Students have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Turf Management in a two-year program or a Technical Certificate in Turf Management in a one-year program. The degree has an agricultural foundation but includes business and technical courses that are important to the turf industry.
This program prepares graduates for a career in the turf management industry in sports, municipal or residential settings. Studies include the science of managing turf grass, including horticulture, pest control, proper irrigation techniques and weed management; the business of managing turf grass, including inventory control, and communication; and basic maintenance of turf grass equipment. Students will complete an internship and/or work at a turf facility as part of the program. Northark, in conjunction with several regional employers and the Department of Labor’s Office of Skills Development (OSD), offers one of the only Turfgrass Apprenticeship education programs in the country. Turfgrass apprentices are able to complete the AAS degree in as little as two years in an “earn while you learn” program that offers 4,000 hours of on-the-job-training combined with at least 288 hours of related technical instruction. Turfgrass management students are not required to enter the apprenticeship program to complete the AAS degree, but those interested in exploring turfgrass apprenticeships should communicate that with your advisor.
The turf management degree can lead to careers as golf course superintendents, athletic field managers, parks managers, grounds managers, professional tree trimmers or industry sales.