This directory of institutions offering horticultural and landscape training in the U.S. and Canada has been assembled for use by ASHS members, administrators and teachers of horticulture. This effort is a part of the activities of the Education Division of the American Society for Horticultural Science.
The data are revised since the first publication in HortScience, Vol. 8(3), June 1973.
My sincere gratitude is expressed to the many horticulturists and others in the respective areas who assisted in this survey.
The listings which follow likely will have some errors and omissions with changing programs from year to year. Will you kindly notify the author of corrections in your area so they can be included as the listing is updated from time to time. Thank you.
The system of selecting and appointing a department chairman (or head, or chief) in agricultural colleges over the country has been changing. At this writing there are 11 horticulture department headships open in the U.S. There apparently is increased difficulty in finding qualified and, at least, semiexperienced candidates who will accept a department chairmanship. Are the posts as attractive as they were? Does a department chairman have the security, the delegated responsibility, freedom, and incentive to act that he once had?
Horticultural departments at land-grant universities are graduating fewer and fewer students with the technical and practical knowledge needed to serve and lead the horticultural industry. Professionally trained horticulturists are becoming difficult to find. Too many MS and PhD “horticulturists” today know little horticulture. Retiring horticulturists or those leaving for other reasons are being replaced by pure scientists from fields other than horticulture. Grower-oriented research and student teaching are losing priority to “high-tech” research funded and guided by federal and outside grants. Horticultural courses are being dropped or not taught due to lack of teachers and/or students. Professionally written horticultural texts are becoming scarce or outdated. Extension personnel are being brought on campus to teach production courses or the basic scientists may be asked to teach these courses for which they have had little or no training or experience. Many experienced extension personnel are retiring early or leaving their jobs for private consulting.
For about 65 years, I have tried many ideas for recruiting horticultural students. Each has been effective to a limited extent, often involving much time in contacting vocational–agricultural schools and high school career advisors, making movies and slides, printing and distributing brochures, and designing and distributing displays at meetings. These continuing efforts are worthwhile and needed; however, I have found it easier, perhaps less expensive, and more effective, to recruit students already on campus. On college campuses, there are always a wealth of students still undecided on a major or minor, even in their senior year. The problem is to find a way to attract these students to stimulating experiences in horticulture and, at the same time, gain administrative credit for more undergraduates in departmental classes. Since 1990, the Univ. of Florida has been offering a 1-h credit “snack” course titled “Growing Fruits for Fun and Profit” at the noon hour two days a week in the spring and summer semesters. We serve the students a few fresh strawberries in that fruit is the topic, a big cookie or two, and a fruit drink. Enrollment has grown to a limited 300 students in spring and 80 students in summers—with a waiting list! We cover most fruits grown in Florida, with help of extension personnel specializing in the respective fruit and with the leader (Rebecca Darnell or me) offering a few of the 15 lectures. One session is a tour of the Univ. of Florida fruit plantings. Students are required to be present (given one absence) and keep a notebook. There are no exams. Students are graded on their attendance, notebooks, and attentiveness. One lecture from vegetables or ornamental faculty may be invited during the course. Most students get an A or B. For further attraction, 12 to 15 scholarships of $500 to $1500 are offered. We have been able to capture a few majors each year from students coming from across the campus.
Dr. Steve A. Pieniazek, retired director of the Institute of Pomology in Skierniewice, Poland, tells us he would be interested in coming to the United States and teaching pomology on a temporary basis. There is an increasing need for teachers in pomology. It is possible he could fill an opening caused by retirement while the department is looking for a replacement.
The basic horticulture course in many colleges and universities was replaced with essentially a basic plant science course(s), covering horticulture, agronomy and/or forestry, beginning with the low-enrollment Vietnam War years. A few institutions have switched back to basic horticulture with the objective of regaining identity and increasing horticultural majors. In recent years however, there has been a general and rather marked increase in enrollments in nearly all plant-oriented courses due apparently to a growing interest among young people in the outdoor environment.
There is interest among most U.S. and Canadian horticulture departments in what happened when the basic horticulture course was or was not replaced with a general plant science course during the recent war years of low student enrollment The results of a 1973-1974 survey presents shifts in the basic horticultural teaching, the present enrollment situation, and any plans for changes in the immediate future. The results are summarized in Table 1.
This directory of institutions offering horticultural and landscape training in the U.S. and Canada has been assembled for use by ASHS members, administrators and teachers of horticulture. This effort is a part of the activities of the Education Committee of the American Society of Horticultural Science. My sincere gratitude is expressed to the many horticulturists and others in the respective areas who assisted in this survey.
The listings which follow likely will have some errors and omissions with changing programs from year to year. Will you kindly notify the author of corrections in your area so they can be included as the listing is updated from time to time. Thank you. We would like to build our listing with your help from Canada, Mexico and other foreign countries, inasmuch as the American Society of Horticultural Science membership is expanding increasingly around the globe.
There seems to be a growing interest in the “publish-your-own” method of getting a book into print. Several ASHS members have asked me about the advantages and the problems compared with having the job done by a publishing company. I have been publishing my own books for over twenty years. There are some advantages, some disadvantages. Publishing any book in its first edition is a gamble.
Perhaps we should take more time to study student recruiting and teaching of horticulture with student enrollments so critically low over the country (Childers, 1986). Within a few years, if not already, this student deficiency will have an adverse effect on leadership and advancement of the horticultural industry over the United States and world.