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Study on Your Time

Course Format

All of our courses are asynchronous so students from across the country and around the world can participate. Courses are available on the course start date and students can access them through the Online Campus 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. 

Class Discussions

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. 

Questions about the material can be posted to the course forum for the instructor to answer and elaborate on.  

Tech Skills and Requirements

Our courses are suitable for first time or experienced gardeners and landscape professionals. As these are college level courses and students are expected to have basic computer skills (email, log-in/log-out, typing skills, downloading/uploading files, etc.), able to converse well in English, and able to dedicate the time needed to read, understand, and problem solve the coursework each week in a timely manner.

Homework and hands-on activities 

Students are expected to complete discussion posts, assignments, and quizzes along with their weekly lessons and readings. Hands-on activities are incorporated into the assignments and discussion posts so students can gain a practical understanding of the concepts.

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. 

Evaluations

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). 

Worldwide Access

Our courses are designed to be completed wherever you live in the world and during any season. Whether you live in an apartment or on a farm has no impact on completing the assignments. The information taught is universal and therefore applicable to students around the world.

FAQs

If you have any questions about learning online with Gaia College, visit our FAQ page: FAQs

Funding

Gaia College is pleased to offer the Heide Hermary Memorial Bursary. One bursary is granted per semester for enrolment in either the Organic Master Gardener or Organic Horticulture Specialist course. More information and application deadlines can be found here: Heide Hermary Memorial Bursary: https://www.gaiacollege.ca/heide-hermary-memorial-bursary.html

For other potential funding opportunities: https://www.gaiacollege.ca/funding-opportunities.html

Policies

View our Privacy Policy and Policies for Online Programs: Policies

Work Towards a Fulfilling Career

A diploma in organic land care leads to a variety of fulfilling career choices.

Whether you're just starting your professional journey, or looking for a career change, Gaia College is proud to offer affordable, in-depth Diploma programs to help you get there.

For over 20 years now, Gaia has taught progressive organic land care to students from all over the world.

What is Organic Land Care?

 Are you looking for a rewarding career that makes a difference in the world? Become a...job titles 2 640x480

Gaia College makes it possible:

  • Online learning

  • Affordable

  • Expert instructors 

  • Connect with like-minded peers

  • Complete your Diploma while working

  • Lifetime access to course resources

Complete your diploma in 5 courses: 4 core and 1 elective: Diploma Overview

Fees

We are proud to have kept our professional courses affordable. Course fees are $795 (plus applicable tax), payable upon registration. We accept credit cards, e-transfers or cheques. If you require financial assistance please see our Funding Opportunities

Expert Instructors

Gaia College instructors, staff and students are pioneers at the forefront of the organic land care movement across North America. Gaia College has delivered educational programs online and through education partners and industry groups, with more than 5000 student enrolments since 2002. 

Read our Instructor Profiles

Reviews

See what people are saying about Gaia College: Gaia College Reviews

"I am grateful for the education I got through Gaia College. The program is well laid out and covers the widest range of topics I could find. I am confident in my skills and knowledge after taking this program. I'm also happy to report that within 6 months of completion I have a wonderful full time job tending an amazing organic garden!"

 

- Melanie Isles

 

Elevate Your Home Garden

Take your gardening knowledge to the next level!

Improve your knowledge of sustainable practices for your own garden and food production. Our popular Organic Master Gardener, Growing Food and Ecological Plant Knowledge courses will teach you how to create and maintain healthy, abundant gardens.

What is Organic Land Care?

Hobby Gardener

  • Build your knowledge
  • Learn holistic gardening practices
  • Online learning
  • Affordable
  • Expert Instructors
  • Connect with like-minded peers
  • Flexible schedule fits into your lifestyle
  • Lifetime access to course resources

Fees

We are proud to have kept our professional courses affordable. Course fees are $795 (plus applicable tax), payable upon registration. We accept credit cards, e-transfers or cheques. If you require financial assistance please see our Funding Opportunities

Expert Instructors

Gaia College instructors, staff and students are pioneers at the forefront of the organic land care movement across North America. Gaia College has delivered educational programs online and through education partners and industry groups, with more than 5000 student enrolments since 2002. 

