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Environmental Horticulture


Students pursuing this degree will specialize in production, management and design in the following areas: Floral Design and Interior Plantscaping, Greenhouse Management, Turfgrass Management, Nursery Production and Arboriculture - Urban Forestry.

Students take 16 hours general education requirements as required for all AAS degrees. Students will take 32 hours of core required horticulture courses that will give them a well-rounded background in plant science, pest management and sustainability techniques and practices. Students can then tailor their degree by taking 20 hours of courses specific to their field of interest.

Degree Requirements

Specializations

  • Floral Design and Interior Plantscaping

    What background do I need to enter the Joliet programs?

    Although no specific coursework is required for entrance, students should have an interest in scientific and horticultural principles, an appreciation for the beauty of flowers and plants and the ability or interest in communicating effectively. Physical endurance is necessary, as well as a positive attitude and flexible nature.

    What type of work can I do with an A.A.S. degree or certificate in floral design – interior plantscaping?

    Graduates of Joliet Junior College’s Floral Design/Interior Plantscaping Program have experience and skills in basic floral design, wedding and sympathy designs, dried and silk design, party and event work, as well as care and handling of fresh cut materials. The student also has a working knowledge of care and maintenance of a variety of tropical plants used in interior plantscaping. They have knowledge in insect and disease identification and controls. Jobs exist as retail floral shops as well as in wholesale floral supply operations. Students can obtain jobs at area event companies as well as in grocery store floral shops. Students can work in the interior plantscaping world as technicians. Installing holiday designs and maintaining indoor plantings are part of this occupation. Several students go on to start their own businesses. Some are traditional retail businesses and others offer design services from a studio location. Jobs exist in the free-lance world of design as well.

    How much can I earn?

    A community college graduate may expect to earn 25-50 percent more than the entry level pay (of about $10.00 per hour) in the floral or plantscaping industry. The employment potential for competent, educated people is very good, including part time employment with flexible hours to management positions at higher salaries which may require relocation. Designers with professional designations can earn as much as $35.00 per hour doing free-lance event work.

    What are the opportunities for career advancement?

    Opportunities are abundant for individuals who want to apply their skills and educational background to careers in the floral design or plantscaping industries. The need for good floral designers and interior plant technicians is particularly strong. Entry level jobs in sales, design, and plant care could lead to advancement to head designer, shop manager, supervisor of technicians, buyer and plant specialist as well as owning your own business. The key to employment in the floral design or plantscaping industries, in addition to having the required skills, is to be a service- and people-oriented person. You must enjoy helping and working with other people.

    What types of learning experiences are included in floral design/interior plantscaping programs?

    Areas of study in Joliet Junior College's Floral Design/Interior Plantscaping Programs include basic, advanced and creative floral design, cut flowers and foliages, greenhouse management, interior plants and plantscaping. In addition to the broad base of study, the A.A.S. degree program includes 19 weeks of work experience in the field.

  • Greenhouse Production and Management

    What background do I need to enter the Joliet programs?

    Although no specific coursework is required for entrance, students should have an interest in scientific and horticultural principles. Being able to plan ahead and problem solve are distinct advantages. The love of watching plants develop and grow is essential. Physical endurance is necessary, as well as a positive attitude.

    What type of work can I do with an A.A.S. degree or certificate in greenhouse management?

    Graduates of Joliet Junior College's Greenhouse Management Program have experience and skills in the basics of greenhouse plant culture and maintenance, soils, fertilizers, pests, facilities, and equipment. Employment as greenhouse pot crop growers and greenhouse managers involve all areas of commercial greenhouse production, retail operation of a greenhouse, and facility propagation of nurseries.

    How much can I earn?

    Most high-paying greenhouse management positions require relocation, although some are locally available. A community college graduate may expect to earn 25-50 percent more than entry level pay (of about $7 per hour) in the greenhouse industry. The employment potential for competent greenhouse people is very good -- part-time employment with flexible hours to grower positions at higher salaries.

    What are the opportunities for career advancement?

    Opportunities are abundant for individuals who want to apply their skills and educational background to careers in the greenhouse industry. The area of greenhouse crop production is particularly strong. Related fields, such as retail greenhouse pot crop sales and plant propagation, are becoming stronger. Many other careers are possible in the greenhouse industry, including pesticide applicators, greenhouse construction, maintenance foreman, and park district greenhouse managers. The key to employment in the greenhouse industry, in addition to having the required skills, is to be sensitive to those who purchase your product.

    Can this be accomplished on weekends and evenings? 

    Joliet Junior College is committed to offering this program during the weekends and evenings. It will take approximately six years to complete the program.

    What types of learning experiences are included in greenhouse management programs?

    Areas of study in Joliet Junior College's Greenhouse Management Programs include floral crop production, entomology, pathology, greenhouse management, plant propagation, mechanics, and electrical controls. In addition to the broad base of study, the A.A.S. degree program includes 19 weeks of cooperative education work experience in the field.

  • Nursery Production and Management

    What background do I need to enter the Joliet programs?

