Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Swortzel, Kirk A.

Committee Member

Jagger, Carla

Committee Member

Coble, Keith

Committee Member

Newman, Michael E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural Science (Agricultural and Extension Education)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


A study was conducted to determine the relationship between agribusiness self-efficacy and business related collegiate courses. One hundred eleven (N = 111) Mississippi and Tennessee secondary agricultural education teachers completed a researcher developed survey that measured agribusiness self-efficacy using 88 competencies from Mississippi and Tennessee secondary agribusiness courses. Participants rated their confidence to teach each competency using a 5 point scale with 1 as no confidence and 5 as very confident. The survey also assessed the types and number of collegiate-level business related courses completed by the participants as well as other demographic factors. Multiple linear regression, ANOVA, and Spearman's rho tests were used to assess relationships between the measured agribusiness self-efficacy and the various demographic factors. The mean agribusiness self-efficacy was 3.18 (SD = 0.788) indicating that teachers are only somewhat confident to teach agribusiness. Factor analysis divided the 88 competencies into nine themes. The overall competency and nine factor competency means were used as dependent variables. Marketing and introductory agribusiness courses loaded on most of the regression models. The number of collegiate business related courses is significantly related to participants agribusiness self-efficacy. Participants with a high GPA were found to have a significantly lower agribusiness self-efficacy as compare to lesser GPA groups. Teaching agribusiness courses increases agribusiness self-efficacy. Utilizing agribusiness textbooks and guest speakers also increases agribusiness self-efficacy. Owning a business was included in most of the agribusiness self-efficacy models. Nine of the ten regression models solely included state department of education facilitated agribusiness professional development. Years of experience was only significantly related to one of the ten dependent variables. No significant relationship was discovered between agribusiness self-efficacy and teacher age. No significant differences in agribusiness self-efficacy was discovered for education level, college major, certification type. It is recommended that universities include a marketing course along with an introductory to agribusiness course to prepare pre-service agricultural education teachers. It is also recommended that secondary agricultural education teachers maintain a professional library with agribusiness textbooks and to utilize guest speakers as needed to optimize agribusiness self-efficacy.



Self-efficacy||Agribusiness||Collegiate Course||Agricultural Education||Competency||Agricultural Teacher