Read our Instructor Profiles

Reviews

See what people are saying about Gaia College: Gaia College Reviews

"Amazing course. I learned so much and feel inspired…The material was top notch. I will be taking many more courses from Gaia College!"


- Karla W. 

Join Our Community

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Landscape Professionals: Show your clients the way of the future and earn your diploma.

Home Gardeners: Create green spaces that are lush and beautiful year after year.

Municipalities and Developers: Reap benefits beyond the sustainability of green spaces.

Books and Resources

Gaia College has published two books to help gardeners and landscapers learn more about working with nature. Additionally, our partner organization, SOUL, has three free e-books for organic gardeners available for download. 

The Essence of Organic Gardening

The Essence of Organic Gardening

Buy from The Organic Gardener's Pantry

Buy on Amazon

Get the free ebook when you sign up for our newsletter 

Are you ready to gain a deeper understanding of your garden?

It seems natural to focus on the biggest inhabitants of the garden and to think that gardening is all about plants. But it is so much more. The lives of plants are interwoven with the lives and activities of all the organisms in their environment.

With this book I hope to show you a glimpse of the many relationships and natural processes within nature, the interconnectedness of life. Gardening is much easier and much more interesting when we work to support the health of the whole garden, and that's what organic gardening is all about.

Here is a book review by Synergy Magazine

Working With Nature - Shifting Paradigms

Working With Nature - Shifting Paradigms

Buy from The Organic Gardener's Pantry

Buy on Amazon

 

Working With Nature - Shifting Paradigms presents a new framework for making land management decisions. It describes ecologically sound soil and water management practices and introduces the concept of landscape health management. These are essential concepts in holistic land management.

This book is designed to be a resource for self study, and community and classroom education. It is addressed at all gardeners with an interest in horticultural science: landscape professionals, farmers, horticulture instructors, students and avid home gardeners. Even though this is a scientific text, it is written in plain language. A glossary and extensive references are provided at the end of the book.

This book is used as the text for the Organic Master Gardener and Organic Horticulture Specliast courses. The e-book is available to download in the online classroom when you are enroled in the course. 

Here is a book review from the Canadian Organic Growers

Organic Land Care Standard

Much of Gaia College's teachings are based on the Organic Land Care Standard. This Organic Land Care Standard was developed by the Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL) in response to the need for clear guidelines for the creation and maintenance of landscapes for environmental, recreational, ornamental and food production reasons, following organic principles. 

The Standard can be viewed or downloaded from SOUL's website: SOUL Standard

Free E-books

SOUL (The Canadian Society for Organic Urban Land Care) has published three e-books

  • Practical Tips for Organic Gardeners
  • Product for Organic Gardeners
  • Soil Testing for Organic Gardeners

Download them for free from SOUL's website.

 

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you!

If you have questions about our courses, the diploma program, or the College itself, get in touch

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (250) 709-2229
Instagram message: instagram.com/gaiacollege
Facebook message: facebook.com/GaiaCollege

If you are in need of technical assistance please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Supplies

Gardening and Related Supplies

 

Mumm's Sprouting Seeds
https://sprouting.com

Pacific Composting
https://pacificcomposting.ca

The Organic Gardener's Pantry
https://www.gardenerspantry.ca

West Coast Seeds
https://www.westcoastseeds.com

Diploma In Organic Land Care - Overview

 

"Gaia College was instrumental in forming a new career path for me, as well as being a welcoming and exciting forum of like-minded individuals that want to do something to help heal our planet, one garden at a time."

- Sarah Valentine, March 2022

Are you looking: 

  • To live and work in a way that is congruent with your personal values?

  • For horticulture skills that are relevant in these times of environmental and social change?

  • For a career that satisfies your need to make a meaningful contribution to your community?

