Michigan State University at Southwestern Michigan College

Michigan State University at SMC

Earn a Michigan State University certificate at SMC!

Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT) in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) has partnered with SMC in a unique way to help students earn an MSU certificate while also working towards an associate’s degree. Students take at least 21 credits from SMC which are recognized by MSU toward completion of a certificate, thus significantly lowering the overall program cost to students.

Students in these practical, hands-on programs take classes taught by MSU faculty using campus resources including MSU labs, greenhouses and farms. A requirement of all programs is an industry related professional internship. This gives students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and to make employer connections.

At the CANR, students are learning to use principles of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business and creative design in tackling some of the world’s big problems related to food, energy and the environment.

To learn more about the Michigan State University/Southwestern Michigan College partnership or for more information about any of the certificates, visit the IAT website.

Michigan high school students who have completed the state-approved Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education Program in their schools and have received the State FFA degree may receive six MSU college credits toward the completion of a MSU certificate. More information on scholarships from the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University is available online.

MSU Certificates at SMC

Agricultural Operations

The Agricultural Operations program allows students to customize their educational program to fit their own personal career goals. This program has two main areas of study—agronomy and agribusiness. The combination of technical and agribusiness skills prepares graduates for a variety of related career fields.

Academics
Students will take courses in plant pathology, soil and crop science, entomology, irrigation and water resource protection. The may also take courses in crop scouting, agriculture regulations and compliance and using GPS and GIS technology in the field.

Job Opportunities
Employment in agriculture is expected to grow 14-20% in the next five years. Southwest Michigan’s diversity lends itself especially well to employment and career growth for students who have training and educational preparation.

Graduates work as field crop scouts, consultants and technicians.

A number of scholarships are available for returning agricultural operations students through MSU's Department of Plant, Science and Microbial Sciences. Browse possible scholarships online.

Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management

The Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management certificate prepares students to work in orchard and vegetable production settings along with other allied horticultural positions in consulting and sales. Students study soil science, irrigation, pruning methods, entomology and plant pathology along with regulations compliance and safety. Elective courses in tree fruits, small fruits and vegetable production along with greenhouse or organic farm management complete the certificate program.

Job Opportunities
Job opportunities in the area include working in orchards, greenhouses and vegetable farms as supervisors and assistant growers or as scouts or sales representatives for agricultural supply and management companies.

A number of MSU and external scholarships are available for returning students. Browse possible scholarships online.

Landscape Management

In response to industry need for skilled professionals with regional plant knowledge, MSU offers a certificate in landscape management.

The Landscape Management certificate gives students an opportunity to gain the skills for a successful career in Michigan’s $5.7 billion green industry. Through field laboratories and a professional internship, the program combines classroom instruction and theory with practical experience.

The Landscape Management Certificate encompasses the selection, use and management of landscape plants. The curriculum begins with the understanding of plant growth, development and identification. Proper installation and management practices are also taught and applied.

Academics
Students will gain an understanding of plants and related sciences of soils, entomology, and plant pathology. The mechanical aspects of horticulture equipment operations and cultural practices are taught and applied throughout the program.

Job Opportunities
Our graduates are employed as owners, managers, technicians, buyers and sales professionals in a variety of horticultural industries, including:

  • Landscape installation and maintenance
  • Irrigation design, installation and maintenance
  • Retail garden center
  • Urban tree management
  • Public and/or private botanical gardens

A number of MSU and external scholarships are available for returning students. Browse possible scholarships online.

Viticulture

Michigan ranks 4th nationally in overall grape production and 13th in wine grape production contributing nearly $790 billion to the state’s economy. MSU’s IAT has partnered with SMC and the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) to offer the certificate in Viticulture. This program is designed to meet the growing interest and industry employment need for skilled and knowledgeable professionals.

VESTA is recognized as a National Center of Excellence and is grant funded by the National Science Foundation to offer online courses related to vineyards and wine making. The online courses are taught by industry experts and include a hands-on practicum component.

The Viticulture certificate program provides students with a solid background in plant science along with specific expertise and skills needed for careers in the grape industry.

Academics
Students enrolled in this program will study a variety of things related to vineyard management including classes in plant pathology, applied entomology, grape production, seasonal viticulture technology, vineyard safety, and soils for viticulture.

Students in this program will work hands-on at area vineyards through their VESTA courses. They will also have the opportunity to learn vitcultural techniques through MSU’s Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center.

Job Opportunities
Graduates will find careers throughout the rapidly expanding grape industry here in Michigan and beyond. Employment opportunities include vineyards, commercial growers, processors, packing plants and wineries.

A number of MSU and external scholarships are available for returning students. Browse possible scholarships here.

Associate in Applied Science Degree

Agricultural Technology

Students can combine their MSU certificate with SMC courses to earn an SMC associate degree that transfers completely to Michigan State University as well as to other Michigan universities. Plus, SMC Ag Technology students who complete the MSU certificate receive preferential admittance to Michigan State University.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

The MSU/SMC partnership makes earning a MSU certificate more affordable, as students are able to take SMC courses—and pay SMC's low tuition rate—for a portion of the program. On top of this, scholarships and financial aid are also available.

  • SMC awards ten $2,500 scholarships each year to students who have been involved in FFA or an agricultural program through the Guse FFA Scholarship.
  • The Kuehnle Scholarship is awarded to two students each year. Students must major in Agricultural Operations or Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management and must live in Allegan, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Van Buren or Kalamazoo counties or have a previous work record on an agricultural farm.
  • MSU scholarships are also available. Click the certificate you are interested in above for links to scholarships for each program.