Federal, Professors, and Students documents related to USDA Research Apprenticeship Program, 1981.


Federal, Professors, and Students documents related to USDA Research Apprenticeship Program, 1981.


The central importance of these documents to the CALS program and contemporary historians, are the participating students' career plans and reflections on their internships. As seen in the collection of sources, most of the students gained valuable experience because many did not have experience in agriculture. Students suggested various ways the program could improve such as bringing in more research opportunities or lengthening the program. The positive statements of the students indicate the program allowed students to experience a field similar to what they dreamed of working in, in the future. For example, one student wanted to enter the field of medicine and felt they benefited from studying zoology. Students did provide important critiques for the program as well, which reveals their concerns about money, wanting more research time, wanting to be paired in a different program, and desiring more educational field trips.
The students' names are omitted for privacy. 


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


Federal, Professor, and Student documents related to USDA Minority Research Apprenticeship Program, 1981. 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.




Raleigh, North Carolina


The excerpted transcription is a collaboration of student evaluation answers to questions provided by the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1981. This transcription allows researchers to easily view the data. See PDF for full document.

1. What are your career plans?
  • After highschool I plan to further advance my education, via college. I will be studying engineering, as that is my major interest, and upon completion of undergraduate work, I will hopefully be working in some field of engineering.(p. 2)
  • I plan on attending N.C. State University and majoring in Engineering or Computer Science (I think).(p. 3)
  • I would like to attend college and would like to obtain a doctorate, in psychology(p. 4)
  • Work with computers, be an engineer, or go into the field of medicine.(p. 5)
  • I plan to go into a medical career or secondly an engineering career.(p. 10)
  • I would like to attend N.C. State University and major in computer science.(p. 11)
  • I plan to pursue a career in specialized medicine. At this time I have not decided what to specialize in.(p. 12)
  • I plan to attend college and major in pre-medicine. After that, I plan to go to medical school.(p. 18)
  • After the competition of high school, I plan to attend college and major in the feild of math or engineering or maybe Agriculture Scientist.(p. 20)
2. Has the program provided the type of learning experience you expected?
  • I thought that I would be more involved in the actual process of researching.(p. 26)
  • Yes. I do not believe that the young man in food science gained any learning experience.(p. 28)
  • Yes. The program should involve much more research.(p. 36)
3. What was the most significant learning experience you had?
  • I feel that the most significant learning experience I had was gained by living on campus. It gave me a chance to see what going to college and having a job would be like. It also gave me a chance to live independently, to manage my own time and finances in accordance with newly obtained responsibilites.(p. 26)
  • Living on a college campus.(p. 28)
  • Learning about the various processes involved with soil microbiology and pedalogy. Becoming involved with rhizobium technology and symbiotic nitrogen fixation were of special interest.(p. 31)
  • The most significant learning experience was studing the background of nitrogen Fixation in soybean in its relationship with straw from wheat.(p. 33)
  • For one being away from on my own and getting a sample of the college environment.(p. 36)
  • The most significant learning experience I received was that I really got an insight on what engineers do.(p. 39)
4. Did you feel that the area in which you worked was the best one for your particular case?
  • In the beginning, I knew very little about any of the areas. I enjoyed working in poultry science. I think that it is one area that contains many aspects of science and/or research.(p. 27)
  • Yes. Im interested in medicine so Biochemistry was right up my alley.(p. 29)
  • No. Soil Science was not really an area that I was interested in. Biological and agricultural engineering would have been more suitable. That is not to say that the experience in soil science was not benefitting.(p. 32)
  • Yes. My area required lots of overtime and hard work in high temperatures, but I am use to it and I enjoyed it.(p. 34)
  • Yes. Because I wanted to go into engineering and that is what I got in to.(p. 37)
  • Yes. I think so, because engineering is the curriculum Im planning on taking. And they placed me in Agricultural Engineering.(p. 40)
  • I liked working with plants before I started the program and afterwards I had a better understanding of plants.(p. 41)
  • Yes. Since I plan to go into medicine, Zoology proved to be a very worthwhile subject. We did experiments using animals, but the Assays and and other transports can be used in dealing with humans.(p. 42)
5. 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?
  • Well, I've learned that all professors arent solely academicly minded. Having a PhD doesnt mean you wont get your hands dirty.(p. 27)
  • I've never had any ideas about research in the agricultural and biological sciences.(p. 29)
  • My ideas about research in Agriculture and Life Sciences have definitely changed. Once I became involved in the research, I saw how thorough and complete the work must be. My ideas about research in general have been altered.(p. 32)
  • Yes. My ideas in the beginning was that it would be lots of borin paper work, but now I know that it is a combination with more physical involvement than paper work.(p. 34)
  • No. From doing research in my high school I was aquainted with this kind of research.(p. 37)
  • Yes, I think so because I didnt know of all the different types projects that one could do in Agriculture and Life Sciences.(p. 40)
  • At first I didnt understand that it was important, and that NCSUs research was influential.(p. 41)
6. 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 had not made a career choice until I had the experience of meeting and talking with some of the foreign students who live in Alexandria. Now I am strongly leaning toward a career in foreign language.(p. 27)
  • Yes. Animal Science might have appealed to me. It seems to be an interesting field.(p. 29)
  • Yes. The research as very interesting and allowed me to fully see how a soil science department is run.(p. 32)
  • No. I have made my choice.(p. 34)
  • Yes because I enjoyed the experiences that I had.(p. 37)
  • I have made a career choice.(p. 40)
  • Yes. I have made a career choice.(p. 41)
  • No, I find it interesting, but I love medicine.(p. 42)
7. Did your research supervisor give you the guidance and supervision you thought you should have had?
  • I learned how to harvest Euglena cultures from the lab technician. If it wasn't for her, I would not have learned as much.(p. 29)
  • She was extremely patient and concerned about me overcoming my benightedness.(p. 32)
  • He was very helpful and considerate.(p. 34) think that my supervisors did a very outstanding summer work program.(p. 40)
  • Everyone I worked with, technicians, and grad students were helpful and instructive.(p. 41)
  • Dr. Black was excellent. She taught me how to carry out an experiment and then she had enough confidence in me to do it without looking over my shoulders. I appreciate and have great admiration for her.(p. 42)
8. Strong Points:
  • Learning experience freedom(p.30)
  • My strong point was the fact that I got the chance to get directly involved in Masters Degree Experments.(p. 35)
  • I wasn't really considering coming to NCSU or even an Ag & Life Science until I experienced this program.(p. 38)
9. Weak Points:
  • If they were not mentioned, I have non.(p. 35)
  • Not taking group trips or the group being officially together that much.(p. 38)

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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, 1981.,” The State of History, accessed May 20, 2024, https://soh.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/33175.