This is my sophomore year of the Landscape Development A.A.S degree. The first two years of the A.A.S (Associates in Applied Science) and the B.T. (Bachelors of Technology) of Landscape Contracting are practically the same. Cobleskill has it this way so that if you want to switch between them all the credits transfer. I actually started as a Landscape Contracting major, but decided I want to switch to a different major entirely, but since I already did a year in landscaping and I didn’t want to just lose all those credits, I decided to get the A.A.S. while I figured out what I wanted to do.
One thing about Cobleskill, is I have not touched a mower since I have been here. Now there are opportunities to learn commercial mowers if you want to but Cobleskill prepares the students for more than pushing a mower.
Now since it is the start of finals week, it is a good time to reflect on my last fall semester in landscaping. Both of the major design classes (Environmental Design I and II) are held in the fall, one following the other. In the first fall semester here students usually take a woody plants identification class, an introduction to soil science, the first design class, botany, and field experience as major classes. Field experience is a class where you show up and do what is required for work during that time. It is good work experience. There are two field experiences which replace an internship that is required for the bachelors.
The second fall semester, with major classes, students take landscape construction, plant pathology, and the second design course. Landscape Construction is about all the different hardscapes used in landscapes with a lab where we actually used some of the materials covered in lecture and take field trips to look at other projects. Plant Pathology is the study of plant diseases, it is necessary because if you go out and care properly for the plants in the landscape then you need to know what is wrong with them.
Throughout all the semesters there are opportunities to take electives and some required classes, such as wellness, English, and math.
During the fall semester there are also opportunities beyond the classroom. One big opportunity for both landscape majorsay. This is really good because it is all different companies coming to Cobleskill to look for Cobleskill students. There are more positions than students so instead of students fighting for the company the companies are fighting for the students. These companies also come from all over the country, not just New York. So being out of state still allows to look for a summer job and internships. Even if they are not near you, a lot of the companies have free or subsidized housing.
With the B.T. there are also business classes, so the degree gives the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of owning your own business. Here at Cobleskill landscaping is a lot more than cutting grass, and we go beyond the mowers.
Steve Mullarky, Instructor, demonstrating how to use a demo saw on bluestone.
Walkway in the white gardens that my class installed. This is a work in progress.2013-12-09