Colleges of Agriculture, long comfortable in their role of providing higher education opportunities for sons and daughters of rural America, are finding their clientele to be rapidly changing. A continual decline in the number of Americans living on farms and in rural communities, coupled with an increased awareness by urban dwellers of the value of education linked directly to a vocation, has resulted in growing numbers of "non-traditional" Agriculture students enrolling in Colleges of Agriculture.
Accompanying this shift in student clientele has been an increased emphasis on practical experience activities. The "non-traditional" student, with little or no previous involvement with Agriculture, needs practical experience. Employers expect students to have more career-related experience prior to full-time employment, and students continue to request as much relevancy as possible in their educational programs. Consequently, many Colleges of Agriculture have introduced a variety of experiential education activities (internship, practicum, cooperative education) which occur outside the normal classroom and which provide work experience related to the student's educational program.
non-traditional agricultural students, non-farm students, practical experience