Flexible schedule - fits into your life

There is no timeline to fulfill the diploma requirements. Upon successful completion of the 4 core courses and 1 elective course,you will earn the Gaia College Diploma in Organic Land Care. 

Affordable

We are proud to have kept the price of our courses affordable for over 20 years! We want everyone to be able to access this valuable and earth-saving information. Please see: Enrolment and Fees  

Lifetime Access

All graduates are welcomed into the Gaia College community with lifetime access to resources and online forums. 

Build meaningful connections with your peers

You will gain extra value from your discussions with other students from various geographic locations that will contribute to your course experience. 

Expert Instruction

Our instructors are leading practitioners in organic land care and sustainability fields. 

Plan your Program

Our courses start in January, May, and September and run 14 weeks (see Course Planning and Schedules). Our courses are offered in a continuing education format so you can complete them according to your schedule. Each course is presented as 14 weekly topics, students are expected to complete the assigned work and quizzes in the course timeframes. 

Students wishing to enrol in more than 3 courses in one semester are required to seek permission from the College Registrar prior to registering.

Certain courses aren’t offered every semester so for your planning purposes please see the Course Schedule Calendar

Embark on a fulfilling and rewarding career

The Diploma in Organic Land Care will prepare you for a rewarding career in sustainable land use decision making.

Gaia College offers two streams for students to complete their diploma requirements, one in landscape design and one in sustainable land use in urban environments.

Regardless of the stream, students will prepare themselves for a fulfilling and successful career in organic land care.

Choose your diploma stream

Each diploma stream consists of four core courses and one elective. The elective can be any of our courses that aren't included as a core course. 

 

Ecological Landscape Design

For those who want to learn how to design, install and maintain landscapes to promote and preserve the health of the environment. Incorporate organic land care into all of your designs and gardens. 

New and working landscape professionals including landscape designers and horticulturalists who wish to gain a competitive edge by providing organic land care services.

Core courses:

Organic Horticulture Specialist

Ecological Plant Knowledge 1 - Natives

Landscape Design Basics with SketchUp Pro

Ecological Landscape Design 

 

Living Green Infrastructure

For those who want to gain a deep understanding of nature’s contribution to the success of human created infrastructure. Make better and more integrated decisions to support the sustainability of land use in urban environments. 

Planners, policy makers, horticulture professionals working in an urban setting and developers who want to learn more about incorporating and maintaining living green infrastructure in urban spaces.

Core courses:

Organic Horticulture Specialist

Ecological Plant Knowledge 1 - Natives

Rainwater Harvesting and Management 

Living Green Infrastructure


Student Testimonial

"I would like to thank the founders and staff of the college for keeping and passing on this simple truth and knowledge about land care. I absolutely enjoyed taking every single course of the Diploma program and feel inspired and more confident in starting to apply the knowledge I received in my future work and life."  

- Jamila Bektenova - Feb. 2021

 

 



Next: Who Should Consider a Diploma in Organic Land Care?

How to Access Your Online Classroom

IMPORTANT: Your course will not be visible until the course start date. On the course start date (or after that date), login (gaiacollege.ca/login)

Once your course has started you will click on the “Login/out” link at the top right of the page and login by entering your username and password. Please note: If you are already logged in then you must logout, then login again.

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Click on the “Online Campus” button to go to the online campus.

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Once you are in the Online Campus, find your course in the “My Courses” block in the top left of the page.

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You are now in your online classroom.

You can also watch our short video tour of the Online Campus and finding your course: 

GET STARTED!

Now you have access to all the course materials. The “Before You Start” section provides important information on how to navigate the course site and make the most of your online experience.

We encourage you to review all the elements on the course website, get comfortable with the online environment, browse the forums, and utilize the extensive resources available to you. Note that there is a weekly course calendar that will outline all the required activities for each week - you may wish to keep this handy by printing it.

Be sure to log-out at the end of each session.

Keep these instructions near your computer or with your course materials until you’re comfortable with the log in/out process.