Horticulture Technician Program Standard

The approved program standard for four-semester Horticulture Technician Programs approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MCU Code 53905) for delivery by Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology

© 1999, Ontario Ministry of Education and Training

ISBN 0-7794-0682-6


Acknowledgments

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction


  2. Vocational Standard


  3. Generic Skills Standard


  4. General Education Standard


Acknowledgments

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities acknowledges with thanks the significant contribution of the many individuals and organizations who participated in the development of this program standard. In particular, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities would like to acknowledge the important roles of

  • Members of the Horticulture Technician Focus Group: Terry Ames, Timberwolf, Pine Grove, and Cedar Green Golf Courses, Sudbury; Tom Ball, Niagara College; Dave Chamberlain, Lambton College; Harry Chang, Humber College; Sandy Daugharty, Eldon House, London; Tony Di Giovanni, Landscape Ontario; Andrew Evans, Toronto Parks Department; Dennis Flanagan, Weall and Cullen; Helen Jarvi, Cambrian College; Stuart Koch, Seneca College; Terry Murphy, Horticultural Human Resources Council; Michael Pascoe, Fanshawe College; Richard Rogers, Rogers Landscaping; Paul Ronan, Ontario Parks Association; Don Tellier, St. Clair College; Phillip Tuba, Algonquin College; and, Garry Watson, Flowers Canada.

  • The many individuals and organizations who participated in consultations during the development of the standard, in particular Chris Graham and Bruce Peart of the Royal Botanical Gardens, and Mr. Frans Peters of Humber Nurseries; and the project officer who led the development of the vocational standard: Tom Ryan, Cambrian College.

  • All those involved in the work of the CSAC Generic Skills Council and the development of the generic skills standard.

  • All those involved in the work of the CSAC General Education Council and the development of the general education standard.

I. Introduction

This document is the Program Standard for Horticulture Technician Programs delivered by Ontario colleges of applied arts and technology. The program standard applies to all programs approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities under MCU code 53905.

Development of System-Wide Program Standards

In 1993, the Government of Ontario initiated program standards development with the objectives of bringing a greater degree of consistency to college programming offered across the province, broadening the focus of college programs to ensure graduates have the skills to be flexible and to continue to learn and adapt, and providing public accountability for the quality and relevance of college programs.

The Colleges Branch of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has responsibility for the development and approval of system-wide standards for programs at colleges of applied arts and technology of Ontario.

Program Standards

Program standards apply to all similar programs offered by colleges across the province. Each program standard for a postsecondary program includes the following elements:

Vocational standard (the vocationally specific learning outcomes which apply to the program in question),

Generic skills standard (the generic skills learning outcomes which apply to programs of similar length), and

General education standard (the requirement for general education courses that applies to postsecondary programs).

Collectively, these elements outline the essential skills and knowledge that a student must reliably demonstrate in order to graduate from the program.

Individual colleges of applied arts and technology offering the program determine the specific program structure, delivery methods, and other curriculum matters to be used in assisting students to achieve the outcomes articulated in the standard. Individual colleges also determine whether additional local learning outcomes will be required to reflect specific local needs and/or interests.

The Expression of Program Standards as Learning Outcomes

The vocational and generic skills components of program standards are expressed in terms of learning outcomes.

Learning outcomes represent culminating demonstrations of learning and achievement. They are not simply a listing of discrete skills, nor broad statements of knowledge and comprehension. In addition, learning outcomes are interrelated and cannot be viewed in isolation of one another. As such, they should be viewed as a comprehensive whole. They describe performances that demonstrate that significant integrated learning by graduates of the program has been achieved and verified.

Expressing standards as learning outcomes ensures consistency in the outcomes for program graduates, while leaving to the discretion of individual colleges curriculum matters such as the specific program structure and delivery methods.

The Presentation of the Learning Outcomes

The learning outcome statement sets out the culminating demonstration of learning and achievement that the student must reliably demonstrate before graduation.

The elements of performance for each outcome define and clarify the level and quality of performance necessary to meet the requirements of the learning outcome. However, it is the performance of the learning outcome itself on which students are evaluated. The elements are indicators of the means by which the student may proceed to satisfactory performance of the learning outcome. The elements do not stand alone but rather in reference to the learning outcome of which they form a part.

In some cases, in order to ensure clarity, an explanation of the outcome is also provided.

