WSU CAHNRS

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences

Undergraduate Certificate in Organic Agriculture

 

 

 

Overview
How to Enter the Program
Awarding of the Certificate
Frequently Asked Questions
Program Requirements
Jobs/Resources
Contacts

Ten Jobs of the Future: Organic Farmer #3,
per Career Builder, May 2011
Chard

Overview

The U.S. organic food industry has grown at an impressive rate of nearly 20 percent each year for more than a decade and industry experts are predicting the trend to continue or accelerate. The Organic Trade Association forecasts that overall the everyday use of organic products of all kinds will be both accepted and routine by the year 2025.

The growing demand for organic products has created the need for employees who understand the unique production, processing, and marketing approaches used in organic agriculture.

Established in the Fall 2008, WSU’s certificate in organic agriculture, the first in the nation, develops a solid background in the agricultural sciences, including an understanding of complex agriculture and food systems. Students develop knowledge and skills that are applicable to all industries and agencies involved in the food chain – from production, processing, and delivery to policy, regulation, and education.

The Certificate in Organic Agriculture is an 18-credit undergraduate program that can be taken along with a major in another field, or as a stand-alone educational experience. The certificate is ideal for professionals working in agriculture or related fields who require in-depth knowledge of organic systems, those wanting to pursue a career in organic agriculture, anyone interested in beginning a community supported agriculture (CSA) enterprise, home gardeners, as well as current WSU students in other majors at WSU with an interest in organic agriculture. Students develop knowledge and skills that are applicable to industries and agencies involved in the food chain – from production, processing, and delivery to policy, regulation, and education.

This is an interdisciplinary certificate that makes use of coursework from several departments in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS).

Available online and on campus

Working professionals, other non-degree-seeking students, as well as current students in other majors at WSU will be able to learn the fundamentals in a highly focused program through online and classroom venues.

It is important to note the online courses are taught by the same world-renowned faculty who teach at WSU’s main campus in Pullman and are accessible 24/7 from computers with high-speed Internet access.

Organic Agriculture Major

If you think you might be interested in the more comprehensive Organic Agriculture major (B.S. in Agricultural and Food Systems with a major in Organic Agriculture Systems), then you would need to fulfill many of those requirements here on campus at WSU in Pullman.  Students who pursuit the Organic Agriculture certificate as a non-degree seeking student may wonder if they can later use that credit toward a WSU degree. If a student later applies as a degree seeking student, and is admitted as such, all the work that they took while in non-degree status will apply toward their degree program and total hours.

More information:  http://afs.wsu.edu

 

How to Enter the Program

Current Students

WSU students at any campus and in any major can obtain the Certificate in Organic Agriculture Regional campus students and WSU Online students can take online courses and Pullman campus students can take classroom or online courses.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

All participants in the Organic Agriculture Certificate must be admitted to WSU, and may apply as a non-degree seeking student. There is a $25 application fee.

Non-degree seeking students interested in pursuing the certificate online:

Learn more here and apply.

Non-degree seeking students interested in pursuing the certificate on the Pullman campus:

Learn more here and apply.

Awarding of the Certificate

No later than the beginning of your final semester, students must download the certificate application form here:  http://www.registrar.wsu.edu/Registrar/Apps/CertificateApp.ASPX

Also email Cristie Crawford, Academic Coordinator, so she can document the courses taken and notify the Registrar to confer the certificate.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission

The organic agriculture certificate is an academic program. All students pursuing the certificate in organic agriculture must be admitted to Washington State University. Students interested in pursuing the online certificate, but not a degree in one of the majors offered online or on the Pullman campus, should apply as a non-degree seeking student. Note:  Application deadlines are relaxed for non-degree seeking students, who can apply up to 1 week before classes begin (transcripts are not required for application). 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is based on several factors, campus, residency status, number of WSU credits you enroll in, and undergraduate/graduate standing.

Pullman campus tuition: http://studacct.wsu.edu/tuitionFees.html
On-line tuition: http://online.wsu.edu/cert/Default.aspx
Residency: http://admission.wsu.edu/requirements/residency.html

The 2013-14 estimated cost of tuition for online students pursuing the 18-credit certificate on a part-time basis is estimated at $10,242 ($569/cr) for WA residents, and $13,122 ($729/cr) for non-residents.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Many financial aid and scholarships programs are available for degree-seeking students. If you’re not seeking a degree through WSU, your financial aid options are much more limited. Please check our financial aid website.

