It’s more than green grass that unites farming, golf course management and landscaping. Agriscience is also a common bond.
Agriscience encompasses the application of science and technology to the plant and animal industries and includes a wide range of fields such as conventional and organic farming, turf management and landscaping.
This August, agriscience is coming to the Technical College of the Lowcountry. The new agriscience certificate program will provide students with fundamental knowledge in this rapidly growing field and prepare students to enter and advance in occupations in farming, landscaping, and golf course and pest management industries.
“We hope that people who work locally will continue their education in the agriscience program to receive higher positions in their current jobs, form their own businesses or even change their careers,” instructor Dr. Natavia Middleton said.
The program requires 29 credit hours and emphasizes three separate occupational areas: diversified agriculture production, landscape occupations and turf occupations. An internship in their chosen pathway will also be required to give students additional hands-on experience.
Area employers agree that the agriscience certificate is needed. Jerry Ashmore, Director of Workforce Development and Safety at The Greenery, serves on the TCL advisory committee that helped shape the program.
“I know the value of an education and appreciate this program as it gives students real-life experience as well as a solid foundation and enables them to grow in their careers,” Ashmore said. “We hope to offer folks careers after completion of the program.”
Agriculture is very strong in the Lowcountry as well as in the state of South Carolina. “The industry provides jobs to thousands of folks locally, from landscape contractors, golf courses to farmers,” he said.
The agriscience program also will benefit existing workers who are looking to advance in their careers. “The program will give them the opportunity to strengthen their skills, broaden their knowledge and enhance their professionalism, making them more valuable to their employer and give them the opportunity to grow in their career,” Ashmore said.
TCL has campuses in Beaufort, Bluffton and Hampton. And with S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance, South Carolina residents pay about $850 a semester for full-time tuition, regardless of need or income. In addition, TCL offers in-state tuition to military members and their spouses who are stationed in Beaufort and to residents of Chatham and Effingham counties in Georgia.
Registration for the fall semester ends August 15, and classes start August 21. Prospective students can apply free online anytime at www.tcl.edu/apply.
For more information about the agriscience program, please contact instructor Dr. Natavia Middleton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-470-5964.