Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version

April 1994


Published in The Journal of Agricultural Education, volume 35 (1994), pages 20-24. Used by permission.
The Journal of Agricultural Education (JAE) is a publication of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). Its back issues are available online at


Who influences students’ decisions to enroll in traditional and/or nontraditional programs? Encouragement from parents to succeed in math, science and technology is critical in a girl’s decision to enroll in these courses (Parsons, 1980). Beck (1989) contended that the greatest influence on anyone’s career decision, regardless of gender, is the mother. Kotrlik and Harrison (1987) reported in their study that “for agricultural education students as well as other seniors, parents influenced the students’ career choices more than any other person, with the mother being more influential than the father.” Guidance counselors had almost no impact on informing students about what was taught in agricultural education programs (Luft & Giese, 1991).