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School vs On the Job Training. How about both?

Can you really learn Landscaping in school? Is it not better to learn on the job? Well…it is not one vs. the other. You need both.

The Landscape Operations course is not meant to replace work experience. It is designed to give you a proper foundation and insight into the use of tools, materials, techniques, plants, design and plan reading and the industry in general. In our indoor landscaping shop we build the same landscape structures with the same materials that you would find in a modern day landscape. The difference is, that the school setting allows you to slow down to a learning pace, ask questions and experiment. You can make mistakes (hopefully not during practical exams) and learn from them without the economic pressures that exist ‘on the job’. For example, during the recent concrete module, students had to build concrete forms, install reinforcement steel, mix concrete and place and finish concrete slabs. Not only did the students have to mix the concrete, but they learned about the ingredients and proportions in the blend and the effects of varying proportions of water, what it looks like and what it feels like when you have to finish it.

When our graduates jump into the workforce, just as in any field of work, it is understood that they will need lots of hours of on the job experience. But they are able to take on the volume, pace and challenges that the worksite delivers with more mental tools, better focus, less jitters and a faster learning pace. In other words…it gives them an ‘edge’.

Gerry Rossiter, Landscaping Teacher