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High School Forestry Education in the Pacific Northwest

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The purpose of this study was to assess the current status of forestry education in high school career and technical education (CTE) programs in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Most current forestry workers have no college education. This fact, combined with a projected 53,000 job openings in the forestry industry, creates a career path for CTE graduates. However, little information is available about the high schools and teachers offering forestry education. Ninety-nine teachers reported teaching forestry content in their courses; these courses included natural resources courses, forestry courses, environmental science courses, and agricultural science courses. Overall, teachers perceived that their curriculum does not necessarily prepare their students for careers in the forest industry. Most teachers reported forestry jobs as decreasing or remaining constant. Teachers also reported that few of their students use their forestry education after graduation. Reasons teachers cited for students not using their forestry education included weak forestry industries in their local areas as well as needing more classroom time to dedicate to forestry curriculum. These findings prompted us to recommend a follow-up study tracking graduates of high school forestry programs and further addressing the value of forestry education.

Keywords: Pacific Northwest; career and technical education; forestry education; high school; teaching

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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