An exploration of graduate level agricultural leadership course descriptions
Keywords:content analysis, graduate courses, leadership education, curriculum
Since its introduction into agricultural education programs in the 1970s, agricultural leadership has continued to change due to the needs of students and trends within the field (Cletzer et al., 2020; Jones, 2004; Williams, 2007). A single research question guided the study: What is the nature of graduate agricultural leadership courses offered in the United States? This study utilized a qualitative content analysis to capture the meanings, emphasis, and themes of agricultural leadership graduate course descriptions. The frame for this research was established by consulting the American Association of Agricultural Educators member list. University course catalogs were reviewed, and all graduate coursework offered by the agricultural education departments of the identified institutions that included any of the following terms in the title were noted: (a) lead, (b) leader, and (c) leadership. A total of 62 courses from 11 institutions met the criteria. The findings clustered the courses into 21 categories, further compiled into six themes: (1) individual-level focus, (2) organizational-level focus, (3) societal-level focus, (4) professional focus, (5) methodological focus, (6) developmental focus. The findings and recommendations should be considered by agricultural leadership educators as they evaluate how to most appropriately grow their academic programs and coursework.
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