In recent years, there has been a prominent rise in the popularity of local and sustainable food. Concurrently, young people have begun to reappear in the agricultural field, displaying interest in their food system as more than just consumers. This resurgence has also manifested in the academic sphere, in a phenomenon known in this project as campus agriculture projects, or “CAPs”. Campus agriculture is no longer exclusively the province of land grant universities but has begun to emerge in all sizes and types of academic institutions. This Independent Study includes a comprehensive literature review and a survey-based research project, both based on this subject. The literature review comprises 39 studies, including that research which focused on CAPs at private, four-year colleges and universities. The included literature employs various conceptual lenses and emphasizes different themes and patterns, which I tracked throughout the articles. In addition to investigating that which has already been studied, I provide a new lens through which to view these CAPs. Paired with the literature, I employ a pre-/post- survey to guage the impact of experiential agriculture courses on college students, particularly regarding their relationship with – and connection to – their food system. The data for this research was gathered through survey responses from 30 students from 6 private, four-year colleges and universities across the country. Between the literature review and the survey data, my hope was that these results would not only illustrate the impacts of experiential agriculture courses on their participating students, but also help to identify the potential of these courses to impact student connection to their food system – and even further, suggest how these connections might impact the future of the food system through these students.


Mariola, Matthew


Environmental Studies


Agricultural Education | Environmental Studies | Food Studies | Other Food Science

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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