The Accreditation of Programs

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will establish a process to accredit college programs, with the objective of determining whether program graduates have achieved the learning outcomes and general education requirement established in a program standard.

The Development of a Program Standard

In establishing the standards development initiative, the Government determined that all postsecondary programs should include vocational skills coupled with a broader set of essential skills. This combination is considered critical to ensuring that college graduates have the skills required to be successful both upon graduation from the college program and throughout their working and personal lives.

A program standard is developed through a broad consultation process involving a range of stakeholders with a direct interest in the program area, including employers, professional associations, universities, secondary schools, and program graduates working in the field, in addition to students, faculty, and administrators at the colleges themselves. It represents a consensus of participating stakeholders on the essential learning that all program graduates should have achieved.

Updating the Program Standard

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will undertake regular reviews of the vocational learning outcomes for this program, as well as a review of the generic skills learning outcomes and the general education requirement, to ensure that the Horticulture Technician Program Standard remains appropriate and relevant to the needs of students and employers across the Province of Ontario.

Table of Contents


II. Vocational Standards

All graduates of Horticulture Technician programs must have achieved the thirteen vocational learning outcomes listed in the following pages, in addition to achieving the generic skills learning outcomes and meeting the general education requirement.

Preamble

Graduates from two-year Horticulture Technician programs have a love of the natural environment and experience the self-satisfaction to be gained from the design*, growing, installation, and maintenance of plant life. They may expect to follow their chosen profession in a thriving industry. With such factors as the continuing rapid growth in gardening as a leisure activity, the expansion of the golf industry, and the increased concern for the beautification and protection of the environment, employment opportunities exist in the many related horticulture* professions.

Graduates of these programs receive a comprehensive education which enables them to become skilled technicians in the various phases of the horticulture* industry. While many graduates will choose to specialize in one or other aspect of that industry, their versatility upon graduation makes them attractive to employers, especially in smaller operations where a multi-skilled worker is vital. They are able to apply a sound theoretical knowledge of plant and soil sciences to the propagation* and production of plant materials* in greenhouse, nursery*, and field settings. Fundamentally skilled in the safe and correct use of tools and equipment, graduates can perform a wide range of maintenance tasks for plants and property. The broad education they have received allows them to apply their knowledge and skills in landscaping projects, from the design* phase through construction and installation. Trained in the theory and practice of sound ecological management, graduates are able to work in an environmentally responsible manner.

An approach to education which balances formal theory with practical laboratory/industry experience produces competent professionals who have the practical training and current technical knowledge consistent with the highest level of industry demand. Today's consumers have more horticultural knowledge and greater expectations than ever before, so qualified technicians with a strong training in both horticultural theory and hands-on practical skills are in demand by employers.

Graduates may expect to find employment in a variety of roles in landscaping firms, nurseries, greenhouses, municipalities, parks, garden centres, golf courses, and doing sales, research, journalism, or retailing. The field also lends itself to many self-employment opportunities.

There are opportunities for graduates to pursue further educational qualifications; through articulation agreements between the colleges and universities, graduates may be granted credits towards a degree. Students should contact individual colleges for further details of a college's articulation agreements with universities.

* See glossary

Synopsis of the Vocational Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

  1. apply the principles of plant* and soil sciences to complete work in horticulture*.
  2. apply practical horticulture* skills to the production of plant materials*, including herbaceous plants*, woody plants*, and turf.
  3. apply the principles of design* to horticulture*.
  4. apply basic* installation and construction principles and practical skills to horticulture*.
  5. implement maintenance procedures for plants, property, and equipment.
  6. utilize knowledge of plant identification, usage, and maintenance criteria.
  7. recognize the potential environmental effects of projects and the need to avoid environmental damage and promote healthier ecosystems.
  8. apply the principles and practical skills of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)* to indoor and outdoor plants.
  9. contribute to the effective planning, implementation, and conclusion of projects.
  10. use safe working practices.
  11. use business practices appropriate to the horticulture* industry.
  12. act in a professional manner, maintain professional relationships, and communicate effectively with clients, co-workers, supervisors, and others.
  13. develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development to enhance work performance and career opportunities and to keep pace with industry changes.

Note: The learning outcomes have been numbered as a point of reference; numbering does not imply prioritization, sequencing, nor weighting of significance.

* See glossary

The Vocational Learning Outcomes

1. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

apply the principles of plant* and soil sciences to complete work in horticulture*.

