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Horticulture Technician

Are you interested in a career that will take you outside and connect you with the earth we live in and protect? Fanshawe’s two-year Horticulture Technician diploma program will give you the practical skills and knowledge for a career nurturing the natural world around us. Get hands-on practical and technical experience in this exceptional program through national events and associations, our exclusive student-run greenhouse, two working co-op semesters and the world-class Fanshawe College Botanical Gardens.

Graduate from a nationally-renowned program prepared for an exciting career as a horticulture technician - 2022/2023

Learn how to build and maintain landscapes, gardens and indoor spaces, and study arboriculture, landscape design, plant identification, plant production and business management. This program offers a unique emphasis on the practical aspects of horticulture, where you will gain work experiences during two co-op work terms, the on-campus greenhouse designed exclusively for students, as well as in the world-class Fanshawe College Botanical Gardens. This includes the hundred acre ‘living lab’ that is Fanshawe’s London Campus and the A.M. Cuddy Garden near Strathroy, which houses a remarkable collection of rare and endangered plants, and is recognized as a botanical garden by Botanic Gardens Conservation International. 

The Horticulture Technician program is well-respected and supported in the industry, and students participate in national events such as Skills Canada, achieving medals provincially and nationally in the Landscape Gardening Skills Competition. You’ll also have professional opportunities such as building the entrance garden in Landscape Congress in Toronto, volunteering in building and maintaining gardens at Canada Blooms in Toronto, and networking through a membership to the Student Chapter of Landscape Ontario. 

Program Overview

The Horticulture Technician diploma program develops students’ academic and practical skill level that allows them to easily match a growing need in the green profession. With over 1,600 horticulture positions available in Ontario annually (according to Landscape Ontario), all graduates can be fully employed in their field.

The first year of study is academic-centred, while the emphasis in the second year is on hands-on practical training. Approximately 80% of the scheduled class time in the senior year is spent outside the classroom in courses such as Landscape Field Construction, Greenhouse Plant Production, Arboriculture and Garden and Landscape Maintenance. 

Students and faculty participate in practical lab sessions while maintaining and redeveloping the grounds of the campus in real-time situations. Students will spend both class and independent practical periods at both the London Campus and The A.M. (Mac) Cuddy Gardens in Strathroy. Ten Horticulture Technician students maintain the gardens during summer under the supervision of two staff horticulturists. 

During the program, students may choose to complete optional training in chainsaw use and the provincial pesticide license. Fanshawe College is the first institution in North America to integrate the CLT (Certified Landscape Technician) national standard of proficiency into the program. Students will complete practical and written tests during their senior year and if successful gain the CLT designation.

The College maintains active industry partnerships in areas such as: lawn and garden equipment and suppliers, greenhouse service suppliers, landscape suppliers and services, as well as professional associations such as the Landscape Ontario, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Royal Horticultural Society, Scottish Rock Garden Society, the North American Rock Garden Society, the Hardy Plant Society, the American Public Gardens Association and the Ontario Rock Garden Association. Industry support and corporate sponsorship of over $100,000 annually allows the program to use the latest technology, tools and equipment in the teaching labs.

Students are expected to provide their own transportation to and from the London Campus and the A.M. (Mac) Cuddy Gardens in Strathroy as well as occasionally at other sites in the London and Middlesex area as required. Many practical labs in the program occur outdoors in all weather and require lifting, bending, climbing and other physical work.

Co-op Opportunities & Career Information

Co-op Opportunities 

The Horticulture Technician program offers a Cooperative education component, which provides students the opportunity to gain invaluable first-hand workplace experience within their chosen field. Here are some co-op jobs that have kick-started the careers of some Horticulture Technician students before even graduating! 

Horticulturalist’s Assistant
Assist horticulturalist with greenhouse operations related to care and maintenance of trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and turf grass.

Horticultural Property Maintenance Crew Member
Maintain lawn and garden landscapes by operating push and riding mowers, trimmers and blowers, mulching, planting, etc.

Landscape Gardener
Assist with the design, installation and maintenance of high-end residential projects including natural stone work, deck and wood construction, landscape plantings, Interlock work, gardening and lawn care.

For more information regarding co-op, please check out our co-op site or contact the Co-op Office at coop@fanshawec.ca to connect with a consultant.

Career Information

Fanshawe's Horticulture Technician program is held in high regard throughout the industry. Demand for graduates of the program is very high across all facets of the industry including landscape and garden construction and maintenance, plant production in greenhouses and nurseries, golf course development and construction, arboriculture and garden centre and horticulture sales. 

 

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Horticulture Technician program:

Horticulturalist
Develop, grow and harvest fruits, vegetables and decorative plants. 

Landscape Technician
Design and implement hardscape and softscape installations.

Horticulture Technician
Transplant, ship, pot, maintain, prune and diagnose problems to maximize yield in a people-oriented retail environment.

