a year ago

The Horticulture student who successfully completes four years of the program will, at a minimum, be able to perform tasks in the field of horticulture. They will be able to provide advice on the selection, ordering, planting, and maintenance of trees, shrubs, ground covers, and turf grasses. Our students will have the ability to grow potted plants and nursery stock and maintain records on the growing operation. Students will be familiar with all aspects of landscaping including hardscaping (design elements that are solid and unchanging as the years go by), and softscaping (elements that are fluid and changing as they mature). Horticulture students will have an understanding of forestry and how it contributes to sustainable agricultural production and food security, including the maintenance and restoration of soil fertility and soil improvement,erosion control, and maintenance of biodiversity. Students will also be familiar with aquaculture or water farming of fish, aquatic plants, algae and other organisms.

Graduates of our Horticulture program will graduate with the following skills and competencies:

  • The ability to demonstrate health and safety practices on all related equipment and materials specific to Horticulture, Arboriculture, Floriculture, Landscaping, Turf Management, and Greenhouse Management

  • The ability to demonstrate the use of plant classification principles to identify a wide variety of plants

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of principles of entomology

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of concepts of soil origin and development

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of floral design and interior landscape

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of greenhouse management and production

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of floriculture business operations

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of landscape design and estimating

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of landscape construction

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of landscape maintenance and installation

  • The ability to demonstrate an understanding of turfgrass management

Our graduates are not limited to entry-level positions in the Horticulture industry. Higher level positions are vast and vary in both the general industry as well as specialty areas within the industry.  Graduates of our Horticulture program, who take post-graduate training and/or industry specialized training, might choose to specialize in one of the following examples of technical career areas:

  • Landscape architect (would require the ability to design outdoor spaces of campuses, recreational facilities, private homes, and other open spaces)

  • Agricultural Engineer (would require the ability to solve agricultural problems concerning power supplies, the efficiency of machinery, the use of structures and facilities, pollution and environmental issues, and the storage and processing of agricultural products)

  • Soil scientist (would require the ability to research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of establishments and products)

  • Food scientist (would require the ability to conduct research and experiments to improve the productivity and sustainability of field crops and farm animals)

  • Entomologist (would require the ability to focus on the scientific study of insects while focusing on a specific type of insect)

  • Plant pathologist (would require the ability to work in laboratories and in the field and study conditions that can influence plant health, plant diseases, and nutrition)

  • Botanist (would require expertise in the scientific study of plant evolution, reproduction, processes, and relationships with the environment and other forms of life)

  • Curator of a botanical garden (would require the ability to maintain, develop, and control major plant collections, including living collections and herbarium and spirit-preserved collections)

  • Curator for public gardens and parks (would require managing landscapes and plant collections in public gardens and conservatories)

  • Ethnobotanist (would require expertise in the interrelationships between indigenous plants and humans)

  • Extension agent (would require the ability to engage in agriculture and natural resource programs in the local community working with farmers and ranchers to improve productivity while protecting the environment)

  • Landscape designer (would require the ability to create gardens with combinations of plant material and hardscapes; knowing the appropriate plants to use to achieve the desired aesthetic effect and possessing enough knowledge of soil science and plant physiology to know what plants are suited to the conditions present on a particular site)

  • Grounds maintenance supervisor (would require the ability to oversee the activities of landscaping and grounds keeping crews)

  • Landscaper (would require the ability to install residential and commercial hardscapes, and softscapes, including the interpretation of blueprints, estimating and bidding, sales, and installation of materials)

  • Pest manager (would require an understanding of pest control while working with state and federal regulatory agencies, agricultural suppliers, processing corporations, large farm organizations, and agricultural agents)

  • Golf course superintendent (would require the ability to maintain golf courses with a focus on intensive turf maintenance)

  • Nursery and plant inspectors (would require certification in USDA Phytosanitary procedures for inspection of plants and/or seeds)

  • Arborist (would require the ability to assess the condition of trees, provide a diagnosis for potential diseases, and offer recommendations on how to properly care and maintain the trees)

  • Farm manager (on a crop farm would require the ability to supervise fertilizing, planting, spraying, cultivating, harvesting, and on a livestock farm would require the ability to supervise general care of animals and be diligent in control of illnesses)

  • Hydroponics specialist (would require the ability to develop a system and time schedule for planting vegetables, herbs and other plants that can be grown cost-effectively, using water infused with nutrients as a growing medium instead of soil)

Graduates of our Horticulture program have the opportunity to secure the following industry-recognized certifications:

  • OSHA 10-Hour Card and Certificate

  • Massachusetts Pesticide Applicator License

  • Massachusetts Hoisting License

  • DynaScape Landscape Management Proficiency

Following are the qualities and skills that are necessary for success in the field of Horticulture:

  • Physical skills are necessary to move horticulture materials and supplies weighing up to 50 pounds, as well as the ability to move around all day both indoors and outdoors

  • Dexterity is necessary in order to perform the many tasks that require steady hands and good eye-hand coordination

  • Visual skills are necessary to create hardscapes, as well as smaller floral arrangements

  • Detail orientation is necessary

  • Organizational skills are necessary to maintain safety and ensure accountability

  • Business skills are necessary for self-employed horticulturalists who must be able to bid on new jobs, track inventory, and plan payroll and work assignments

  • Customer-service skills are necessary to discuss problems and their solutions 

  • Knowledge of horticulture in all phases is necessary

  • A thorough knowledge of propagation and culturation is necessary

  • A considerable knowledge of the principles of nursery management is necessary

  • The ability to supervise the work of others is necessary

  • A knowledge of the principles of supervision is helpful

  • A knowledge of the elementary principles of landscaping is necessary


The Horticulture Frameworks identify the competencies that students will have the opportunity to learn in a four-year time span. 

Articulation Agreements

Our Horticulture program has a local articulation agreement with Keene State College, which recognizes credits beyond a standard 3 credit state recognition.

Articulation agreements allow for a seamless continuation of education for our students.