Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agriculture Extension Education and Evaluation

Document Type



This study aims to identify the barriers that affect Minority enrollment in agriculture, particularly focusing on increasing the enrollment of Black students. There is a significant concern regarding the gap between Black individuals and agriculture enrollment in post-secondary agriculture programs at land-grant institutions. The purpose of this mixed method phenomenology was to (1) identify factors that influence the decision of Black students to enroll in the College of Agriculture and (2) uncover the societal and economic influences that continue to serve as barriers to Black students’ enrolling in agriculture. The quantitative portion of the investigation utilized a web-based instrument structured into three sections: external factors affecting students’ academic major decisions, high school and college information, and demographic information. For the qualitative portion, the researcher explored the influences and lived experiences of Black freshmen students through interviews containing 14 open-ended questions. Key quantitative findings revealed a significant difference (p = < .001) between Black (n = 107) and non-Black (n = 86) students attending land-grant institutions in Louisiana; timing of major indication (p = < .017); high school hours in agriculture courses (p < .013); Agricultural Promotion Initiative scale (p =.001), and College Recruitment Activities scale (p = .022). Qualitative data found that the factors that influenced Black freshmen to enroll in the College of Agriculture were structured experiences, childhood environment, and the impact of the university on the student. Barriers highlighted through qualitative interview questions included fear of acceptance, perspectives from Black voices, and contemplation about the future of agriculture. Results from both qualitative and quantitative data were integrated to conclude this investigation. Understanding key differences in demographic groups facilitates targeted recruitment and retention of students from more diverse backgrounds.



Committee Chair

Stair, Kristin, S.


Available for download on Wednesday, May 21, 2025