Elements of the Performance

  • Apply knowledge of plant sciences* to create an optimal cultural environment
  • Apply the principles of plant nutrition to grow and maintain healthy plants
  • Apply knowledge of plant anatomy and physiology to improve plant growth
  • Apply knowledge of soils (physical and chemical properties) and methods of soil improvement to improve plant growth
  • Use knowledge of plant* and soil science as a guide to correct horticultural practices
  • Apply knowledge of plant pathology* and entomology* to prevent, diagnose, control, and treat pests and diseases utilizing the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)*
  • Exercise strong observational skills as a diagnostic and analytical tool *

* See glossary

2. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

apply practical horticulture* skills to the production of plant materials*, including herbaceous plants*, woody plants*, and turf.

Elements of the Performance

  • Apply industry-accepted propagation* procedures to grow and maintain plant materials*
  • Apply knowledge of plant culture* and cultivation to contribute to the successful production of plant materials* in greenhouse, nursery*, and field settings
  • Calculate appropriate quantities of material to grow and maintain plant materials*
  • Assess plant material* quality and needs and make cultural adjustments as needed
  • Contribute to the planning and development of production schedules
  • Apply sound greenhouse/nursery* management practices to contribute to successful operations

* See glossary

3. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

apply the principles of design* to horticulture*.

Elements of the Performance

  • Measure a site and draw a base plan
  • Perform a site inventory* and analysis
  • Measure, record, and calculate grades
  • Adhere to all zoning and legislative by-law requirements related to a site
  • Apply knowledge of design* principles such as form, balance, texture, scale, proportion, and context to plant layout and basic* landscape designs
  • Apply knowledge of computer software for basic* design* projects
  • Perform calculations and quantity estimating*
  • Visualize, prepare, and interpret site, grading, and planting plans and details

* See glossary

4. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

apply basic* installation and construction principles and practical skills to horticulture*.

Elements of the Performance

  • Adhere to all zoning and other legislative and by-law requirements related to the development of a site
  • Assess site conditions related to safety, access, preservation and storage
  • Interpret, explain, and implement plans
  • Do trade calculations and estimating
  • Identify, select, and install materials for construction projects
  • Apply problem-solving skills to manage projects successfully

* See glossary

5. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

implement maintenance procedures for plants, property, and equipment.

Elements of the Performance

  • Employ a variety of timely plant maintenance practices to maintain health and form
  • Employ a variety of timely property maintenance procedures
  • Consider interior and exterior environmental conditions when performing maintenance procedures for plants and property
  • Perform regular maintenance procedures for tools and equipment
  • Select, use, and store tools and equipment correctly
  • Maintain awareness of the most current tools and equipment
  • Contribute to the preparation of routine maintenance schedules
  • Perform trade calculations
  • Maintain required records and documentation

6. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

utilize knowledge of plant identification, usage, and maintenance criteria.

Elements of the Performance

  • Use accurate botanical names and accepted common names
  • Use knowledge of growth and maintenance requirements in plant selection
  • Select plants appropriately using criteria such as aesthetic appeal, hardiness, and site requirements
  • Specify plants in accordance with accepted industry standards (e.g., Canadian Nursery Landscape Association standards)
  • Evaluate plant materials* based on health and vigour

* See glossary

7. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

recognize the potential environmental effects of projects and the need to avoid environmental damage and promote healthier ecosystems.

Elements of the Performance

  • Appreciate and respect the natural environment
  • Contribute to the assessment of the potential impact on the environment of a proposed site development
  • Employ environmentally responsible practices in the site development process
  • Promote and practice environmental responsibility in all aspects of horticulture*
  • Use the principles and practices of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)* to ensure environmentally responsible pest management
  • Understand, apply, and promote the principles of "Reduce, Re-use, Recycle"

* See glossary

8. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

apply the principles and practical skills of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)* to indoor and outdoor plants.

Elements of the Performance

  • Apply knowledge of the biology of plants and the manner in which they are influenced by the surrounding ecosystem
  • Identify the key pests and know their biology
  • Demonstrate awareness of the damage inflicted by the key pests
  • Recognize the economic, environmental, and aesthetic consequences of control measures
  • Monitor pests, natural enemies and plant health regularly
  • Implement appropriate pest management options
  • Be aware of the legal and licensing requirements to carry out all components of an IPM* program

* See glossary

9. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

contribute to the effective planning, implementation, and conclusion of projects.

