Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 4-6-2020


Agricultural Education

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Kimberly A. Bellah, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Alyx Shultz, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Mr. Matthew Shultz, Committee Member


The total program of agricultural education has established that the inclusion of all students is a priority, including students who fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other similar legislation. However, upon reviewing the literature, a significant deficit has been identified in terms of training and preparation to work with students with disabilities within agricultural education. Literature and philosophy regarding the concepts of self-efficacy and experiential learning theories are explored. Additionally, works regarding special education in the agriculture classroom and primary challenges faced by agriculture educators are reviewed. A need to establish better preparatory training within preservice agriculture education programs was identified. The goals of this analysis were to describe the demographics of preservice agriculture education students, to establish self-efficacy competency scores regarding the implementation of the total program of agricultural education while working with exceptional learners, and to determine if self-efficacy scores increase following an intervention with an experiential learning theory basis. The methods for this study included the administration of a voluntary pre-assessment containing 85 competencies to measure self-efficacy levels of participants. An experiential intervention was developed and performed, followed by the administration of the post-assessment questionnaire. Pre-assessment results yielded initial competency scores, followed by an increase of these scores in the post-assessment. Conclusions and recommendations for teacher educators and further research are discussed based on these increased scores and other questionnaire results.