THE gender ratio is balancing out at the WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, with the number of girls enrolled at the school on the rise.
The number of female students at the school has more than doubled over the past two years, and now sits at 35.
The College is home to the greatest number of boarders of all the agricultural schools in WA, with all except one of the 132 enrolled students boarding.
Deputy principal Travis Hooper said there were several reasons for the increase.
“It’s partly cyclical but I think another reason is that we’ve got a pretty strong ATAR program now,” he said.
“This attracts students and particularly girls who might be interested in agriculture, but also want to go to university.
“I think the stigma from even five years ago of women in agriculture is basically dead and buried and there’s a lot of opportunities and there’s a lot of women who are smart enough to take up some of those opportunities that arise.
“We’ve also had a number of past students who’ve gone onto bigger and better things so they’ve acted as role models.”
ATAR was introduced to the Cunderdin school in 2012, and students completing ATAR subjects has since risen.
“Some of the advantages we have with the ATAR program is that some of those kids who want to go into those sorts of mid-level university careers, they can come here and if they’re looking towards more of a trade, they have those options too,” Mr Hooper said.
Year 12 student Chloe King, Mukinbudin, said the school had given her the chance to reach her career goal of becoming a stock agent.
“It’s full of opportunities and so far it’s given me everything that I want to achieve and more,” she said,
“There’s more opportunity for university, which I think more girls are wanting to get into so it’s opening a lot more doors.”