Elements of the Performance

  • Identify the individual components of a project
  • Organize the components in a logical sequence for implementation
  • Assist in developing and adhering to a project schedule
  • Read and interpret drawings, specifications, and contract documents
  • Assist in developing a materials estimate and equipment list
  • Assist in preparing cost estimates and monitoring project costs and progress
  • Use calendar and reminder systems to manage tasks and projects
  • Assist in monitoring project quality
  • Assist in identifying problems at various stages of a project and in suggesting appropriate remedies
  • Maintain effective communications with project participants (e.g., clients, co-workers, supervisors)

10. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

use safe working practices.

Elements of the Performance

  • Contribute to establishing safe work site conditions for self and others (e.g., clients, co-workers)
  • Recognize workplace hazards and take appropriate action to ensure a safe working environment (e.g., observe "call-before-you-dig" procedures)
  • Comply with workplace safety legislation (e.g., Occupational Health and Safety Act)
  • Appreciate and adhere to legislated safety procedures (e.g., Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, Pesticide Act and Regulations) when using hazardous products in the workplace
  • Follow safe working practices when using tools, machinery, and related equipment
  • Know and comply with the pertinent regulations related to safe use of equipment
  • Identify and report safety-related defects, damage, or wear on tools and equipment
  • Wear all appropriate personal safety equipment in accordance with the pertinent regulations and manufacturers' instructions

* See glossary

11. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

use business practices appropriate to the horticulture* industry.

Elements of the Performance

  • Be familiar with fundamental business procedures (e.g., sales, marketing, finance, human resources)
  • Promote company products and services effectively
  • Have an effective telephone manner and protocol
  • Recognize the short and long term value of providing good client services
  • Use computer applications relevant to small business operations (e.g., spreadsheets, word processing, fax, e-mail)

* See glossary

12. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

act in a professional manner, maintain professional relationships, and communicate effectively with clients, co-workers, supervisors, and others.

Elements of the Performance

  • Accept and carry out job responsibilities with minimal supervision
  • Complete work to a high standard of performance
  • Assume responsibility and accountability for own performance
  • Promote workplace compatibility through cooperative teamwork
  • Apply knowledge of horticulture* to respond effectively to client needs, while exercising sound public relations, using language the client may understand
  • Recognize the value of reputation and client satisfaction in the horticulture* industry
  • Network effectively within the industry by written, verbal, and electronic communication

* See glossary

13. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development to enhance work performance and career opportunities and to keep pace with industry changes.

Elements of the Performance

  • Solicit and accept constructive feedback related to one's own performance, strengths, and limitations
  • Maintain a realistic view of the entry-level opportunities in the horticulture* professions
  • Identify opportunities for ongoing professional development (e.g., professional associations, continuing education courses, trade shows)
  • Identify and pursue opportunities for licensing and professional certification and accreditation
  • Stay aware of trends, new techniques, and developments in the industry through reading professional publications, attending seminars, and other activities
  • Remain open to learning opportunities in interactions with colleagues and supervisors
  • Identify opportunities for niche markets or careers by studying market and industry trends

* See glossary

Glossary of Terms

Basic
refers to the minimum essential level of performance or learning required by entry-level graduates. Learning levels may be expressed as a continuum of Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

Culture
to cultivate or grow living material in a prepared nutrient media.

Design
the art of working out the form of something, as by making a sketch, outline, or plan.

Entomology
the study of insects.

Herbaceous plants
soft, succulent perennials, biennials or annuals, with a soft stem which dies back to ground after flowering.

Horticulture
horticulture is the culture of gardens including the necessary skills and knowledge required for the production of plants and the design, installation, and maintenance of gardens. The horticulture profession includes many related areas, such as greenhouses and nurseries, garden centres, landscape contractors, parks departments, turf care, and their supporting infrastructure.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
the combined study of insects, diseases, fungi, and weeds which affect horticultural crops. Integrated Pest Management involves prevention, analysis, identification, and biological and chemical treatment.

Nursery
in horticulture, a place where plants are propagated and then grown until such time as they are placed in permanent quarters. A nursery may be wholly or partly under glass or wholly or partly in the open and may be dedicated to one or more crops.

Pathology
in horticulture, the study or understanding of a plant's system and the effects diseases and insects may have on that system.

Plant materials
herbaceous or woody plants used in horticulture.

Plant sciences
the various branches of science that deal with the culture and production of plants.

