Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The professional competencies (from among those that have been previously identified by Atherton in 1976) that should be included in the pre-service curriculum for vocational agriculture/agribusiness teachers in Louisiana were studied with emphasis on levels of need and attainment of competencies as perceived by teachers, and the one main training source. Differences among teachers responses on levels of need and attainment, relationships between responses on relative need for competencies and attainment levels, and differences among responses on attainment levels by selected demographic variables were investigated. The descriptive method of research was used with opinionnaires utilized for data collection. Data were collected from 95 percent of 127 Louisiana vocational agriculture teachers who completed a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Vocational Agricultural Education from 1963-1979. Data collected were tabulated, presented and analyzed. Teacher responses on competency need levels lay between essential to moderate levels indicating that all 81 competencies in nine areas were needed. The mean responses of teachers on the competencies were between very high to adequate attainment levels which indicated that the teachers felt that they had sufficient degree of competence. The data revealed that there was a sizably lower mean rating for teachers' competency attainment levels compared with their mean ratings of need for most competencies studied. Small variability of teacher responses on both levels of need and attainment of the competencies was indicated by small computed standard deviation values presented in this study. The teachers' need for a majority of the competencies was substantially related to teachers' self-reported attainment levels. On the job training was considered by teachers to be their major training source. Considering this, it seemed that the emphasis on competencies in the pre-service curriculum may not be directly reflected in teacher ratings, particularly in levels of competency needed. All 81 competencies were rated highly and should be included in the pre-service curriculum. Low relationships existed between five demographic variables and teachers' self-reported attainment levels in 26 specific competencies.