Since 1982, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has offered pre-college, residential summer programming to increase the number of under-represented students pursuing post-secondary education and earning degrees in food, agriculture and natural resources (FANR). In 2003-2008, pre-and-post surveys were conducted for participants in the one week Agriculture and Natural Resources Institute for Multicultural Students (AIMS) Program and the six week Multicultural Apprenticeship Program (MAP) to assess (1) each program’s effect on participants’ perceptions of (a) higher education and (b) FANR and (2) to assess whether the programs differed in their effect on students. A pre-survey was administered to explore perceptions that parents of under-represented students have about FANR. The AIMS participants gained an enhanced understanding of what it is like to be in college and greater understanding that careers in FANR extend beyond working on a farm. The MAP participants gained an increased understanding of those areas, but also grew in their understanding of (a) courses needed for college; (b) the college experience; and (c) their general understanding of FANR. While both programs positively influenced students, the influence was greater in the longer, more intense program. Overall, parents encouraged their students’ interests in FANR.
under-represented youth, pre-college residential programs, multicultural