Propagation
causing plants to generate or multiply by asexual or sexual means.

Quantity estimating
the determination from plans of the amount and costs of specific material associated with a landscape project.

Site inventory
the collection of data and information from a location prior to the preparation of plans and estimates. This data may deal with plants, soils, drainage, slope, buildings, paths, roads, etc.

Woody plants
plants that have developed secondary growth and do not usually die back to the ground.

Table of Contents


III. Generic Skills Standard

All graduates of Horticulture Technician programs must have achieved the thirteen generic skills learning outcomes listed on the following pages, in addition to achieving the vocational learning outcomes and meeting the general education requirement. 1

Synopsis of the Generic Skills Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

  1. communicate clearly, concisely, and correctly in the written, spoken, and visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of audiences.
  2. reframe information, ideas, and concepts using the narrative, visual, numerical, and symbolic representations which demonstrate understanding.
  3. apply a wide variety of mathematical techniques with the degree of accuracy required to solve problems and make decisions.
  4. use a variety of computer hardware and software and other technological tools appropriate and necessary to the performance of tasks.
  5. interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
  6. evaluate her or his own thinking throughout the steps and processes used in problem solving and decision making.
  7. collect, analyze, and organize relevant and necessary information from a variety of sources.
  8. evaluate the validity of arguments based on qualitative and quantitative information in order to accept or challenge the findings of others.
  9. create innovative strategies and/or products that meet identified needs.
  10. manage the use of time and other resources to attain personal and/or project-related goals.
  11. take responsibility for her or his own actions and decisions.
  12. adapt to new situations and demands by applying and/or updating her or his knowledge and skills.
  13. represent her or his skills, knowledge, and experience realistically for personal and employment purposes.

The Generic Skills Learning Outcomes

1. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

communicate clearly, concisely, and correctly in the written, spoken, and visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of audiences.

Explanation

Communicating in a clear, concise, and correct manner requires producing the written, spoken or visual material that best suits the situation. Graduates will have developed their ability to analyze their audiences to identify what is required and to match those needs with the means that is most appropriate. They will have produced material according to the style and conventions required, and they will have checked their products for accuracy and clarity. Finally, graduates will have used the tools available to them to create and correct their written, spoken, and visual messages.

Elements of the Performance

  • Plan and organize communications according to the purpose and audiences
  • Choose the format (e.g., memo, illustration, video, multimedia presentation, diagram) appropriate to the purpose
  • Incorporate content that is meaningful and necessary
  • Produce material that conforms to the conventions of the chosen format
  • Use language and style suitable to the audience and purpose
  • Ensure that the material is free from mechanical errors
  • Use the computer technology that will enhance the production of materials
  • Evaluate communications and adjust for any errors in content, structure, style, and mechanics

2. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

reframe information, ideas, and concepts using the narrative, visual, numerical, and symbolic representations which demonstrate understanding.

Explanation

Responding to messages from many sources requires the ability to receive and to comprehend what has been received. One way to demonstrate that comprehension is to reframe, or restate in other forms, the original message. This requires graduates to have developed the skills to read, listen to, and observe messages contained within narrative and visual forms. It also requires the ability to construct unique narrative and visual representations that are consistent with the original messages.

Elements of the Performance

  • Develop and use strategies to read, listen, and observe effectively
  • Clarify what has been read, heard, and observed
  • Reproduce original information in other formats (e.g., written and spoken summaries; tables, figures, charts, diagrams, maps, drawings, photographs, and computer-generated graphics; terms represented by numbers; and values represented by letters or signs)
  • Use technology, where appropriate, to aid in reframing
  • Evaluate the representation for consistency of meaning with the original
  • Acknowledge the use of material from other sources according to the conventions of the medium used

3. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

apply a wide variety of mathematical techniques with the degree of accuracy required to solve problems and make decisions.

Explanation

Using mathematics effectively in everyday situations requires the ability to apply a wide variety of mathematical skills accurately. Graduates will have demonstrated their ability to apply the concepts of number and space to situations which include quantities, magnitudes, measurements, and ratios. They will have developed their ability to identify the need for mathematics, to apply mathematical techniques (concepts, conventions, strategies, and operations) and to check the results of their applications. This will require graduates to be flexible and creative and to be confident in their mathematical skills and abilities.

