See more from this Division: A01 Resident Education
See more from this Session: General Resident Education: I
Monday, November 1, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Soil science as an undergraduate discipline has been the axis of discussion by many educators and authors. Most of the literature relating to soil science education has been conducted over the last decade with nearly all pertaining to graduate education. Requests to reform soil science education have been made by authors (Lal, 2007; Hopmans, 2007) with very few studies published that suggest that the discipline is changing with the needs of society today. A few articles (Savin et al, 2005; Barker et al, 2004; Thompson, 2003; Jungst, 2003) make suggestions on how institutions can and have changed their curriculum through evaluations, suggestions from students/faculty, and from employers with success. Collins (2008) published an article in which she describe suggestions to increase the awareness of the discipline using enrollment data from UF’s Soil and Water Science classes and College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to i) establish the status of undergraduate soil science programs at the land grant universities, ii) investigate why undergraduate programs are disappearing (if they are?), iii) infer reasons as to why students are not more attracted to Soil Science, iv) determine if graduates of soil science programs continue in the field, v) offer solutions for increasing enrollment and awareness in soil science.
Data collected will be segmented into five regions of the US (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northwest, and Southwest) to have comparisons on how regions are dealing with the changes in soil science programs. Data analysis will offer suggestions to the programs to increase their numbers. The responses from the collegiate and alumni surveys will enlighten how we can increase the awareness of soil science, departmental changes needed to help graduates for the future, and how more interaction through outreach between the department and college can further the science.