Mount Wachusett Community College has launched a new arboriculture certificate program designed to prepare students for in-demand tree work with a certificate that can form the basis of an Associate’s Degree in addition to providing a path to employment.
“This certificate program will provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to work as tree care professionals. This will give students a huge edge when seeking a job in the field,” said MWCC President James Vander Hooven.
Arboriculture is the care and maintenance of trees, including how to help keep them healthy and how to remove trees that become sick or unsafe.
“If you like to work outdoors it’s a great profession; there’s a lot of work available,” said Blue Favreau of Favreau Forestry who provided input into the creation of the program and will be assisting with the hands-on training involved.
The Arboriculture Certificate builds upon the natural sciences classes at MWCC. It provides students with the necessary theory and hands on skills to enter the tree service industry in both residential and commercial applications. The certificate combines theoretical classes such as ecology and plant science with hands-on classes that will prepare students for putting the theoretical into practice. The hands-on skills will include safety protocols, operating a chainsaw, roping and rigging, pruning, felling trees, and tree identification and protection.
“The biggest benefit is that people who finish this certificate will be able to move up the ladder much quicker. They will do in a year what someone doing on the job training would take five years. When someone chooses to go through this program, you know they are serious. It’s a different candidate,” said Favreau.
This model of combining theoretical classes with the real-world skills necessary to get a job in the industry means that students who go through this program will be able to receive an accelerated Associate’s Degree if they decide to return to school. The Natural Resources Associate’s Degree is only 13 more classes, giving students who complete this one-year certificate a huge jump on their Associate’s Degree.
Those interested in the Arboriculture Certificate Program are encouraged to visit mwcc.edu/arboriculture or reach out to MWCC’s Admissions at 978-630-9110 learn more.