Elements of the Performance

  • Recognize situations that require mathematics
  • Assess potential mathematical strategies (including models, geometric representations or formulas, elementary algebraic equations, descriptive statistical methods, and mathematical reasoning) for suitability and effectiveness
  • Decide on the degree of accuracy required for answers
  • Estimate probable answers
  • Execute mathematical operations necessary to implement selected strategies
  • Use calculators or appropriate technological tools to perform mathematical operations accurately
  • Check for errors in numerical answers and the appropriate fit between problems and answers
  • Express answers clearly
  • Transfer the use of mathematical strategies from one situation to another

4. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

use a variety of computer hardware and software and other technological tools appropriate and necessary to the performance of tasks.

Explanation

Using computers and other technologies as tools to increase productivity and to enhance tasks requires graduates to have the confidence and ability to use the tools well. Graduates will have demonstrated the ability to recognize when computers and other technologies contribute to completing tasks, solving problems, performing research, and creating products. They will use the technological tool most appropriate to the task and use it accurately. Finally, they will have gained confidence in continuing to learn about and cope with new technologies in the future.

Elements of the Performance

  • Use basic operating system functions competently (e.g., load software, store and retrieve data)
  • Determine which tasks can best be handled by computers and other technology
  • Select suitable software, equipment, and tools for the task
  • Use the software, equipment, and tools effectively, correctly, and ethically
  • Deal with equipment and software problems and errors in a logical and systematic manner
  • Transfer concepts, knowledge, and skills from one technology to another
  • Evaluate one's own use of hardware, software, and technological tools

5. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Explanation

Working in teams or groups in either a work or personal context requires the ability to assume responsibility for collective duties and decisions. It also requires interacting effectively with the members of the group. Therefore, in achieving this outcome, graduates will have demonstrated their ability to understand and complete the various tasks required of them as group members. They will also have demonstrated their ability to understand and respond to others.

Elements of the Performance

  • Identify the tasks to be completed
  • Establish strategies to accomplish the tasks
  • Identify roles for members of the team/group
  • Clarify one's own roles and fulfill them in a timely fashion
  • Treat other members of the group equitably and fairly
  • Contribute one's own ideas, opinions, and information while demonstrating respect for those of others
  • Employ techniques intended to bring about the resolution of any conflicts
  • Regularly assess the group's progress and interactions and make adjustments when necessary

6. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

evaluate her or his own thinking throughout the steps and processes used in problem solving and decision making.

Explanation

Solving a range of complex problems and dealing with a variety of tasks require the thinking skills and strategies that will allow graduates to identify what has to be done and to select and implement the most suitable approach. In applying thinking skills and strategies, graduates will have understood the limits as well as the potential of their own thought processes. As well, in attempting various strategies, they will have explored styles of thinking that may be new to them. This will allow graduates to understand the way they think and how they approach decisions and problems.

Elements of the Performance

  • Clarify the nature and extent of problems or required directions
  • Explore various thinking skills and strategies that could be used
  • Identify limits as well as the potential of one's own thought processes
  • Choose and apply thinking skills and strategies (e.g., inductive and deductive thinking; creative and intuitive thinking; inquiry; critical thinking; and reflection)
  • Evaluate results of the thinking skills and strategies used in problem solving and decision making
  • Appreciate the benefits of the use of alternative types of thinking

7. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

collect, analyze, and organize relevant and necessary information from a variety of sources.

Explanation

Making decisions and completing tasks often requires information that can be used as support. Graduates, therefore, must be able to access current, relevant, and useful information and to organize that information in understandable ways. In achieving this outcome, graduates will have developed and used strategies to locate and gather a wide range of information, most particularly through technological means. They will have learned how to select pertinent information and to sort it so that it can be displayed in useful formats like databases and spreadsheets. This information can then be used to support decisions and to assist in the completion of tasks.

Elements of the Performance

  • Identify the nature of the information required
  • Investigate sources of information (including people, text, databases, and the Internet)
  • Gather information from the most appropriate sources using various data collection techniques, including technology
  • Examine the information and select what is relevant, important, and useful
  • Employ a variety of techniques to organize the information (e.g., spreadsheets, databases, graphs, charts)
  • Draw conclusions about how the information can be used
  • Evaluate the processes used
  • Cite sources according to the conventions of the medium used

8. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

evaluate the validity of arguments based on qualitative and quantitative information in order to accept or challenge the findings of others.

