As the costs associated with higher education continue to increase in a period of shrinking state budgets, and public universities and colleges experience the paradigm shift from being state supported to state assisted, the need to involve the public sector in curricular reform efforts will escalate. This study explored the perceptions of nursery industry representatives regarding basic knowledge areas necessary for beginning managerial employees. The findings of the study revealed that the industry expects beginning managers to be knowledgeable of a variety of horticulturally-related areas. The most essential knowledge areas included plant knowledge (identification, cultural requirements, soil/fertilizer relationships, and pesticide formulation). In addition, the industry anticipates that beginning managers be knowledgeable of local, state, and federal regulations and laws. As a result of this study, the researchers recommended that prior to curricular modification, other stakeholders, including students and faculty be studied in order to determine if similarities in stakeholders' perceptions exist.



nursery industry, horticulture, beginning managers

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