Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I become an environmental horticulture major?
The best place to start is with the Environmental Horticulture Department's academic counselor, Deborah Mackie. Her office is located in the Student Services Building's Counseling Department and she can review the major guidelines and requirements and assist you in the process of becoming an EH major.
2. How will a degree in EH help my horticulture career?
A 1-year certificate or 2-year degree can be used to gain important skills and academic knowledge to start your landscaping business, begin a career in nurery management, go on to a 4-year degree in landscape architecture or design, or help you attain a promotion in your current horticulture job.
3. Why choose SBCC Environmental Horticulture Program?
Our graduates are highly regarded for many jobs in the area, including jobs in landscape design, landscape maintenance, landscape contractors, and nursery managers.
4. Is it easy to transfer to a 4-year university after getting a degree in Environmental Horticulture?
The EH program at SBCC prepares you well for transferring to a four year horticulture program. Most of our EH major courses have direct articulation (transferability) with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Horticulture Program courses and other are transferable for general education courses. Our courses also articulate to U.C. Davis, Cal Poly Pomona and other 4 year universities.
5. Are horticulture courses a viable career these days?
Definitely! Even though business, in general, is experiencing a slowing-down phase, Santa Barbarans continue to put their money where their landscaping and plant passions are... into hiring landscape professionals to beautify their homes and businesses. Also, the EH department focuses on sustainable landscaping methods and skills, so our students are primed to meet the demands of the regional community as we move towards more regulations regarding water, soil and energy conservation in the home, garden and in businesses.
6. What can I do with a 2 year EH degree?
Great question! Our graduates go on to pursue many, exciting, lucrative careers. With a 2-year degree, graduate have started or expanded a residential or commercial landscaping program, been promoted within their current horticultural position, start or become employed at a regional plant nursery, teach classes in horticulture, become landscape contractor’s, and entered into city, state or federal government positions related to landscaping or habitat protection. With a 4-year degree based on a 2-year degree from SBCC, our graduates have become landscape architects, landscape designers, and owner/operators of local nurseries or landscape contracting companies.
7. Someone told me you can take a class that goes on trips to the Channel Islands...is that really true?
You betcha! Our environmental restoration courses, offered every fall and spring, involve 1-2 trips of 1-3 night stays on Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and other Channel Islands in the National Park. On the islands you'll experience a island ecosystem seen by few people, representative of California of 150 years ago, with native foxes prowling the campgrounds, crystal clear ocean waters and abundant marine life, and a world-class, and highly regarded habitat restoration program complete with a native plant nursery. Many of our students claim this was the most exciting part of their A.S. degree in Environmental Horticulture at SBCC.
8. Do I have to enter the degree program to take a horticulture class at SBCC?
Not at all! You can take just one course to enrich your horticultural knowledge, whenever you want. We encourage non-professional landscapers, gardeners and the like to come and take a course from EH – these are often the students who bring many amazing questions and lots of energy to our courses.
9. What's the difference between the EH department's horticulture classes and Adult Ed horticulture and gardening courses?
The EH department offers full 16-week semester courses in horticulture, whereas Adult Ed classes are usually shorter in duration and overall hours. Both are fantastic avenues to further your horticultural knowledge . . . it just depends what you are aiming to achieve. The EH department’s courses involve a large hands-on component to all our courses, so you’ll finish the course with real skills in landscape maintenance, irrigation, construction, propagation, etc.