Alternatives to financial aid might be private ‘career loans’, although they typically have high fees and interest rates, but no grace periods.  Also, some employers provide educational benefits.

If you have question about using veterans benefits, please contact WSU’s Office of Veteran’s Affairs at 509-335-1234 or veterans@wsu.edu.

Advising

Non-degree seeking students are not assigned a specific advisor, but the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences attempts to monitor enrollment toward completion of the certificate.

Students pursuing a degree either online or on-campus from WSU who are also earning the certificate will be assigned an advisor.

Online Course Delivery

WSU courses taken online are equivalent to courses taken on a WSU physical campus in virtually every way: learning objectives, assignments, projects, exams, and the degree of rigor. The online learning environment provides opportunities to interact with fellow students and the course instructor, making the learning process interesting and dynamic and far from isolated. WSU Online courses must be completed within a predetermined timeframe, but because courses are asynchronous (not in real time) students can “go to class” anytime 24/7: access course readings, chat with fellow classmates who happen to be online at the same time, post comments to a threaded discussion board, submit assignments, and work on projects.

Internship Basics

The internship can be the most important 3 credits you take for the Certificate because it is a real-life experience.

Online students should enroll in Soils 498. Students will need to arrange an internship (paid or unpaid) with an organic farmer, an organic business, or an organic certifying agency. Usually an internship is at least 20 hours per week for 12 weeks. Students will need to keep a daily diary and write a 10-page paper on some aspect of your organic working internship. The required forms for completing your internship are posted in the Internship Handbook here. (Note: The hourly, diary, and paper requirements required for this internship differ from the requirements listed in the Internship Handbook). The Statement of Intent and Intern Affiliation Agreement must be submitted for approval at least two weeks before the internship is expected to start. The student may be dropped from the course if this paper is not completed before the internship start date. Your statement must be approved by Dr.John Reganold reganold@wsu.edu, director of the certificate program (in the ‘academic advisor’ field on the form).

Pullman-based students should enroll in Soils 480, Practicum in Organic Agriculture held at WSU’s Certified Organic Farm.  Read more about the farm:  http://css.wsu.edu/organicfarm

Completion of the Certificate

There is no set time for completion of the certificate. The certificate consists of 18 credits and your time will vary according to the how many credits you take each semester.

 

Program Requirements for the Organic Agriculture Certificate (effective 8/11)

The 18-credit certificate program is designed with three core courses (9 credits) required for all students, 3 credits of ‘experiential learning’, plus a minimum of 6 additional credits (electives) selected from a range of courses. All courses already exist as permanent courses, and the certificate can be fulfilled through on-line delivery or in-class participation on the Pullman campus.  Pullman and online classes are semester based, including a summer session.  The minimum GPA for the certificate is 2.0.

Please check the online time schedules for up-to-date information on course offerings. Be sure to select the appropriate campus and the appropriate term.

Courses may be taken in any order, however students should be mindful of prerequisites to ensure adequate prepartion for the course. Prerequisite checking will become effective Fall 2012 and determine whether or students are elgibile to enroll in the course.

Course# Course Title Term Offered
(P)–Pullman
(O)–Online
Prerequisites
Required courses:
SoilS 101 Organic Gardening and Farming, 3 cr

Spring (P)
Summer (O)
Fall (O)

SoilS 201 [B] Soil: A Living System, 3 cr

Spring (P)
Fall (P,O)
corrected 9/20/2011

SoilS 302 [M] Introduction of Agroecology, 3 cr Spring (O) Rec SoilS 201
Experiential Learning (3 credits minimum):
SoilS 480 Practicum in Organic Agriculture

Spring (P) Summer (P)

Prereq by permission only
—or
SoilS 498 Internship (S/F grading)

Spring (P,O
Summer (P,O)
Fall (P)