    Students interested in a career in nursery management should be self-starters. An individual must have the physical ability to lift fairly heavy loads; and the mental capability to plan, initiate, supervise, control, and evaluate activities that take place in the nursery. Students entering the program should be hard working and like working outdoors in all kinds of weather. Good communicating skills in English are essential and speaking knowledge of Spanish is to be encouraged. Physical strength is helpful. A positive outlook and attitude are essential.

    What type of work can I do with an A.A.S. degree or certificate in nursery management?

    Graduates of Joliet Junior College's Nursery Management Program have experience and skills in the basics of plant propagation, nursery management, financing, marketing, plant nutrition, and pest control. Nursery managers are involved in all aspects of the nursery industry, from container production to field production, as well as wholesale and retail sales.

    How much can I earn?

    Most high-paying nursery management positions require relocation, although some are locally available. A community college graduate may expect to earn 50-75 percent more than entry level pay (of about $9 per hour) in the nursery industry. Medical benefits, bonuses and profit-sharing incentives are often included in addition to salaries. Employment potential for competent, educated nursery managers is very good.

    What are the opportunities for career advancement?

    Opportunities are abundant for individuals who want to apply their skills and educational background to careers in the nursery industry. The area of plant propagation is particularly strong. A related field, meristematic tissue culture, is becoming stronger. Many other careers are possible in the nursery industry, including propagator, nursery manager, nursery field supervisor, and nursery sales manager. The key to employment in the nursery industry is to become part of the Nursery Apprenticeship program at Joliet Junior College, join professional associations and get involved in activities provided by the Illinois Nursery Association. Enrollment in and completion of the nursery management curriculum at Joliet Junior College is essential.

    What types of learning experiences are included in nursery management programs?

    Areas of study in Joliet Junior College's Nursery Management Programs include an overview of the nursery industry, organization and development, law and regulations of the industry, financial management, marketing, media, nutrition, arboriculture, entomology, pathology, nursery management, and mechanics. In addition to the broad base of study, the A.A.S. degree program includes 19 weeks of cooperative education work experience in the field.

  • Turfgrass Production and Management

    What background do I need to enter the Joliet programs?

    Students interested in a career in turfgrass management should have the ability to think ahead and problem solve. Physical strength is helpful. A positive outlook and attitude are essential. Although no specific coursework is required for entrance, students should demonstrate an interest in scientific and horticultural principles and the ability to communicate effectively.

    What type of work can I do with an A.A.S. degree or certificate in turf grass management?

    Graduates of Joliet Junior College's Turf Grass Management program have experience and skills in the basics of turf grass culture and maintenance, soils, fertilizers, pests, facilities, and equipment. Turf grass managers are involved in all aspects of the turf grass industry, from athletic field management and golf course operations to sales of turf products and sod production.

    How much can I earn?

    Most high-paying turfgrass management positions require relocation, although some are locally available. A community college graduate may expect to earn 25-50 percent more than the entry level pay (of about $7 per hour) in the turf industry. Experienced managers can earn salaries comparable to that of most business executives. Employment potential for competent, educated turfgrass managers is very good.

    What are the opportunities for career advancement?

    Opportunities are abundant for individuals who want to apply their skills and educational background to careers in the turf industry. The area of golf course operations is particularly strong. Related fields, such as athletic field management and sales, are becoming stronger. Many other careers are possible in the turf industry, including state turf specialists, grounds manager for institutions, golf course designers, and construction foreman. The key to employment in the turf industry is to be resourceful and to be in touch with professionals already working in career areas of interest.

    What types of learning experiences are included in Turfgrass Management programs?

    Areas of study in Joliet Junior College's Turfgrass Management Programs include: arboriculture, entomology, pathology, turfgrass management, landscape design, mechanics, and electrical controls. In addition to the broad base of study, the A.A.S. degree program includes 19 weeks of cooperative education work in the field.

  • Urban Forestry

    Numerous opportunities await prospective graduates in municipal arboriculture/urban forestry, commercial and utility arboriculture, consulting, and land use management.

    The URBAN FORESTRY/ARBORICULTURE Program at Joliet Junior College:

    • Provides a comprehensive urban forestry/arboriculture curriculum for students interested in entering this green industry field
    • Provides students in allied fields such as landscape management and maintenance, and turf grass management additional training in urban forestry/arboriculture
    • Provides returning students and currently employed green industry workers with classes that prepare them for achieving the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Tree Worker, Certified Arborist (CA), Utility Arborist (UA), and Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) credentials.
    • Provides existing credentialed green industry workers, professionals, volunteers (i.e. Master Gardeners) opportunities for continuing education units (CEU’s), short courses, and training modules
    • Provides FFA and other high school students the opportunity to take course work in urban forestry/arboriculture in a dual enrollment format and/or to provide them with a knowledge base by which to initiate, develop, and complete arboriculture and urban forestry FFA projects
    • Provides students the opportunity to participate in an urban forestry/arboriculture internship with local tree care companies and/or municipalities through a supervised occupational experience ( SOEP) program


    Partnerships developed with the Illinois Arborist Association (IAA), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), local commercial, municipal, and consulting arborists, land managers, and other allied green industry members serve as a source for training and internships.


    For more information contact:
    Dr. Fredric Miller, Professor of Horticulture
    Phone: (815) 280-2740
    Email: fmiller@jjc.edu
    Urban Forestry
    Arboriculture

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