and should continue to serve in advisory roles in growing programs across the country. Future studies characterizing the discipline should be conducted on a more frequent, standardized schedule, and improved participation in the study should be a goal. National curriculum studies should also be conducted to tie program characteristics and instructional methodologies to program success and to correlate program characteristics and demographics.