Electives (6 credits required):
AFS 445 Field Analysis of Sustainable Food Systems, 3 cr (one-week field trip required in WA state) Spring (P,O)
Biol 140 [B] Introduction to Nutritional Science, 3 cr Spring (P,O)
Summer (P,O)
Fall (P)
CropS/Hort 102 Cultivated Plants, 3 cr Fall (P)
CropS/SoilS 360 [I] World Agricultural Systems, 3 cr Spring (O)
Fall (P)
6 credits in the [B] and/or [P] GER categories
CropS 443 Plant Breeding for Organic Agriculture, 3 cr Fall, odd years only (O) CropS/Hort 202; Biol 106 or 120
CRS 336 Agriculture, Envrionment & Community Fall (P) 3 credits S or K GER; sophomore standing
Econ 101 [S] Fundamentals of Microeconomics, 3 cr

Spring (P,O)
Summer (P,O)
Fall (P,O)

Course Prerequisite: MATH 101, 103, 107, 201, 202, or 171; or Math 106 and 108
–or
Econ 102 [S] Fundamentals of Macroeconomics, 3 cr

Spring (P,O)
Summer (P)
Fall (P,O)

Course Prerequisite: MATH 101, 103, 107, 201, 202, or 171; or Math 106 and 108
F S 220 Food Safety and Quality, 3 cr Spring (P)
Mktg 360 Marketing, 3 cr

Spring (P,O)
Summer (P,O)
Fall (P,O)

Certified major [any college] with 60 semester hours
SoilS 441 Soil Fertility Spring (P,O) SoilS 201

 

Note on Transfer Credit:
The maximum number of credit hours earned at other institutions that may apply toward this certificate is 4.5 (25% of the total). Acceptance of particular courses from other institutions is at the discretion of the department offering the program (EPPM 3.2.1).

Dr. John Reganold will make these determinations. An official transcript is required (in a sealed envelope), as well as the catalog course description. If accepted, a remark indicating acceptance of a transfer course will be recorded in the faculty action portion of the transcript.

Program Requirements for the Organic Agriculture Certificate (prior to August, 2011)

This curriculum will be honored for those who we have determined begun the certificate program prior to August, 2011.

Core (both courses are required; 6 credits):

  • SoilS 101 – Organic Gardening and Farming, 3 cr (Spring, Summer, Fall)
  • SoilS 201 [B] – Soil; A Living System, 3 cr (Fall)

Experiential Learning (3 credits minimum):

  • *SoilS 480, Practicum in Organic Agriculture, must be taken on the Pullman campus (Spring, Summer)

OR

  • SoilS 498, Professional Internship, for students not on the Pullman campus (Spring, Summer, Fall)

Food, Farming, and Ecosystems (choose 9 credits minimum):

  • **AFS 445 – Field Analysis of Sustainable Food Systems, 3 cr. (Spring)
  • *CropS 102 – Crop Growth and Development, 4 cr. (cross listed as Hort 102) (Fall)
  • CropS 360 [I] – World Agricultural Systems, 3 cr. (cross listed as SoilS 360) (Spring, *Fall)
  • *CRS 336 [S] – Agriculture, Environment and Community, 3 cr. (Fall)
  • *CRS 435 – Resolving Environmental Conflicts, 4 cr.
  • EconS 101 [S] – Fundamentals of Microeconomics, 3 cr. (Spring, Summer, Fall) OR EconS 102 [S] – Fundamentals of Macroeconomics, 3 cr. (Spring, Summer, Fall)
  • *FS 220 (formerly FSHN 220) – Food Safety and Quality, 3 cr. (Spring)
  • MBIOS 130 (formerly FSHN 130) [B] – Nutrition for Living, 3 cr. (Spring, Summer, Fall)
  • *NATRS 300 [B] – Natural Resource Ecology, 3 cr. (Spring, Fall)
  • SoilS 302 [M] – Soil Agroecology, 3 cr. (Spring)
  • SoilS 441– Soil Fertility, 3 cr. (Spring)
  • Stat 412 – Biometry, 3cr. (Fall, Spring)

*Indicates the course is not available online.
**This class is available online but has a required week-long field component.

 

Job/Resources

Ten Jobs of the Future: Organic Farmer #3,
per Career Builder, May 2011

Sustainable Food Jobs

ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
The ATTRA project has served as the premier source of information about sustainable agriculture for U.S. farmers and other agriculturists for twenty years.

 

Contact Information

Cristie Crawford, Academic Coordinator
509-335-8406
cristie.crawford@wsu.edu

 

Dr. John Reganold, Certificate Program Director
Email: reganold@wsu.edu
Phone: 509-335-8856

 

 

Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, PO Box 646420, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6420, 509-335-3475, Contact Us
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