The Department of Horticultural Sciences at North Carolina State University began offering landscape horticulture students a construction studio in 2002. This unique studio engages students in experiential learning (hands-on) and service learning (client-based) projects while simultaneously applying knowledge they have gained during their university education. Three years later, the Landscape Construction Studio is a model course that pushes students to design creatively, while providing a practical foundation in how ideas transition from paper to reality. Projects embody several learning objectives, including fostering exploration and discovery while raising students' awareness of strengths and limitations of traditional and nontraditional construction materials. In addition, the studio enables the elimination of students' tendency to compartmentalize course work, and encourages students to broaden their understanding and appreciation of the world around them. A typical semester incorporates several smaller projects that introduce students to a variety of materials and lessons in construction methodologies. Projects increase in size and complexity over the course of the semester, leading to a comprehensive landscape design and installation project in which students experience the entire design process. Through this final project, students see how information gained from other horticultural and general classes are applied in landscape design. This presentation will discuss the importance of incorporating experiential learning components to horticultural courses, and the pros and cons of service learning projects. Presentation of best management practices will stimulate discussion among the audience.
In Georgia, horticulture is now the number two commodity in the state. The labor needs of the industry is increasing, however, enrollment in horticulture classes at UGA has been dropping. Most entry-level employees joining horticulture firms are completely without training or understanding of the industry, the type of work or the basic skills necessary to be functional. If horticulture was taught, it was by persons with Vo-Ag training in small engines, or animal husbandry etc. Students reported teachers had very little enthusiasm for the subject, no school facilities and that the school principle/administration had no vision for, or understanding of, horticulture. We are addressing this situation through an innovative partnership between Georgia High Schools, The Georgia Department of Education, and the University of Georgia. We can reverse the trend by training new and existing high school teachers by providing them a standardized floriculture curriculum and comprehensive training in greenhouse management, classroom teaching methods, industry awareness and a provide a long-term link to UGA. Our objective is to increase the number of students who are trained, motivated and willing to work in the field of horticulture as entry level workers. To do this we set about to standardize the course curriculum statewide, certify the high-school, faculty and administration for commitment and program continuity, Set up a model training greenhouse system at UGA, and conduct new teacher training at UGA through ALEC, and conduct postcertification training for teachers at UGA during the summer to upgrade skills, enthusiasm. The venture, including a model greenhouse at UGA, has been funded for over $100,000. The program currently has 218 Schools, 64 w/labs and greenhouses, 215 teachers and 25,049 students participating.
In an effort to expand and improve the agriculture curriculum, the Georgia Department of Education set standards for new greenhouses to be built at high schools. These modern greenhouses are to serve as teaching facilities for new horticulture classes. However, current teachers had little or no background or experience in teaching greenhouse or nursery management courses. In response to the GDE needs, a summer workshop “Managing Crop Production and Equipment in the School Greenhouse” was held at CAES Griffin Campus and at Pike County High School. Faculty from UGA departments presented topics such as water quality, irrigation and crop nutrition, cultural guidelines for major floricultural crops, IPM, pesticide safety, and marketing, business planning and fund raising. Included in the program were numerous hands-on activities designed to cover the essential practical skills needed for a greenhouse employee—proper handling and planting of plugs, watering, calculating fertilizer rates, fertilizer injector maintenance and calibration, soil pH and fertility monitoring, scouting and pest identification, and proper pesticide handling and spraying techniques. Twenty-two teachers from schools with horticulture curriculum attended the training. The workshop evaluations indicated high satisfaction with the material presented. Teachers pointed out that the practical skills had not only been very useful but also the manner in which they were presented would be easily applicable to students. The knowledge acquired will be incorporated into the fall and spring curriculum. Through the effort of the floriculture specialist, a high-quality educational program was delivered to Georgia High School teachers, which in turn translate into attracting student into joining the growing ornamental horticulture industry.
Russell (1999) compiled a large bibliography of research demonstrating that there is not a significant difference between standard and distance education learning. Yet rapid advances in the use of technology for the discipline of horticulture have
The Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) represents a concerted effort on the part of federal legislative leaders to rethink the manner in which agricultural research and extension programming are undertaken within the land-grant university system of our nation. For the first time ever, land-grant schools are being mandated to increase their energies in support of “multi” activities; namely, multiinstitutional, multidisciplinary, multifunctional, and multistate activities. The intent is to bring about greater efficiencies in carrying out the research and extension missions of our land-grant entities.
In this presentation, the key provisions of AREERA are outlined. These elements include: 1) the commitment of 25% of Hatch formula funds in support of multidisciplinary research involving another agricultural experiment station, Agricultural Research Service, or college/university that collectively are seeking to solve problems that concern more than one state; 2) the expenditure of Smith-Lever formula funds for support of multistate extension activities equivalent to 25% of these formula funds, or twice the level of resources devoted to such activities using FY97 funds; and 3) a directing of 25% of Smith-Lever and Hatch funds received by an institution in FY2000 for integrated research and extension activities (or twice the level of effort committed to such efforts in FY97). It is further noted that while 1890 and 1994 institutions are required to engage in multidisciplinary, multistate, and integrated research and extension activities, they are not compelled to meet the 25% goal outlined in the AREERA legislation.
Aside from the resources that must be devoted to certain activities within the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Extension Service, AREERA makes quite clear the need to actively engage stakeholders in giving shape to the priority activities of these land-grant entities. Moreover, it notes the importance of documenting the impact of the institution's research and extension investments on the priority concerns of its stakeholders. Among the key questions that will be employed to evaluate the quality of an institution's efforts are the following: Did the program address a critical issue? Did it address the needs of underserved and underrepresented populations in the state(s)? Did the investments result in improved program effectiveness and/or efficiency? Indeed, AREERA changes the landscape for many of the South's land-grant institutions. However, if efforts undertaken to date are any indication, the leadership and faculty of the region's land-grant system will successfully respond to the challenges that AREERA poses for them.
characterizing the status of horticulture education at that time. In 2012, we were interested initially in capturing enrollment data for horticulture programs. However, we found the information provided was often either unreliable or unavailable. This was
successfully used during times of crisis, such as extreme drought ( Wagler and Cannon, 2015 ) and hurricanes ( Ruth et al., 2020 ). Faced with a dilemma of using digital methods instead of in-person education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter is a potential
education. Presentations given at conferences of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences related to climate change have been recorded ( Bayer, 2013 ; Chung et al., 2011 ; Comstock, 2011 ; Warren and Barnett, 2012 ). To determine the extent to
revolutionized information availability and access to topical expertise, and webinars are now considered standard tools in the extension education toolbox, apps are emerging as an essential outreach tool, facilitating transfer of information and educational
HortTechnology offers educators an opportunity to publish articles on many topics of interest to other educators, as well as those in related horticultural communications fields. Topics suitable for publication are numerous; methods of incorporating analytical skills into the curriculum, practical laboratory exercises, new audiovisual and computer technologies for the classroom, and successful internship programs are but a small sample. Manuscripts submitted for publication are circulated for review, as with other refereed papers. Publishing enables innovative teachers to share and receive recognition for ideas, and rewards readers with useful skills and concepts that can improve teaching effectiveness.