COD Offers New Landscape Contracting and Management Degree
By Brian Kleemann
The new Landscape Contracting and Management degree at College of DuPage will prepare graduates to design, implement and maintain landscape projects in horticulture-related careers.
Recently approved by the Illinois Community College Board, the 71-credit hour program will give students the skills to design and construct landscapes, estimate and bid projects, understand plant health care, and manage ground maintenance. The program incorporates hands-on training using the most advanced equipment and components available in the industry, said Brian Clement, instructor in the Horticulture program.
“College of DuPage is only one of 30 colleges and universities in the country accredited by the National Association of Landscape Professionals,” he said. “The NALP accreditation team wanted the College to have a specific landscape degree, so we started with our current courses, added new ones and then spelled out all of the requirements as identified by NALP accreditation standards.”
Three new classes were created: “OSHA 10-Hour Landscape Safety,” “Irrigation and Water Management” and “Landscape Bidding and Estimating.” The degree also requires a 225-hour internship.
Clement said most students earning this degree will be prepared to enter the workforce directly, with jobs including landscape designer, grounds maintenance manager, landscape sales and marketing supervisor, park management supervisor and golf course maintenance supervisor as well as self-employment opportunities. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, the Chicago metropolitan area has the highest employment level of landscaping and grounds workers in the U.S.
“The need is definitely there,” Clement said. “In DuPage County alone, the job market just for grounds maintenance workers is projected to grow more than 13 percent during the next eight years and more than 18 percent nationally. The Landscape Contracting and Management degree is perfectly designed to meet this growing demand for skilled employees.”
College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 27,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, College of DuPage will host a series of on- and off-campus events throughout the year to highlight the institution’s history and service to students and District 502 residents over the past half-century.
For more information about the Landscape Contracting and Management degree, visit www.cod.edu/programs/horticulture, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call (630) 942-2526 or (630) 942-3095.
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