Colleges of agriculture in the United States are facing a challenge of unstable student enrollment. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University recognized the need for a comprehensive profile of its students. To obtain this profile, data were collected from undergraduate students in the CANR via annual online surveys from 2004 to 2008. The study aimed to determine the demographic profile of students and find out how students learned about CANR programs, how they entered (directly from high school or as transfer students from within MSU or other colleges and universities) CANR programs, and identify factors influencing students' decisions to pursue CANR majors. Findings indicated that a majority of the CANR students are Caucasian and female, raised in suburban and urban communities, and former members of their high school National Honor Societies. Findings showed that students utilized family and friends, websites, and printed materials as their major sources of information to learn about CANR programs. About one-third of the students came directly from high school. The majority (nearly two-thirds) of students entered CANR programs as transfer students. Academic programs or curricula, the reputation of the CANR, the availability of internship opportunities, academic advising, and recommendations of family members, friends and alumni were the important factors in students' decision to attend the CANR.



agriculture and natural resource majors, unstable student enrollment, factors influencing student major decisions

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