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PLNA e-News: Expanding Knowledge

PCH Associate Exam Launches - Students Take the Exam this Spring

Friday, June 22, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cathy Corrigan
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Seniors in the horticulture program at W. B. Saul in Philadelphia were the first this spring to take the new high school version of the Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist (PCH) exam to earn the PCH Associate designation.

Over the past 18 months, PLNA has been working to finalize the high school version of the Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist (PCH) program aka PCH Associate designation. A task force of industry professionals, including business owners and active PCH’s, and horticulture teachers in PA high schools and technical schools worked together to create this exam that meets the needs of the students and the industry.

The Associate program is based on the “core” knowledge that anyone working in the green industry should know.  Students taking the exam will be expected to know the basics on pesticides, herbicides, plant ID, fertilizers, pests, and the science of horticulture including terminology.  Therefore, a student who passes the high school exam created by PLNA can enter an interview with an entry-level professional designation vetted by the industry. This certification also provides the interviewer a point of reference for the level of knowledge of the candidate; no more guessing what exactly was included in that high school horticulture program you never heard of.

Students who pass the exam will receive a PCH Associate ID card that they can present upon application/interview and will also be included on a list posted on the PLNA website.  In addition, we will recognize these students’ accomplishments via PLNA e-News, same as the professional PCH’s.

This is just the first step in PLNA’s bigger workforce development initiative; getting those students already interested in horticulture an advantage in their job search. Stay tuned for updates the progress of this project. If you are interested in more information on PLNA's workforce development iniitiatives, please contact Cathy Corrigan at PLNA at or 717.238.1683.

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