Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Swortzel, Kirk A.

Committee Member

McCubbins, Andrew O.P.

Committee Member

Peterson, Donna J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural and Extension Education

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Many high schools have shifted from comprehensive graduation exams to a focus on College and Career Readiness. A common method used to determine when a student is college and career ready is a Career Readiness Indicator (CRI). Many CRIs demonstrate a benchmark learning goal for students. Among academic-based CRIs are Career and Technical Education (CTE) industry credentials. Credentials are just one way that agriculture classrooms contribute to student success. This study compiled existing research on CRIs and employability skills in CTE students to determine how the State FFA Degree could potentially fit into this category as well as highlight specific employability aspects of FFA members that coincide with the three-circle model of agricultural education. Data were collected and analyzed to compare FFA members to non-FFA members. FFA members who have earned their State FFA Degree were additionally compared to FFA members who did not earn the State FFA Degree.