Explanation

With the wealth of numerical and non-numerical information available, graduates must be able to interpret, understand, and draw conclusions about what others have produced. Graduates will have used their mathematical abilities to question the validity of statistics and other numerical claims. Graduates also will have used their language and critical thinking skills to analyze the assumptions and evidence that others use to support more qualitative arguments and conclusions. As a result, graduates will have developed the ability to question and make decisions about what they read, hear, and observe.

Elements of the Performance

  • Identify conclusions and claims made by others
  • Detect any fallacies, biases, misrepresentations, and assumptions and judge their relevance to supporting arguments
  • Check for accuracy and credibility of claims or arguments
  • Be prepared to defend acceptance or rejection of claims or arguments

9. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

create innovative strategies and/or products that meet identified needs.

Explanation

Creating strategies and products that are original and innovative will require graduates to develop their creative thinking skills to find alternative ways to address situations. Graduates will have developed the confidence to use old information in new ways; to see unique relationships; and to practice the lateral, divergent, and intuitive thinking that will yield new approaches.

Elements of the Performance

  • Analyze needs
  • Generate creative ideas for strategies and products that will meet needs
  • Choose alternatives to pursue based on needs and criteria of projects/plans
  • Create strategies/products
  • Evaluate strategies/products according to meeting needs

10. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

manage the use of time and other resources to attain personal and/or project-related goals.

Explanation

Achieving task-related goals in their personal and professional lives requires graduates to use their time, money, space, and other, often limited, resources as efficiently as possible. Graduates will have developed their ability to plan and predict ways of achieving goals. They will have developed and used tools intended to assist in the process. Finally, they will have attempted to follow their plans and use the tools, assessing regularly how realistic the goals, plans, and processes are and adapting when it is necessary.

Elements of the Performance

  • Define reasonable and realistic goals
  • Use planning tools (e.g., budgets, schedules) to achieve goals
  • Monitor the process and goals and respond to changes
  • Use resources (e.g., money, space, time) efficiently to accomplish tasks
  • Re-evaluate goals and the use of resources and make appropriate adjustments

11. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

take responsibility for her or his own actions and decisions.

Explanation

Making decisions, taking positions, and completing tasks require graduates to be accountable for actions taken and to defend their convictions. Graduates will have demonstrated their ability to evaluate what they do and why they do it. They will have taken into consideration their individual values, beliefs, and opinions and the effects these have on their actions. Not only will graduates be able to justify their decisions, they will be able to advocate positively on behalf of themselves.

Elements of the Performance

  • Review the results of one's actions and decisions
  • Reflect on the processes and practices used
  • Identify any errors and make corrections
  • Identify successes for adaptation to other situations
  • Account for how one's own values and beliefs affect actions and decisions
  • Evaluate and act upon constructive feedback
  • Be prepared to defend decisions made and actions taken

12. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

adapt to new situations and demands by applying and/or updating her or his knowledge and skills.

Explanation

Transferring skills from one context to another enables graduates to be lifelong learners. Graduates will have developed the confidence to know that their current skills are applicable to a range of changing, novel and unexpected situations. They will have demonstrated their ability to reflect on what they can do, match those skills to the new demands, and apply previous skills or develop the additional ones that will make them as effective in the new situations.

Elements of the Performance

  • Assess current skills, knowledge, and learning styles
  • Identify skills and knowledge required for new situations
  • Adapt current skills and knowledge to new situations
  • Identify new skills and knowledge required
  • Choose the most appropriate learning and working styles to acquire new skills and knowledge
  • Evaluate success of the processes and actual adaptations

13. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

represent her or his skills, knowledge, and experience realistically for personal and employment purposes.

Explanation

Preparing for changes in their personal and professional lives requires graduates to assess and present their accomplishments and abilities. In achieving this outcome, graduates will have developed their ability to reflect on what they have done and learned. They will also have summarized their abilities in ways that are attractive and useful to potential recipients. These ways may include portfolios and resumes. Finally, graduates will have developed the skills to present themselves and their accomplishments personally and with confidence.

Elements of the Performance

  • Summarize one's own skills, knowledge, and experience realistically
  • Choose formats (e.g., resume, portfolio, interview) which best display skills, knowledge, and experiences according to the situations
  • Evaluate responses to the representations and make any adjustments

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IV. General Education Standard

All graduates of Horticulture Technician Programs must have met the general education requirement described on the following pages, in addition to achieving the vocational and generic skills learning outcomes.

