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Permaculture Design Certification

Whether you are seeking skills for employment or looking to enhance your home landscape, come cultivate your “green” thumb in Gateway’s Horticulture program. Gateway Technical College offers an associate degree in Horticulture with a choice of two program options –Landscape, or Greenhouse and Floral. A Horticulture degree can help you become part of this growing industry that makes a significant contribution to enhancing the natural beauty of Wisconsin and beyond.

View the most recent Horticulture Department Newsletter

Horticultural - Landscape

Associate Degree Program Requirements: PDF icon 10-001-1B Horticulture Curriculum Sheet 2015-16.pdf

The Horticulture Landscape associate degree includes training in sustainable design, landscape management, nursery production, landscape business management and greenhouse operations. Courses include hands-on experience in plant identification, insect disease control, bedding plant production, plant propagation, pruning and landscape design. Students will practice with the most up-to-date horticultural equipment in the newly constructed Pike Creek Horticulture Center on the Kenosha Campus. Business and management skills are emphasized in the program as the goal is to move students from landscaper to manager. The program specializes in sustainable horticulture practices such as urban farming, to give students a competitive edge in meeting the demands of the growing market.

Horticulture - Greenhouse and Marketing

Associate Degree Program Requirements: PDF icon 10-001-1A Horticulture Curriculum Sheet 2015-16.pdf

Formery Horticulture - Greenhouse and Floral

The Horticulture - Greenhouse and Marketing associate degree program includes training in floral design and event planning, greenhouse management and operations, floral business management, and garden center operations. Courses include hands-on experience with flowers, plants, horticulture equipment, computers and horticulture business operations. Students will practice with the most up-to-date horticultural equipment in the newly constructed Pike Creek Horticulture Center on the Kenosha Campus. Business and management skills are a big part of the program in training graduates for advancement in a horticulture career. The program specializes in sustainable horticulture practices, such as urban farming, which give students and businesses a competitive edge in meeting the demands of this growing market.

Urban Farming

Advanced Technical Certificate Program Requirements: PDF icon 10-810-20 Urban Farming ATC Curriculum Sheet 2015-16.pdf

The Urban Farming advanced technical certificate provides students with the training and skills to intensively farm small plots of land and bring their crops to market profitably. The certificate combines intensive farming curriculum with entrepreneurship training.

What does a horticulturist do?

Graduates can find opportunities in landscape design, landscape contracting, landscape consultation, floral design and grounds maintenance. Specific jobs can include landscape design sales, greenhouse manager, garden center manager, greenhouse grower, nursery manager, florist and floral merchandiser, sports field management, golf course management, event planner, nursery management, plant breeder, public park management, urban farm manager, urban forestry, arborist, prairie manager, restoration ecology, botanic garden horticulturist, zoo horticulturist, vineyard horticulturist and horticulture therapist.

Learning by doing

The heart of the Horticulture program is the opportunity to learn first-hand all aspects of growing and nurturing plants. Gateway’s Kenosha Campus is home to the most up-to-date horticultural equipment in the newly constructed Pike Creek Horticulture Center. The facility features a 3,000 square-foot greenhouse, state-of-the-art labs, classroom space and public retail space.

The learning gardens, urban farm and orchard, also on the Kenosha Campus, provide a rich living lab in which students have the opportunity to test new plant introductions, learn to give quality care and learn to identify all types of flowers, vegetables, fruits, trees and shrubs.

The urban farm gives students, who are interested in local foods and urban farming businesses, the opportunity to practice all aspects of intensive vegetable and fruit growing. In addition, the floral lab provides the opportunity to learn floral design and event planning.

Student Organizations

Horticulture students also gain professional experience and networking skills through club involvement. The Horticulture program has two clubs available to students, Alpha Beta Hortus (ABH) and Students of the American Institute of Floral Designers (SAIFD).

Alpha Beta Hortus, is open to all Horticulture students. The club organizes and carries out multiple service projects, organizes several field trips including trips to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, Madison Farmers Market, and many local demonstration gardens and farms. Club members also conduct plant sales providing students with sales and marketing experience.

Students of the American Institute of Floral Designers, is a nationally affiliated club, with the art of floral design as its primary focus. The American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD) certification stands for the highest level of achievement a floral designer can attain. The club is designed to expose students to the art and profession of floral design. Activities include hosting design shows, making floral arrangements and competing in national design competitions.

Job and salary outlook

Salaries vary widely depending on experience. Students with professional experience in customer service, project management, sales or computer science often merge these skills with new horticulture training to start at a higher pay rate.

Students without prior employment experience are advised to gain practical horticulture experience working during the summer for a local landscaper, greenhouse or garden center. Students can expect to earn $8-12/hour for summer seasonal work. Five years’ experience puts graduates in the $15-$25/hour range. 



Kathleen Jerome

Kathleen Field

Courtney Greve

Program Administration

Ray Koukari, Interim Dean