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Plant and Soil Technology

  1. Program Overview
  2. Program Learning Outcomes
  3. Program Curriculums
  4. High School Course Recommendations
  5. Continuing Your Education

Program Overview

The Maine horticulture industry is an essential part of the state's economy, contributing over $300 million annually. The interest and growth in horticulture and related fields are, more than ever, presenting a need for trained personnel.

Students Working onm Brick Walkway

Plant and Soil Technology is offered as a two-year Associate Degree in Applied Science program or a one-year Certificate program. Graduates are prepared to work in a wide variety of horticultural occupations and are currently employed in the following areas: tree, shrub and perennial plant nurseries, arboreta, greenhouses, garden centers, landscape contracting and design, municipal parks, arboriculture, turf production, golf course management, lawn and grounds maintenance, florist shops, interior landscaping, hydroponics, estate gardening, cut flower production, herb and specialty plant production, market gardening, organic food production, horticultural equipment supplies and sales and horticulture education. Many graduates own businesses and contribute significantly to their communities.

The Plant and Soil Technology Program provides or sponsors: tuition scholarships for students who qualify, educational field trips, visiting lecturers with expertise in horticulture and related fields and a short course that introduces students to outstanding researchers and members of the "green industry". These offerings provide educational opportunities that are challenging, interesting and current.

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Program learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  • Understand and apply the basic principles of plant function and development, emphasizing horticultural applications.
  • Learn and practice techniques to analyze soil properties and use these methods to optimize plant growth.
  • Identify, use and care for a wide variety of woody and herbaceous plants in the landscape and greenhouse, emphasizing ecological relationships and the importance of plant selection and planting practices.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of landscape site analysis and landscape design using surveying equipment and drafting and graphics tools.
  • Identify common horticultural problems and manage biotic and abiotic pests and disorders in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner.
  • Apply horticultural practices to operate various business entities, including landscape, arborist, greenhouse, nursery and turf management areas.
  • Use knowledge and skills in a summer long internship that emphasizes the student’s interests.

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High School Course Recommendations

The following courses are not required for entrance into the program, but they are highly recommended.

Algebra I
College Prep Chemistry
College Prep Biology

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Continuing Your Education

Graduates from the Associate Degree in Applied Science program have received two years of credits toward a Baccalaureate Degree in Landscape Horticulture through the College of Natural Resources, Forestry and Agriculture at the University of Maine in Orono. Associate Degree graduates may also transfer two years of credits toward a Baccalaureate Degree in Applied Technical Leadership at the University of Southern Maine in Portland or toward a Baccalaureate Degree in Business Administration at Husson College. Credits often transfer to other colleges with similar programs.

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