Thank you to Laura and Jessica from the staff of Pacific Horticulture College for answering these questions and giving us great insight into what makes PHC so special!
Question 1: What makes the Pacific Horticulture College experience unique to the students who attend?
Answer: A few things that makes PHC a unique learning experience is the beautiful 9 acres of demonstration gardens with a huge variety of plants, the diversity of instructors, small class size, and the extensive networking opportunities. We specialize in horticulture and welcome students to our passionate and supportive learning community.
Question 2: Could you tell me about some of the work your graduates go on to? Is it primarily for other companies/government or do they run their own landscaping businesses?
Answer: Our graduate employment rate is currently at 100% with graduates continuing on to open their own landscaping businesses or working for municipalities, landscaping companies, nurseries, farm, golf courses, etc. Many have job offers before graduating from the program! A great networking opportunity is our two weeks of work experience in the fall: students have the opportunity to work with a couple of hosts of their choosing to explore an area of personal interest (example: medicinal herb farm) or connect with a future employer (example: local municipality).
Question 3: What are the advantages of going beyond the Landscape Horticulture Certificate to Levels 3 and 4? What other opportunities are there for further study?
Answer: The more knowledge, the better, of course! These programs introduce some new topics in horticulture while also advancing and integrating previous knowledge. The higher levels of training are especially beneficial for someone who is interested in working for the municipality or a large landscaping company, as higher levels of training increases the likelihood of higher pay and leadership positions. Once you have completed Level 4 training, passed the Red Seal exam, and and worked 5,280 hours you receive your Red Seal Certificate of Qualification as a Landscape Horticulturist which is nationally recognized throughout Canada.
Question 4: What are the long-term goals of the college?
As an educational institution, PHC is always looking to improve current and future programming to match and exceed current industry expectations and trends. For example, there has been a significant increase of interest in sustainability and food growing. Over the past few years, the college has introduced new courses on food growing and permaculture. We also continue to emphasize our commitment to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship by teaching about soil health, organic fertilizers, natural pest management techniques, and other important considerations in the industry.
In the future, PHC aims to offer additional learning opportunities in landscape design, arboriculture, and advanced seminars on specific topics and techniques such as pruning.
Question 5: What are the biggest rewards to working at the college?
The knowledgeable and eclectic gardening community of people – no two days are the same! It’s a wonderful opportunity to work in such a beautiful garden setting with like-minded individuals who are committed to teaching and learning about the wonders of plants.