Academic journal article NACTA Journal

The USDA's Food and Agricultural Education Information System: FAEIS1

Academic journal article NACTA Journal

The USDA's Food and Agricultural Education Information System: FAEIS1

Article excerpt

Abstract

As a comprehensive nationwide system, the Food and Agricultural Education Information System (FAEIS) provides empirical data and analyses for planning, benchmarking, and coordinating efforts, directed towards supporting higher education in the food, human, agricultural, and natural resource sciences. FAEIS (http://faeis.usda.gov/) is an accessible resource for data users that includes faculty, higher education administrators, government officials, industry professionals, and the general public to strengthen higher education programs and is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Recently 2008 marked one of the best years for FAEIS reporting with 100% reporting from nearly all of our sponsoring associations: Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), formally National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) ; American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources (AASCARR); Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC); Board on Human Sciences (BOHS); Council on Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences (CAFCS); Society of American Foresters (SAF); and National Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP). This article seeks to expand awareness of FAEIS, discuss the data collection process, and provide readers with examples of how they can use FAEIS.

Introduction

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Agricultural Education Information System (FAEIS) is a comprehensive web-based database of student and faculty data. Its purpose is to compile nationwide higher education data for life, food, veterinary, human, natural resource, and agricultural sciences (The USDA's Food and Agricultural Education Information System, 2009).

FAEIS is the nation's most definitive repository of student enrollment and degrees granted information for the food and agricultural sciences. FAEIS also includes useful faculty salary information as well as detailed reports, by variables such as gender and academic discipline, for benchmarking and other comparative studies. Congress periodically requests workforce projections from USDA, and FAEIS is our primary source for providing this response. Institutional research and administrative decision-makers also consult FAEIS data to develop policy statements and economic analysis. If you're a faculty member writing a grant application, there's no better place than FAEIS to find student enrollment projections to support your project. -Greg Smith, National Education Program Leader for Higher Education Programs at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) formally Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), USDA, on July, 2, 2009 (Smith, G., personal communication).

FAEIS was originally developed by the USDA in 1983 to provide data for federal reporting purposes in collaboration with Texas A & M University. In 2001 FAEIS transferred to Virginia Tech and is currently funded through a USDA grant (#2008-38420-04799) and operated by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

As a comprehensive nationwide system, FAEIS provides empirical information for use in planning, benchmarking, and coordinating efforts, directed towards supporting higher education in the food, agricultural, and natural resource sciences. FAEIS offers an accessible resource for data users that includes faculty, higher education administrators, government officials, industry professionals, and the general public to strengthen higher education programs. FAEIS can assist users examining enrollment trends, emerging disciplines, student placement, and faculty salaries.

FAEIS Data Collection

FAEIS annually conducts three major surveys: the Fall College Enrollment Survey, the Student Survey, and the Faculty Survey. The Fall College Enrollment Survey asks for initial student headcount for an entire college or school in the program areas of life, food, veterinary, human, natural resource, and agricultural sciences (http://faeis. …

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