The freshest news and views from the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
Monday, March 26, 2018
Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture students blossom at national competition
Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture program is turning heads after yet
another standout performance at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition.
Cuyamaca College OH students and instrcutor Donald Schultz (top right)
Nine students took part in the 42nd annual event, and their average
score topped the average scores for students at any of the 62 colleges and universities
taking part in the competition at Alamance Community College in North Carolina.
Competing against major institutions such as Brigham Young University, Virginia
Tech and the University of Georgia, Cuyamaca College was the only school with
three students finishing among the top 25 in total points.
Cuyamaca placed fifth overall nationally among the community colleges taking
part in the competition. It finished ahead of numerous large universities,
including Iowa State, Auburn, and Illinois State.
National Collegiate Landscape Competition, sponsored by the National
Association of Landscape Professionals, is the largest national competition and
career recruitment event for college students studying horticulture and
landscaping. Students demonstrate their skills in everything from irrigation
troubleshooting to sales presentations and patio building.
“A showing like this really illustrates the excellence of our program and the
quality of our students,” said Donald Schultz, Ornamental Horticulture program
coordinator. “But it also represents the strength of our strong workforce and
career education programs, and it puts us on the industry’s radar nationally.”
Cuyamaca College has long been on the industry’s radar in the region. Ornamental Horticulture was one of three career
education programs at Cuyamaca College honored by the California Community
Colleges system with a Strong Workforce Star for providing students with the
skills to find jobs, increase their earning power and boost their social
mobility. The Chancellor’s Office lauded the program for its strong
relationships with local industry, and graduates of the program are working in
positions ranging from grounds maintenance supervisors to landscape designers
and irrigation consultants.
Horticulture program really prepares students to work in the industry,” said
Tyler Shannon, a student focusing on golf course and sports turf management.
“The teachers are great, the coursework is wonderful and the hands-on
experience is phenomenal.”
Shannon took part
in the Irrigation Assembly, Irrigation Troubleshooting, Skid-Steer Loader
Operation, Maintenance Cost Estimating and Compact Excavator Operation
competitions, racking up enough points to finish 17th overall among
the 710 students taking part. Cuyamaca College student Kaity Bevenour finished
10th nationally, and Alexandra Trofimov finished 25th.
“Our program gets
you ready to go up and do well against some pretty big universities around the
country,” Shannon said.
This is just the second year
Cuyamaca College competed in the national event; at its inaugural entry in
2017, five Cuyamaca students – including Shannon, Bevenour and Trofimov –
finished among the Top 10 in their respective competitions.