Federal, Professors, and Students documents related to USDA Research Apprenticeship Program, 1980.

Title

Federal, Professors, and Students documents related to USDA Research Apprenticeship Program, 1980.

Description

In the 1960s, the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences sought to educate high school students about the possibilities of agricultural careers. By the 1980s, the USDA perceived a great lack of interest by minorities nationwide in agriculture. Threatened by this disinterest, the USDA partnered with colleges and universities to offer paid summer intensive research internships. Beginning in 1980 after the Affirmative Action mandate, NCSU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) partnered with the USDA's Minority Research Apprenticeship summer program. The chosen students in 1980 were all African American. The six boys and girls all reported a positive experience with their professors. The CALS department also reported an equally positive experience and wished to continue.
The students' names are ommitted to protect privacy. 

Creator

USDA, Dr. H.B. Craig Associate Director of Academic Affairs in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and participants of program.

Source

Federal, Professors, and Students documents related to USDA Minority Research Apprenticeship Program, 1980. North Carolina State University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Agricultural Institute Records, 1959-1998, UA100.040.006, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC.

Date

1980

Coverage

Raleigh, North Carolina

Text

The following are transcripts from pages 3, 5, and 7. See PDF for full text. 

p. 3:
"February 05, 1980.
Subject: Research Apprenticeships for Minority High School Students.
To: Directors of State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Administrative-Technical Representatives of McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program, Research Directors of 1890 Land-Grant Institutions and Tuskegee Institute.

President Carter announced on October 31, 1979, the Research Apprenticeship Program for Minority High School Students. The objectives are to stimulate broader interest in the minority communities in careers in science and engineering and to establish individual working relationships of students with active researchers who may become helpful mentors when students need advice on college and careers and need letters of recommendation. The students will work with scientists and engineers at universities and Federal labs and research centers. This program is designed to be a learning experience rather than a summer job for the involved high school students.

p. 5:
"February 11, 1980.
Subject: Research Apprenticeships for Minority High School Students.
To: Deans and Directors of Resident Instruction, Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with other Federal agencies, is initiating a national program of research apprenticeships for minority high school students. The objectives are to stimulate broader interest in the minority communities in careers in science and engineering and to establish individual communities in careers in science and engineering and to establish individual working relationships of students with active researchers who may become helpful mentors when students need advice on college and careers and need letters of recommendation. It is the hope of the Department that a minimum of 100 minority students can be identified for participation in the summer 1980 program."

p. 7:
"Minority Research Apprenticeships - General Guidelines

Very few of the science oriented minority high school students select the food and agriculture sciences as either a college major, or a projected career choice. National studies have indicated that the top minority high school students elect professions for which there are more clearly defined role models than for those professions associated with food and agriculture. There has been and continues to be very few minorities with a terminal degree in the food and agricultural sciences. While the percentage increases have been impressive, the absolute number of Ph.Ds granted to minorities continues to be extremely small. The ultimate objective is to increase the number of minorities with advanced degrees in the food and agricultural sciences.

If the number of minorities with terminal degrees in the agricultural sciences is to be significantly increased, an impact must be made at the high school level. This impact must be made at the high school level. This impact must be made in such a way that these young people will perceive that there is, in fact, a future for them in food and high school students, an overt effort must be made to project the role, purpose, and challenge of research in food and agriculture. Awareness can be accomplished in part by providing an opportunity for apprenticeship with established investigators.

With the national emphasis on moving more minorities into the professions, the young man, or woman, who has intellectual capacity to obtain the Ph.D degree, will be recruited by many different professions. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with the participation of the Science and Education Administration, Forest Service, and the Economics, Statistics, and Cooperative Service, is embarking on a program for the summer of 1980 with the following objectives." 

The excerpted transcription is a collaboration of student evaluation answers to questions provided by the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This transcription allows researchers to easily view the data. See PDF for full document.

1. Program: Has the program provided the type of learning experience you expected?
  • Yes (p. 29)
  • It was much better than I expected.(p. 29)
  • Yes(p.31)
2.What was the most significant learning experience you had?
  • Learning what kind of work a scientist does.(p. 26)
  • Use of the laboratory equipment. I found it to be challenging learning how they all worked. (p. 29)
  • The lab and the reading I had to do before proceeding with the actual project.(p.31)
3. Did you feel that the area in which you worked was the best one for your particular case?
  • I could not have worked in the field like (name omitted), or worked with cows like (name omitted). I like working in the lab.(p. 27)
  • Yes. My professor and I were the perfect match. We got along well and the lab was very nice and casual.(p. 30)
  • Yes. On terms of my interest, Food Science was about the best science I could have worked in. Even the atmosphere was great. I enjoyed working with grad students and professors.(p. 32)
4. One of the basic reasons (objectives for the conduct of this program was to aquaint you with some of the research that is being conducted in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Have your ideas about research in the agricultural and biological sciences changed since you have been a part of the program?
  • I learned quite a bit about research and what a scientist(p. 27)
  • Very well. I learned more on the subject of genetic research than I learned in most of my whole year science courses.(p. 30)
  • Quite well.(p. 32)
  • Before coming to State this summer, I had a very small idea of the research - and the importance of it - going on here. In my lab alone, there are two areas of research going on that will be of great value to farmers. Others in the lab are working on research, that will make important contributions to microbiology.(p.33)
5. Program: If you have not made a career (academic) choice, would you now have any interest in the agricultural sciences as a career? Please explain.
  • I really do not know whether or not I would have chosen Biochemistry as a career prior to my participation in this program.(p. 27)
  • Maybe. I might, but I think I would have to be exposed to it longer.(p.30)
  • Yes. I like the Food Science area anyway. But because of an ROTC Scholarship I had to choose a technical field.(p. 31)
  • If I had not made my career choice prior to my participation in this program, I probably would consider a career in Agricultural Sciences. I have gained so much insight into the agricultural sciences since my participation in the program. I now realize how important the agricultural sciences are to so many people.(p. 31)
6. Program: Did your research supervisor give you the guidance and supervision you thought you should have had?
  • I really did enjoy working with Dr. Armstrong and the other people in the lab.(p. 27)
7. Strong points of the program:
  • Learning experience(p.27)
  • I liked the college atmosphere, the work was very interesting, I liked the other students in the program.(p. 30)
  • The great lab facilities and the college atmosphere(p. 32)
8. Weak points of the Program:
  • Expense of food(p.28)

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USDA, Dr. H.B. Craig Associate Director of Academic Affairs in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and participants of program., “Federal, Professors, and Students documents related to USDA Research Apprenticeship Program, 1980.,” The State of History, accessed June 25, 2024, https://soh.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/33174.