Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

David Coffey (Director), Linda Gonzales, Terry Wilson

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


Countless research suggests that secondary agricultural education programs could benefit all students regardless of school characteristics and geographic location, yet many secondary schools have yet to include agricultural education as part of their curricular offerings. In response, numerous studies have been conducted in recent years throughout the United States regarding how secondary agricultural education programs are perceived by school leaders. For the first time, this study sought to shed light on how secondary principals in Kentucky perceived agricultural education programs. Considered in this study, were how secondary principals with agricultural education in their schools perceived those programs differently than secondary principals without agricultural education in their schools. Secondary principals in Kentucky were selected to participate in this study based on the population of Kentucky counties that had at least one secondary school with agricultural education and at least one secondary school without agricultural education (N = 95). This quantitative descriptive study measured how participants perceived secondary agricultural education programs by utilizing a survey with Likert-type and demographic questions. Four constructs guided the survey items to measure how secondary principals perceived agricultural education based upon overall program success, the courses offered in agricultural education programs, the quality of agriculture teachers, and personal familiarity with the FFA. Results indicated that secondary principals with agricultural education in their schools have significantly higher perceptions of such programs than do secondary principals without agricultural education in their schools. Furthermore, results revealed that all constructs included in this study have predictive variables of one’s overall perception of secondary agricultural education programs. Additional research is necessary to further examine how secondary principals nationwide perceive agricultural education programs and to what extent their perceptions are valued regarding decision making for program implementation.


Agriculture | Curriculum and Instruction | Education