An examination of student perceptions toward university recruitment photographs
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With a new generation entering college and the growing demand for professionals in the agricultural industry, recruiting students with an agricultural and non-agricultural background to college agricultural programs is important. This study examined students’ perceptions and preference of university recruitment photographs to determine if there was a difference between students with agricultural and non-agricultural backgrounds. The research design was quantitative, and data was collected using an online survey consisting of semantic differential scale questions to measure perception and a rank order question to measure preference on eight different recruitment photographs (four agricultural photos and four university photos) in four categories (Building/Campus, Socializing, Teacher with Student, and Student Profile). Results revealed statistically significant differences in perception among students with agricultural backgrounds on the agricultural Building/Campus photograph and the agricultural Socializing photograph. Results on preference showed a statistically significant difference among students with an agricultural background on the agricultural Socializing photograph. Regardless of student background, it was found that the university Building/Campus photograph had the most positive perception and highest rank. It is important to take note of these differences between backgrounds when creating recruitment materials. Photographs including iconic university buildings and landmarks should be utilized regardless of student background.