Texas Master Gardener Advanced Training Program (formerly Specialist Training)
Current Advanced Training offerings are:
- First Detector
- Fruit and Nut Trees (South Texas)
- Greenhouse Management
- Irrigation Efficiency
- Junior Master Gardener (JMG)
- Plant Propagation
- Rainwater Harvesting
- Texas Superstars®
- Tree Care
- Turf Grass
Purpose: To provide advanced training whereby a corps of Master Gardeners can obtain a specialization which supports or expands specific county educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
Guidelines: The primary purpose of the Advanced Training program is not to designate “experts” in a field of study or topic; rather, it is designed to identify Master Gardeners who have received special training to support specific county educational programs or projects. Advanced Training should be designed to empower the Master Gardener with the knowledge and skills required to effectively support designate programs or projects. This may include administration of projects, training of Master Gardeners, clientele presentations, and/or applied research and demonstrations.
Basic Requirement: To be eligible for Advanced Training, an individual must possess an up-to-date Master Gardener certification.
Training and Volunteer Requirements: Advanced Training should be a minimum of 16 hours in length. Hours of training will depend on subject matter and level of expertise to be obtained. Training might include: formal classroom training, field trips and tours, mentoring by experts, and/or self-directed study. Following completion of the training requirement, an individual should complete a minimum 20 hours of volunteer service in a designated program or project to obtain the Advanced Training certificate.
Reporting Volunteer Service: Upon completion of Advanced Training, Master Gardeners are expected to be a local county resource and contribute volunteer service by training other Master Gardeners and the public. Advanced Trained Master Gardener should document and report volunteer service hours to the Advanced Training coordinator. These hours are used to gain Advanced Training certification and evaluate the effectiveness of the Advanced Training effort. The coordinator will keep a roster and records of all classes and report all qualifying advanced trained Master Gardeners to the State Master Gardener Coordinator. Those who have completed the Advanced Training and required volunteer service will receive a certificate and pin specialized to each training offered.
A Master Gardener successfully completing Advanced Training would use the new designation as suggested in the following examples:
Rita Tiller, Advanced Trained Master Gardener: Compost
Herb Shmeler, Advanced Trained Master Gardener: Junior Master Gardener
Authorization: With approval of the Texas Master Gardener Coordinator’s office, County Extension Agents and Extension Program Specialists have the authority to develop and implement Advanced Training programs as needed which adhere to these guidelines. While developing Advanced Training programs, counties are encouraged to communicate with Advanced Training Coordinator who will communicate with the State Coordinator throughout the development of the program. Also, consideration should be given to potential expansion of such programs into other counties where applicable. Where appropriate, multi-county and regional collaboration is encouraged when teaching an Advanced Training. Using the guidelines of this document, the County Master Gardener Coordinator has the sole authority to certify Advanced Trainees.
Advanced Training Components: Components of a Master Gardener Advanced Training program might include:
- Statement of goals, objective and activities
- Recognition items (i.e., lapel pin, certificate, wallet card, patched, badges, vest/shirt, etc.)
- Position announcement(s) for volunteers
- Advanced Training application form
- Training curriculum
- Training resources/manual
- Advanced Training examination
- Volunteer hour log book
Clearinghouse: In addition to an advisory role, the office of the State Master Gardener Coordinator will serve as a clearinghouse for Master Gardener Advanced Training programs. Curricula, slide presentation and guidelines for Advanced Training programs should be sent to the State Coordinator’s office for archiving. Training Coordinator Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of the Advanced training coordinator to complete the proposed Master Gardener Advanced Training Program application form, prepare curriculum, establish volunteer components, keep rosters and report volunteer hours.
Form: Proposed Master Gardener Advanced Training Program
Extension Agent/Extension Program Specialist conducting training and contact information:
Description of the training requirements (draft agenda, extension and Master Gardener training personnel involved, field trips, activities):
Description of the volunteer requirements (projects, activities, services to be provided by trainees):
Description of the reporting system for volunteer service:
Description of the plan for continued communications with trainees/specialists:
Description of the funding and financial system to support training (what to charge for the training, how to bank the money and pay bills):
Description of skills to be obtained:
Description of training material to be provided/educational products that trainees will use:
Description of the evaluation plan to determine outcomes for this training (% knowledge gained, % intention to adopt practice, and economic impact):
Describe how to interpret to internal and external audiences (annual reports):
Describe how the use of advanced training will be promoted:
How many volunteers will be trained per class and how many classes will be held per year?
I understand as the coordinator for this Advanced Training program, I am responsible for keeping a record of participants and their volunteer service and reporting this information to the state office prior to the state conference.
Signature of Advanced Training Coordinator