Welcome to Gaia College! 

We are delighted to have you join us on your journey to organic land care practices. Below is some information you may find helpful as a first time Gaia College student. In addition to these questions, you may find more answers to questions on our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you still have questions after reading through this page and checking the FAQs please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Course Format

Courses are available on the course start date and students can access them at that time. Throughout the course, the online classroom is accessible 24/7. 

The course week runs from Monday to Sunday, and all due dates are Sunday. Most courses have a quiz, discussion post or assignment due each week. 

Hands-on activities have been incorporated into the assignments where students get to put their newly acquired knowledge to practice. Depending on the course, some activities may require access to soil and composting materials. Students living in climates where the ground may be covered in snow for the duration of the course are encouraged to collect their soil sample in advance or take the course at another time of year. 


Schedules & Class Discussions

All of our courses are asynchronous so students from across the country and around the world can participate. Lessons are provided for students to review on their own time. Each week, running Monday to Sunday covers a new topic with a lesson, and either discussion post, quiz, or assignment. Questions about the material can be posted to the course forum for the instructor to answer and elaborate on.  

Class discussions are carried out via a forum in the online classroom. We encourage students to check in a few times during the week to contribute to the forum and read or comment on other students’ posts. With this format there isn’t any need for students to be online at specific times, but there are weekly deadlines for some discussions.



Students are evaluated on their assignments, quizzes and discussion posts. In order to receive a certificate of completion, students are expected to complete all assignments and discussion posts with a minimum grade of 75%; and all quizzes with 100% accuracy (multiple attempts are allowed). 


Your instructor

You can find your instructor’s name in your welcome email and read their bio on our website. Instructors will post a welcome message to the course forum on the first day of class. You will receive an email within the first 24 hours with this post; or you can login to the online classroom to read the welcome message any time on the first day. The welcome message will include your instructor’s email address should you need to get in touch with them throughout the course. You can also reach your instructor through the online classroom forum. 


Obtaining your textbook(s) and other resources

You can find info on the required textbook on the course description page of our website under the “Texts” tab. The textbook for both the Organic Master Gardener and Organic Horticulture Specialist courses is included as an e-book in the online classroom and can be downloaded the first week. For other courses you are welcome to purchase your text anytime. For Landscape Design Basics with SketchUp Design, you will find instructions on obtaining a student license for the SketchUp Pro software in the online classroom. 


Preparing for your course

The first week of each course is dedicated to familiarizing yourself with the online classroom, online campus resources, your facilitator and fellow course mates. There will be an introductory discussion post and, in some courses, a brief questionnaire about your background on the topic, but the goal is to explore and get comfortable with the online classroom before the intense learning starts. The first week will also give you an opportunity to acquire your text and other necessary resources for the course. 


Accessing your course

Courses are only available on the course start date. We are unable to grant students access beforehand. On the course start date you can login and visit the Online Campus to find your online classroom and you will see your course listed in the “My Courses” block in the top center of the page. Learn more about how to access your online classroom.