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Program Progression

 

Fall intake only

  Fall Winter Summer
Year 1 Level 1 Level 2 Work Term 1
Year 2 Level 3 Level 4 Work Term 2

 

Horticulture Photo Gallery

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

1. apply the principles of plant* and soil sciences to complete work in horticulture*.

2. apply practical horticulture* skills to the production of plant materials*, including herbaceous plants*, woody plants*, and turf.

3. apply the principles of design* to horticulture*.

4. apply basic* installation and construction principles and practical skills to horticulture*.

5. implement maintenance procedures for plants, property, and equipment.

6. utilize knowledge of plant identification, usage, and maintenance criteria.

7. recognize the potential environmental effects of projects and the need to avoid environmental damage and promote healthier ecosystems.

8. apply the principles and practical skills of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)* to indoor and outdoor plants.

9. contribute to the effective planning, implementation, and conclusion of projects.

10. use safe working practices.

11. use business practices appropriate to the horticulture* industry.

12. act in a professional manner, maintain professional relationships, and communicate effectively with clients, co-workers, supervisors, and others.

13. develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development to enhance work performance and career opportunities and to keep pace with industry changes.

 

Program Availability

Canadian Students

Start Dates
Locations
Availability

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
London
Open

International Students

Start Dates
Locations
Availability

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
London
Open

Program Details

Program Code
HTN1
Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Matt Hart

Delivery
Co-op
Day Time
Full-Time
Credential
Ontario College Diploma
Duration
60 weeks

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U), University/College (M), or Open (O) stream
OR
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
OR
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
OR
Mature Applicant with appropriate preparation 
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Geography (C), (U), or (M)
  • Grade 11 Visual Arts (M) or (O) OR Grade 12 Visual Arts (M)
  • Grade 11 or Grade 12 Construction Engineering Technology (C)
  • Grade 11 or Grade 12 Biology (C) or (U)
  • Grade 12 Business and Technological Communication (O)
  • Grade 12 Foundations for College Mathematics (C)
  • Computer Skills
  • Any Horticulture courses

Important - Class 'G' Driver's Licence:
Students entering the 2nd year of the Horticulture Technician program must be in possession of an Ontario 'G' or 'G2' Driver's Licence. If a student's driver's licence is suspended at any time during the program, the student is responsible for notifying the Program Coordinator immediately. Loss of a driver's licence may result in delayed progression or inability to complete the program. Failure to notify the Program Coordinator of the suspended licence may result in dismissal from the program.

Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Industry exposure
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

See Post-Admission Requirements

Tuition Summary

London

Canadian Costs
$8,976.80
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
$32,469.76
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.

 

Courses

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1036Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design3
This course introduces students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
LAND-1027Landscape & Garden Design4
This course is designed to provide the student, through a series of projects, the design principles and practical skills necessary to develop a landscape plan. The student will be introduced to the process of assessing a site to determine the various elements that will impact on the development of an effective landscape solution, as well as learn basic drafting and technical skills. Surveying techniques and measuring tools will be used to inventory existing site conditions.
MTNC-1031Landscape Maintenance 13
Landscape and garden maintenance is a very profitable and often under utilized section of the landscape industry. This course offers an orientation to tools and equipment used in landscape maintenance and examines safety in the workplace of landscape/horticulture. Students will begin exploring practical, hands-on landscape maintenance principles to prepare for more specific training in future classes.
HORT-1072Horticulture & Soils3
A foundation course in horticulture in which the basics of plant anatomy, plant physiology, plant propagation, plant growth and production will be studied. In addition, students will develop an understanding of the proper management and sustainable conservation of soils and various media that constitute the root environment essential for the successful cultivation of plants.
HORT-1075Botanical Garden3
Students will learn the history of botanical gardens and their importance in conserving and documenting diverse plant species. Students will learn specific record keeping techniques while they explore the Fanshawe College Botanical Gardens. Fanshawe College Botanical Gardens is a living library with an internationally recognized plant collection. The Botanical Gardens are home to over 4,000 plant species. Located at the Oxford St Campus in London and The Mac Cuddy Botanic Garden in Strathroy, Ontario, these unique gardens are part of Botanic Gardens Conservation International and maintain associations with botanic gardens across the globe.
HORT-1071Woody Deciduous Plant Identification3
This course will provide the student with an introduction to plant naming systems and taxonomy as an aid in plant identification. Through woody plant walks, plants will be viewed and studied on site, either in a cultured or natural environment. At the conclusion of the course the learner will be able to identify and give basic cultural information on over 150 hardy deciduous trees, shrubs and vines for a USDA Zone 5 landscape.
COOP-1020Co-operative Education Employment Prep1
This workshop will provide an overview of the Co-operative Education consultants and students' roles and responsibilities as well as the Co-operative Education Policy. It will provide students with employment preparatory skills specifically related to co-operative education work assignments and will prepare students for their work term.
View all courses

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