To stay in line with industry and student demand, Olds College is increasing the capacity of its Horticulture programs. In 2016, the program received 83 total applications with a capacity of 30 students. In 2017, student capacity will be expanded to 50 available seats.
Olds College has offered programs within the Horticulture field for over 50 years, exploring the production and management of plants, the management of pests, landscapes, soils and water systems to achieve productive and sustainable systems.
“Olds College has a history of offering programs that reflect the importance that we place on the world around us,” explains Dr. Jason Dewling, Vice President of Academic and Research. “Sustainability, water management, production horticulture and urban agriculture are all areas that are seeing significant growth in interest, and as experts in the field it is our responsibility to ensure that we have enough spaces available to students to meet industry demands.”
The College offers three Horticulture designations – a Horticulture Technician Certificate, presented after the first year of study, a Horticulture Technologist Diploma after the second year of study, and a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree after four years.
“Olds College’s Horticulture program is unique, with a blended curriculum of online delivery, face to face inquiry based learning, hands-on learning, to go along with industry field schools,” explains Dalin Bullock, Dean of Animal Sciences and Horticulture. “Graduates will be prepared to apply their knowledge and skills in the areas of horticulture crops, landscape design, construction and maintenance.”
The decision to increase the capacity of the Horticulture program comes on the heels of the College’s announcement of the establishment of an increase in the College’s Agricultural Management program, reflecting the increased need for skilled and knowledgeable in these key programs.
“Sustainability, water management, production horticulture, and urban agriculture are vital elements of the world in which we live,” explains Bullock. “Increasing the availability of seats in these programs reflects the growth in the Agriculture and Horticulture industries, and we will continue to see this growth as the demand for food continues to escalate due to population growth and potential environmental factors.”
Applications for the 2017 intake for the Horticulture Technician Certificate are still being accepted, but space is limited, so students interested in the program are urged to apply early.