College of DuPage (Illinois) offers new Sustainable Urban Agriculture program
“People are excited about the whole industry,” Clement said. “Students who complete either their degree or certificate in sustainable urban agriculture are ready to enter the workplace.”
By Jennifer Duda
College of DuPage
Dec 29, 2016
The degree requires 66 credits in program requirements and general education coursework, while the certificate requires 28 credits in program requirements and electives.
Eight new courses have been developed specifically for the program: Introduction to Sustainable Urban Agriculture, Principles of Agroecology, Local Foods, Introduction to Composting, Urban Agriculture Issues, Sustainable Vegetable and Herb Production, Business Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, and Hydroponic and Aquaponic Production Systems.
The new urban farm features 10 raised beds, including two for organic production. A high tunnel extends the growing season and allows students to continue hands-on work as the weather turns colder.
Students are also gaining experience on hydroponic lettuce tables and Dutch Bucket hydroponic systems.
Clement said the new lab is a learning facility, not a production facility, although some produce may be donated to local food pantries. In addition to students looking for a career, the program is for horticulture students who want to cross-train as well as community members who want to improve their knowledge and skills in gardening.