An Assessment of the Impact of the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR) Program on Its Student and Alumni Participants
From 2008 to 2011, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) implemented a national program entitled, “Enhancing the Demand for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources (AFNR) Graduates through Science and Technology.” Since the end of the program, no study has attempted to measure its impacts. In this study, two of the impacts examined were related to the participants’ personal entrepreneurial competencies (PECs) and their employability. A with-and-without research design was employed. A survey was conducted among 90 program participants and 60 counterpart nonparticipants. The respondents answered a personal entrepreneurial competencies (PEC) self-rating questionnaire composed of 55 Likert scale items related to 10 PECs. They were also queried on the number of months before they got their first job as well as their starting salaries. The PEC scores of the AFNR participants were higher for almost all the competencies compared to the nonparticipants. On the other hand, the time elapsed to first job was found to be shorter for participants compared to the nonparticipants. However, the nonparticipants’ mean monthly salary was higher compared to that of the participants. In general, the AFNR program had a positive impact on the student and alumni participants in terms of entrepreneurial competencies. There were, however, mixed results in terms of the employability indicators. It is recommended that should there be a similar program in the future, the duration of the program should be made longer to accommodate longer and more intensive trainings.