The Horticultural Opportunity Program is designed for adult students with developmental disabilities. It offers a Certificate of Completion to students who complete the entire program. The curriculum affords an introduction to the skills needed to be successful in a horticultural environment. The goal of this program is to teach basic horticultural skills that may transfer to employment with local growers’ establishments. In addition, students will be coached on resume and interview preparation. Class size is limited to eight students.

Topics included:
  • Planting, watering and managing greenhouse plants for a typical retail sales environment
  • Demonstrating the safe use of both greenhouse and landscape tools (non-power)
  • Performing small-scale planting projects such as container gardens, houseplant, herb and vegetable plantings
  • Learning the care of outdoor plants in a landscape setting by performing the functions of pruning, dividing and seasonal maintenance
  • Identification and control of weeds and pests
  • Selection and cutting floral crops for seasonal retail sales
  • Safety first – an overview of safety in the workplace, including use of PPE, ergonomics, and environmental awareness

This is a great program for young adults and transitional high school students with developmental disabilities that want to prepare for employment.  Students may be eligible for funding from their service providers.  Talk with your transition coordinator, DDD or DVRS counselor for more information.

A significant body of evidence from the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) confirms the following positive benefits of using horticulture as a medium for working with disabled adults:

  • Activities help to improve both gross and fine motor skills
  • Participants learn how to cooperate with others
  • Participants learn how to follow directions and abide by safety guidelines
  • Gardening activities help to build endurance and emphasize attention skills
  • Horticultural activities help lessen feelings of anxiety and aggressive tendencies

Topics included:

Safe use of garden tools

Proper clothing in the garden

Garden preparation and vegetable seeding

Greenhouse tools and practices

Transplanting techniques

Building colorful container plantings

Caring for houseplants

Herb planting and care practices

Dish gardens

Cut flowers and flower arranging

Weeds and plant pests

Dividing and planting perennial plants

Prospective students will be welcomed into this non-credit program under the auspices of the Center for Workforce Development Program. Limited to 8 students per session. Please note that certification requires full participation in the course and lab experiences.

INSTRUCTOR: Denise Mary Capoano, MBA, RD, Rutgers Master Gardener

Fri Jan 20-April 28, 9:30 a.m-2 p.m.

(No class on April 7)

Graduation Celebration, Fri, April 28

On campus: LHT 110

14 sessions, 60 hrs, CEU 6.0

Course: 28603

Cost: $2,499

Student Attributes for Participation and Success

A student entering this program will be expected to exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Each student is responsible for their own self-care: This includes personal hygiene and maintaining a clean uniform and professional appearance.
  • No inappropriate outbursts and the ability to self-monitor and self-regulate behavior, use of appropriate language and actions. (Please see the CCM Student Code of Conduct (p. 22) in the CCM Student Handbook for rules and regulations.
  • Behavior appropriate for the workplace including public arena. Applicant must be able to self-regulate and be aware of his/her own body in space
  • Self-Manage the work task
  • Self-Motivated in managing the work
  • Able to organize work flow
  • Respect for others
  • Effectively manage mild stress (e.g. time demands)
  • Able to work in a team or individually
  • Remain organized during tasks and classwork
  • Cognitive and psychomotor skills sufficient to function in a horticultural environment and be able to understand basic instructions and carry out those instructions, consistently with moderate supervision.
  • Read, comprehend and follow basic directions, including the transfer to action.
  • Ability to recognize a hazardous/unsafe situation/environment and act upon it appropriately.
  • Reasoning sufficient to understand a critique and correction of work and/or constructive criticism.
  • Sustained attention to workload over time and goal achievement.
  • The student has the desire and motivation to participate in a pre-vocational college experience. Willing to learn about and use horticultural tools and equipment. Can use basic technology (cell phone, tablet, laptop, etc.).
  • Can self-administer medications.
  • Able to communicate with others and express needs
  • Able to handle changes in routine and can be flexible in fluctuating circumstances