The General Education Requirement

The Government of Ontario has established that each college postsecondary program shall include a minimum of one three-hour-per-week general education course of approximately 45 instructional hours per semester. Learners should experience a breadth of goals through their general education studies; and, wherever possible, they should have the opportunity to exercise choice in the selection of their general education courses.

This general education requirement is an integral component of the Horticulture Technician Program Standard, along with the vocational and generic skills learning outcomes.

The general education requirement shall be met consistent with the following guiding principles:

  1. General education in the colleges shall identify and deal with issues of societal concern in a manner relevant to the lives of students. General education courses shall be structured in such a way as to guide students through the historical context of such issues, their theoretical bases, and application to contemporary life.

  2. All general education courses offered in the colleges shall be designed to provide benefits to one or more of the three areas: learners' personal growth and enrichment, informed citizenship, and working life.

  3. An essential component of the mission of Ontario's colleges is the encouragement and support of continuous learning. This commitment to lifelong learning shall be reflected in each of the general education courses offered in the colleges.

General education appropriate for Ontario colleges is defined as those postsecondary learning experiences that enable learners to meet more effectively the societal challenges which they face in their community, family, and working life.

General education in the colleges provides learners with insight into the enduring nature of the issues being addressed and into their particular relevance to today and the future. It is intended to encourage and support continuous learning. It is delivered as discrete courses which are designed to address one or more of the following goals and associated broad objectives established for general education:

Goals and Broad Objectives

1. Aesthetic Appreciation

understand beauty, form, taste, and the role of the arts in society

Broad Objectives

  • Develop critical awareness of arts in society
  • Perceive and evaluate the role of the arts
  • Heighten critical appreciation through development and application of personal and formal judgment factors

2. Civic Life

understand the meaning of freedoms, rights, and participation in community and public life

Broad Objectives

  • Develop knowledge of the structure and function of governments in Canada: legislative, judicial, and administrative arms; roles of elected officials and public servants; and a personal awareness of citizen responsibility
  • Develop historical understanding of major issues affecting Canadian politics and a critical awareness of related public policy
  • Develop awareness of international issues and their effects, and the place of Canada in international communities
  • Develop awareness of the history, significance, and organization of the voluntary sector in community life

3. Cultural Understanding

understand the cultural, social, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of Canada and the world

Broad Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of cultural identity by linking personal history to broader cultural study
  • Develop an understanding of the diversity of cultures and subcultures represented in Canadian society and of their interactions within the Canadian society
  • Develop intercultural understanding through reasoned reflection on various cultures' responses to universal human issues

4. Personal Development

gain greater self-awareness, intellectual growth, well-being, and understanding of others

Broad Objectives

  • Consider one's expectations and values and analyze their impact on personal goals
  • Apply an understanding of the individual and human development to personal life and relationships
  • Integrate the concept of well-being into one's lifestyle
  • Understand oneself as a learner and articulate one's own learning style

5. Social Understanding

understand relationships among individuals and society

Broad Objectives

  • Develop informed understanding of social organization and institutions and of ongoing issues in relationships between individuals, groups, and societies
  • Develop informed understanding of social trends, social change, and social problems and of implications for social and personal response
  • Develop informed understanding of contemporary social problems and issues

6. Understanding Science

appreciate the contribution of science to the development of civilization, human understanding, and potential

Broad Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of the history, philosophy, contributions, perspectives, and limitations of the sciences
  • Develop an understanding of the scientific method and its uses in measuring quantifiable entities and confirming laws of nature

7. Understanding Technology

understand the interrelationship between the development and use of technology and society and the ecosystem

Broad Objectives

  • Relate implications of current transformations in technological knowledge and development to our physical and biological world
  • Develop awareness of ethical positions on enduring issues regarding the place of the human species in the physical and biological world

8. Work and the Economy

understand the meaning, history, and organization of work; and working life challenges to the individual and society

Broad Objectives

  • Set personal expectations for efficiency, effectiveness, ethics, and rewards and reconcile them with the changing work environment
  • Apply knowledge of the organization and structure of work, its institutions, and history; and of social and cultural attitudes to work
  • Develop an understanding of the changing nature of work and the economy

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Note:

  1. The generic skills learning outcomes listed in this program standard form part of the program standard for each two- and three-year college program. Additional information about these generic skills learning outcomes is contained in the Generic Skills Learning Outcomes for Two and Three Year College Programs in Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. CSAC: 1995.