Olds College Welcomes 72 Students

by Jason Pick

Another strong start to the new year, our turf program welcomed a total of 72 new and returning students to campus in January.  Now with over 100 active Olds College turf students in various stages of their learning, we are thankful for the strong support from our regional superintendents and associations across Western Canada who motivate their staff to pursue this most rewarding trade. 

Continuing to show exceptional growth since the program revamp in 2015, our first year now has a healthy waiting list.  This year we are also pleased to welcome back John Faber from Springbank Links, and Darren Reddekopp of Bearspaw Golf Club, who will be instructing two specialized courses within the diploma and degree programs. Adding great experience and professionalism, students will appreciate these seasoned superintendents in the classroom.

Having recently hosted our biannual industry advisory meeting, we’d also like to thank the commitment of our panel superintendents who invest their time each year, providing insight to ensure the relevance, rigor and quality of our educational offerings.

We can also celebrate this year, our first graduating class of the new, online, Turf Science Certificate (TSC).  The continuing education department, with developmental assistance by faculty and industry specialists, have developed and delivered the first 100% online Turfgrass Science Certificate training. 

With multiple offerings and the potential to transfer into a full time program, students may advance beyond the fundamental principles of agronomics into specialized facility management, in a self-paced, fully online learning environment.  Providing a platform for specialization into parks and recreation, Sports and Athletic fields, or Golf Course Management, students may upgrade or diversify their experience while still working full time.

As we approach February, our Olds College Turf Bowl team are hard at work preparing for their second showing at GCSAA’s Turf Bowl.  Taking two qualifying teams this year, we have set our goals high for Orlando, hoping to celebrate the generosity of Syngenta Canada with a podium position this February.  For funding our team, illustrating their unwavering support of education in our field, our sincerest gratitude to Marie Thorne for her and Syngenta’s support.

For more information about the Turf Science Certifcicate or Full-time turf Program at Olds College, check out our website http://www.oldscollege.ca/programs/horticulture/turfgrass/