Did you know that NHTI – Concord’s Community College is the only college in New England that offers certificate and associate degree programs in landscape design?
NHTI has been a leader in offering educational and training opportunities for the landscape industry for over 34 years. The school’s interest grew from strong community support of a non-credit evening course started in 1978. The course, “Landscaping Your Home,” was taught by Robert Pollock, a landscape architect and planner with the City of Concord. The DCE administration recognized an opportunity and reached out to Bob to develop the curriculum for a landscape certificate geared towards entry-level skills for those interested in the landscaping field or continuing education for those interested in a broader range of knowledge in the industry.
Under the direction and assistance of Pollock, the curriculum for the 2-year certificate in Landscape Design was created, offering 8 credit evening classes. This model allows students flexibility with work commitments. All faculty in the program have years of experience and are (or have been) actively employed in the landscape or design industry. Since inception, this certificate has served the needs of the landscape industry and the community by providing educational opportunities to the residents of N.H. and surrounding states.
In 2005, DCE recognized that there was an interest and need to provide an educational pathway; this vision resulted in the addition of NHTI’s Landscape and Environmental Design associate degree, which targets those interested in pursuing an education and/or career related to the natural environment such as forestry, landscape management and design, wetland science, landscape architecture, urban planning, environmental technology or natural resource management. The first student accepted was in the fall of 2007. Since then, enrollment has continued to grow and compliment the certificate degree.
NHTI’s reputation for rigorous academic requirements and practical knowledge is known throughout the state. Students can collaborate with industry partners (plant material nurseries, landscape construction, management, landscape design, golf course management, etc.) and engage in internships and part-time employment while in school. Employers regularly seek graduates from this program for full- and part-time positions. Graduates have found success in starting careers or businesses of their own. NHTI has an articulation agreement with the University of Rhode Island, where graduates can enroll in a bachelor degree program in Landscape Architecture transfer almost all the credits and graduate after only two years.
Students at NHTI also benefit from our strong relationship with the New Hampshire Landscape Association (NHLA). The Association supports students by offering two significant scholarships worth up to $4,000, student membership, and reduced or free attendance at educational conferences. This collaboration has been a huge benefit to the students attending NHTI.
I have seen firsthand the positive impact the landscape programs at NHTI have had to the green industry in N.H. There is no greater joy for me than to cross paths with graduates who have successfully found careers in the landscape industry. The roots of both the certificate and associate degree grow deep and with perseverance and the dedication of faculty and industry partners it will continue decades to come.
If you’re interested in taking courses or enrolling on the certificate and/or associate degree program offered by NHTI, please contact our Admissions Office at NHTI firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Susanne Smith Meyer at email@example.com.
— by Susanne Smith Meyer, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and practicing licensed landscape architect in Concord. An adjunct professor at NHTI, she has been teaching, advising, and mentoring students there since 1988. She is a past-president of NHLA and of the Granite State Landscape Architects (GSLA).