In 2009, we began a project to gather information on why students major in forestry and what are some of the recruiting techniques that influence students to major in forestry. Below is a brief description of this project. The results from this project will be posted once the data has been analyzed. Work on this project was funded by the U.S. Forest Service.
Collaborative Efforts in Southern Forestry Recruiting
Laura Lhotka - University of Kentucky
This project expands current efforts to positively impact forestry education for current and future generations by improving recruiting efforts. For the past several years, the need to increase forestry enrollment numbers, diversity, and quality has been discussed at meetings of forestry leaders in the southern region, including the Southern National Association of University Forest Resources Programs, the Southern Group of State Foresters, and the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station’s Southern Leadership Tour. In March 2008, the University of Kentucky and The University of Tennessee co-hosted a one-day facilitated workshop in Knoxville on recruiting efforts in the South. One action item from this meeting was to develop a survey for southern forestry schools to use to identify factors that influence students to major in forestry, recruiting techniques that are effective in convincing students to major in forestry, and demographics of students majoring in forestry.
The intent of the survey is to work in a collaborative environment with the participating southern forestry programs to gather and share recruiting information. The primary objectives of this research are to identify:
The study population for this research is undergraduate students in forestry and natural resource programs at southern universities with an accredited Society of American Foresters bachelors degree program. To help develop the survey, focus groups were conducted with undergraduate forestry majors at seven universities in spring 2009. The survey was pretested in fall 2009 and revised based on pretest feedback.
The surveys were administered in the 2009-2010 academic year during undergraduate forestry or natural resource courses at participating institutions. A local contact at each university distributed the survey during selected forestry and natural resource courses. The intent of this initial survey was to capture responses from all forestry majors, regardless of class status, providing a cross-section of responses. Completed surveys were mailed to Dr. Lhotka for data entry and analysis.
We will post the survey results as soon as they are ready.
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May 14, 2010
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