Recruiting Students by Marketing Horticulture

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 Department of Agriculture, Illinois State University. Normal, IL 61761.

The traditional content in introductory horticulture courses emphasizes plant structure, physiology, and production. At Illinois State Univ., however, the course work has been designed to meet University Studies requirements as well as departmental needs. The students taking the course are viewed as a market, and basic principles of marketing are used to gain and keep the interest of a wide variety of students, few of which have had any previous contact with horticulture. Extensive coverage is given to the historical, social, and economic status of horticulture in the United States. This nontraditional approach has been successful in the view of students and faculty. Postcourse surveys found that 98% of students felt that they had gained a good working knowledge of horticulture, and that 95% believed they would be a more knowledgeable consumer. Some departments use the University Studies program as a means of recruiting new majors, and this potential was not ignored in designing a marketing approach to the course content.

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