Federal, Professors, and Students documents related to USDA Research Apprenticeship Program, 1982.


Federal, Professors, and Students documents related to USDA Research Apprenticeship Program, 1982.


1982 was the third successful year of the Research Apprenticeship program. While the program took place in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the entire focus of the program was not purely on agriculture. The Associate Director of the SALS wrote on March 9, 1982 to high school teachers and counselors "the primary thrust is to stimulate interest among the minority communities in science related careers. It is hoped that the participating students will establish a close working relationship with active research scientistso assist students with encouragement and advice on careers and college for further education." Nationally, many of the students career goals were not in agriculture, but the program influenced many participants to pursue a scientific occupation. The students at NC State valued their exposure to research and lab work. Students reported their ideas about the agricultural and biological sciences had expanded, and they were aware of the many opportunities in the field. Therefore, NC State successfully exposed the complexities of agricultural research to the students, and several students were interested in attending NC State. Historians can thus interpret that inclusion of minorities is a positive experience for NC State.
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, 1982, 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


Excerpt from page 13 of collection. Please see PDF for full transcript. 

"Program Outcomes

Perceived Career Influence. Asked to assess whether the program affected their career planning in any of seven areas, most apprentices reported being influenced in four or more areas. Seven out of 94 denied being influenced in all areas.

Occupational Plans. Nearly six apprentices out of every ten reported they were influenced in whether or not to enter a scientific occupation. (After the program, seven out of ten apprentices said they were considering a major in science or engineering in college). Four apprentices out of every nine reported the program affected their choice of a college major and their choice of an occupation. Three out of every nine credited the program with influencing their thinking on whether or not to enter an occupation in the food and agricultural sciences.

Educational Plans. Most apprentices said the program affected their thinking on whether or not to attend college and whether or not to pursue advanced training. Although their commitment to higher education may have been intensified, apprentices planned as many years of schooling before the program as after, with most expecting to attain a doctorate or first-professional degree.

College Choice. Many apprenticeship sites were either affiliated with or proximate to institutions of higher education. The college preferences of those who originally planned to attend the affiliated institution were sustained throughout the program. Nearly half the others (who had planned to attend another college altered their plans and attended the affiliated institution. Since many program sites were affiliated with land-grant institutions, the net effect of the program was to bolster land-grant enrollments, particularly the 1862 institutions.

Career Savvy. Career savvy refers to a comprehension and appreciation for what being a scientist entails. Apprentices for the most part said their understanding of the everyday aspects of work had improved quite a lot (74 percent so stating), as had their knowledge of how to do research (65 percent), their knowledge of the food and agricultural sciences (66 percent), their knowledge about strengths and weaknesses (52 percent) and their work-habits (53 percent). Thirteen percent or fewer said they had improved very little or not at all in these respects. Scientists corroborated the gains by apprentices in career savvy.

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. What are your career plans?
  • I have always been intrigued with the areas of mathematics and physical sciences. However, I have not made definite career plans. For this reason, I value any experience that familiarizes me with career opportunities.(p.21)
2. Has the program provided the type of learning experience you expected?
  • With the experience Ive gained I feel ready for some college courses.(p.22)
  • It was better than I expected.(p.24)
3. What was the most significant learning experience you had
  • The exposure that I've gained to the animal science department at NC State has made me want to learn more about animal science.(p.22)
  • In the department of Poultry Science, I saw how much technology was involved. Research was really important.(p.24)
  • The most significant learning experience was working one on one with a research professor. I may not have another chance like that for a long time. I was exposed to new techniques and equipment that most people are not exposed to until much later in their education.(p. 26)
4. Did you feel that the area in which you worked was the best one for your particular case?
  • Yes, the area was very interesting to me. The people that I have worked with...have given me a part of themselves by sharing this knowledge with me. Also, this area is closely related to the field of genetics which I have recently become interested in.(p.19)
  • Yes I feel reproductive physiology was best because it involved photography and it was very, very interesting.(p.23)
  • No. I have a liking for animals, but I didnt consider chickens or turkeys as one of them.(p. 25)
  • Yes. I feel that it was well suited. I got a big head start in learning to do cell counts and grow cells in cultures. Im sure I will have to do similar things in the future.(p. 27)
  • I have taken two years of advanced biology in high school and I know quite a bit about bacteria, so working in the Dept. of Microbiology was just right to me.(p. 28)
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?
  • Yes, the people involved in the program really are devoted to their research. One develops respect for people who show so much concerns. (p.19)
  • Yes they (my ideas) have changed greatly. Before I thought that animal science only worked with pigs and cows.(p.23)
  • It really has changed.(p. 25)
  • Yes. I had not realized that State had such an extensive program in Life Sciences. I had associated it more as an engineering program.(p. 27)
  • Yes, some of my ideas about research and in the areas have changed. I didn't realize that there was such a broad variety of topics to be researched and so many fields in which to major.(p. 28)
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.
  • Maybe...A great possibility! (p.19)
  • Yes, my choice would more than likely be in reproductive physiology.(p.23)
  • Yes. There are just as many opportunities in this field as any other.(p. 25)
  • Food science seems to be an interesting major. Tasting and testing foods sounds like fun.(p. 27)
  • Yes, I have always been interested in the research areas and the visit to N.C. State has only sharpened my interest.(p. 28)
7. Did your research supervisor give you the guidance and supervision you thought you should have had? 
  • Most definitely! The people that I worked with were just grand!(p.19)
  • Dr. Edens helped me in every way possible except do my work for me.(p. 25)
  • Yes, Dr. Roberts was very patient and helpful with me and my co-worker, Lisa. He always explained things very carefully and was never annoyed when he had to repeat things.(p. 27)
  • Dr. Melton was a very attentive supervisor and he gave me all the guidance was needed in the work that I performed.(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, 1982.,” The State of History, accessed September 24, 2023, https://soh.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/33176.