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Horticulture A.A.S. Degree

Why Choose Horticulture A.A.S. Degree at CLC?

Love Plants? Learn what makes them grow, and thrive

Learn hands on how to grow plants traditionally and through both aquaponics and hydroponics in a state of the art greenhouse

Identify and incorporate all plants (annuals to trees) in gardens indoors, outdoors, and in floral arrangements

Our Instructors have industry knowledge and a strong passion to help students succeed before and after graduation.

About the Program

Do you like the idea of spending time in a warm and sunny greenhouse, or enjoy the outdoors and have an interest in a sustainable environment? Do you have a love of plants, flowers and/or trees? Maybe you have a desire to grow your own delicious and healthful produce? If you answered yes to any or all of these, you should consider horticulture for your career!

One of the best things about horticulture is the number of different specialties and career opportunities available. This variety allows people with different backgrounds, skills and interests to find satisfying careers. For 40+ years Central Lakes College (CLC) has been training students to become professionals. CLC students appreciate the hands-on instruction and practice they receive; planting and caring for plants in the greenhouse; being able to identify and design with the many annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees; and participating in so many other activities connected with plants.

Program Information

Special Department Information:

Program Course Requirements

First Year – Fall Semester
HORT 1104  Plant Science (4 cr)
HORT 1106  Applied Plant Science Lab (2 cr)
HORT 2112  Sustainable Greenhouse Production (5 cr)
HORT 1108  Fundamentals of Floral Design (4 cr)
Total 15 Credits

Spring Semester
HORT 1196  Sustainable Greenhouse Management (4 cr)
HORT 1180  Sustainable Landscaping (3 cr)
HORT 1122  Local Food Production (3 cr)
General Education (6 cr)
Total 16 Credits

Second Year – Fall Semester
HORT 1113  Annuals and Perennials (4 cr)
HORT 2140  Arboriculture (4 cr)
HORT 2165  Landscape Design (4 cr)
General Education (3 cr)
Total 15 Credits

Spring Semester
HORT 1118  Indoor Flowering & Foliage Plants (4 cr)
HORT 2116  Integrated Pest Management (4 cr)
General Education (6 cr)
Total 14 Credits

*Denotes Prerequisites

Career Description: An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Horticulture is the gateway to a wide variety of careers in the huge and ever-growing horticulture industry. Depending on the emphasis chosen by the graduate, ornamental and edible plant production, greenhouse production, landscaping, floriculture and golf course maintenance are all occupations that are available to a graduate in this field.

Program Information: The A.A.S. in Horticulture covers a broad spectrum of the horticulture industry. Most students who receive their A.A.S. in Horticulture also select one (or two) of the diploma programs of interest to them. Students may select topics from landscaping, greenhouse production, and/or floral design to meet the technical elective requirement of this program.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Identify and practice safe use of tools, equipment and supplies used in horticulture careers;
  • Identify regional and Minnesota plants by common name, genus and species;
  • Propagate, grow, and maintain plants in horticultural production systems;
  • Identify and prescribe sustainable options in horticulture which benefit the environment while maintaining productivity and economic viability;
  • Design, construct and install plants for landscape projects;
  • Apply effective communication and interpersonal skills with co-workers, supervisors, suppliers and customers.

Special Program Requirements:

Admissions: The Horticulture Program is offered as a full-time day program. Because of the sequencing of courses, it is best to begin this program Fall semester. However, many students begin in the spring and successfully complete the degree.

Transfer Opportunities: Articulation agreements are currently in place with the University of Minnesota. You may attend your first two years of college at Central Lakes College and transfer your credits to further your degree in Agricultural Education or Horticulture at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities or Crookston Campuses. Courses can also be transferred to many other four-year colleges such as North Dakota State University. It is important to check with advisors or counselors about transferability to these or other colleges before your first semester to take full advantage of current agreements.

Career Opportunities: Employment opportunities can be found in greenhouse production, landscaping, floral design, and sales, as well as horticulture therapy, interior plantscaping, and plant and flower brokering.

Career Titles: Careers available are largely dependent on your goals. It is best to discuss your goals with a counselor for proper course selection. Some common career titles in this field include landscape designer, landscape salesperson, landscape installation foreman, propagator, plant consultant, greenhouse supply representative, pest control coordinator, landscape business owner/manager, and lawn maintenance business owner/manager. Other career areas include ornamental plant pest control, irrigation/sprinkler installation foreman, nursery/garden center sales, wholesale nursery sales, nursery supply sales, floral design, flower shop sales, wholesale flower sales, flower broker, interior plant rental, interior plant maintenance, and free-lance design.


jeff dirks

Jeff Dirks

Horticulture Instructor
Brainerd W136
jeff dirks
Jeff Dirks

Horticulture Instructor

My name is Jeff Dirks and I am one of the horticulture instructors who teaches at Central Lakes College. I enjoy teaching in all areas of horticulture, but particularly enjoy the labs that include active learning such as building retaining walls, patios and ponds, creating floral designs, and growing plants in the greenhouses. I really enjoy living and teaching in the Brainerd Lakes area because of the great outdoor experiences available here. Some of my hobbies are fishing, hunting, and enjoying all kinds of water sports on any of the 465 lakes within 30 miles of town. And of course, it is a great pleasure to see so many of our students enjoy successful careers after graduating from Central Lakes College.

Brainerd W136
photo unavailable

Theri Wasniewski

Horticulture Instructor
Brainerd W135
photo unavailable
Theri Wasniewski

Horticulture Instructor

My name is Theri Wasniewski, I am one of the horticulture instructors. My favorite classes to teach are about woody plants and insects. We plant, prune, check for diseases and learn to make our communities better by having the right plants in the right places. The Brainerd Lakes area is a great place to live and go to school. There is more to do and explore in the area than there are days in a week. I like to hike, camp, cross country ski, garden and check out the native plant communities in our area. It would be great if every property (home and work) had a few apple trees and some herbs or vegetables; sustainable by design!

Brainerd W135

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