DEADLINE TO APPLY: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2023!
Classes begin the week of January 8, 2024
The UConn Extension Master Gardener program is a service-oriented program developed to help Extension educators assist non-commercial gardeners. This program has a strong focus on volunteerism and educational outreach and enhances UConn’s horticultural education offerings statewide.
Students enrolled in this program receive training in an extensive range of horticultural and environmental topics, including botany, plant pathology, entomology, integrated pest management (IPM), herbaceous and woody ornamentals, fruits, vegetables, turfgrass, invasive plants, and diagnostic techniques for the home gardener.
The classroom portion of the 2024 program runs from January through April. Each topic consists of three to four hours of online education, to be completed before the class date, and a half-day in-class session providing more depth and application of information to real-life situations. The classroom portion runs from 9 AM - 1 PM.
There are five class cohorts available, each affiliated with one or more Master Gardener offices. The Tolland County-based classroom portion of class will be held fully online on Saturdays from 9 AM to 1 PM. Please note that other parts of the online class, such as office hours, outreach projects, and diagnostics, will be in person.
Following the formal classroom instruction, Master Gardener interns receive hands-on training in the nine Master Gardener offices; they are supervised in researching a broad range of horticultural concerns, including identifying insects and plants, diagnosing plant diseases, and providing sound science-based cultural recommendations. In addition, interns engage in a wide range of community outreach projects. Examples include community gardens, horticultural therapy, and educational booths for programs, ranging from Earth Day celebrations to county fairs, and working with the CT Invasive Plant Working Group, just to name a few. The format and extent of this portion of the program will be determined, if necessary, by the status of COVID-19 at the time.
- A completed application must be submitted by Friday, October 27, 2023
- Notification confirming acceptance to the program will be emailed by Friday, November 3, 2023. Please check your email. Those not accepted will also be notified by email.
- For those accepted in the program, your registration and payment of $495.00 must be posted no later than Friday, December 1, 2023. Do not send payment unless you are notified of acceptance.
- Classes begin the week of January 8, 2024
- 100+ class hours. Classroom training occurs online as well as one half-day per week for 16 weeks, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, January – April 2024, affiliated with one of five locations. The Tolland County class will be held entirely online on Saturdays from 9 AM to 1 PM. Please note that other parts of the online class, such as office hours, outreach projects, and diagnostics, will be in person.
- 60 hours of in-service (30 hours) and outreach (30 hours) training at one of nine locations (County Extension Offices or the Bartlett Arboretum)
- Access to a computer and a reliable internet connection is essential. You will need basic computer skills, such as knowing how to download files and search online.
- Subject quizzes and graded mid-term exam during classroom part of program
- Tree/Shrub/Vine identification and research project due by the end of August 2024
- Attendance at one of five summer diagnostic sessions
- Final diagnostic exam at the end of in-service training
- Final essay due at the end of September 2024
IN-SERVICE OFFICE AND OUTREACH
- A minimum of 30 in-office hours in the Master Gardener office at a UConn Extension Center or the Bartlett Arboretum, primarily during weekday business hours, working with the public answering horticultural questions and researching gardening problems. This work will be under the supervision of a Master Gardener coordinator or volunteer mentor. Some hours may be available in the community or online during non-business hours.
- 30 hours approved educational outreach and/or community project(s).
- All 60 hours must be completed by the end of September 2024.
|Mondays||Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford|
|Tuesdays||New London County Extension Office, Norwich|
|Wednesdays||Litchfield County Extension Office, Torrington|
|Thursdays||New Haven County Extension Office, North Haven|
|Saturdays||Classroom activities fully online, associated with Tolland County|
For maps and directions of County Extension Offices, including the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford, visit https://cahnr.uconn.edu/extension/locations/