The North Carolina Botanical Garden has partnered with the NC State Extension Gardener Program in an exciting online learning program. Earn a Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture by taking all four of our six-week, self-paced, asynchronous online courses to learn and build foundational knowledge about this growing therapeutic practice.
➢ About the Program
➢ TH1: Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture
➢ TH2: Therapeutic Horticulture: Program Development
➢ TH3: Therapeutic Horticulture: Accommodating Diverse Populations
➢ TH4: Coming Soon!
About the Program
The program is intended for a wide audience, including allied health professionals who may want to incorporate plant-based activities into their existing practices, master gardeners or volunteers, educators, and other interested people who work with community members with diverse needs and abilities.
Students explore how therapeutic horticulture supports human health and wellness, including physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, vocational, and social needs. The course structure promotes vibrant engagement via discussion threads and assignment feedback. Join us in this unique opportunity to research, discuss, and reflect on the healing nature of people/plant relationships.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available through the Office of Continuing Education at UNC.
Keep up-to-date on upcoming class listings by signing up for our Therapeutic Horticulture interest email list.
Wondering about the difference between the Online and Hybrid Certificates in Therapeutic Horticulture? Learn more in this program comparison chart.
The Online Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture is open to a wide audience. The introductory course, TH1, is broadly applicable, and there are no prerequisites to register regardless of educational or professional background. Some students view the Introduction course as the starting point to completing the full Certificate in TH and others simply seek a foundational understanding of therapeutic horticulture and don’t choose to move forward with the full certificate. We fully support whichever route best supports our students’ educational interests.
The remaining three courses, TH2, TH3, and TH4, focus on the application of therapeutic horticulture principles as a profession. While these courses will be most useful for people who can apply therapeutic horticulture principles to their work, they are also open to the public. Each of the four courses in the Online Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture build upon one another by providing foundational knowledge for the next course in the series, so we recommend taking them in sequential order if possible.
Due to the fact that each student enters the program at varying times of year, there may be cases where the classes cannot be taken in succession. The Introduction to TH course (TH1) must be taken prior to the last three courses in the series. The fourth course in the series- Therapeutic Horticulture Program Management (TH4) must be the last course that you take. However, the second (TH2) and third (TH3) courses of the series can be taken out of sequential order of each other if needed.
Professionals who will find the program highly applicable to their work include occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, recreational therapists, art/music/movement therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, nurses, physicians, rehabilitation counselors, vocational rehabilitation counselors, substance use disorder counselors, K-12 educators, college educators, educators of exceptional children, public garden professionals, urban planning designers, and landscape designers/architects.
To explore whether this course is right for your needs, contact Emilee Weaver at email@example.com.
TH1: Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture
This six-week course is the first course in the Online Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture series that teaches the theory, practice, and profession of Therapeutic Horticulture. Students will gain an overview of historical uses and theoretical foundations for the use of plants and nature for wellness. How therapeutic horticulture supports human needs, including physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual needs, will be explored. A discussion of the profession of therapeutic horticulture, related practices, and ways to pursue further study will conclude the teachings. Students will have the opportunity to research, discuss, and reflect on the people/plant relationship, and will be provided with references and resources for further study.
This course provides a foundation for allied health professionals, other practitioners working with people, and interested individuals to learn about this unique therapeutic treatment method. The broad range of populations and locations that have been served will be discussed, with specific examples from therapeutic horticulture programs in North Carolina.
Upon completion of this course, you will receive a certificate of participation that provides evidence of your successful completion of this course.
January 2 – February 20, 2023
TH2: Therapeutic Horticulture: Program Development
This six-week course is the second course in the Online Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture series. This class is intended for those who desire to expand their introductory knowledge of therapeutic horticulture and apply it to their current or future profession or practice.
Students will learn how to perform foundational client and site assessments that inform the subsequent developmental stages of a therapeutic horticulture program. We will explore the concept of “form follows function” and discover how to use client-centered assessment data to let the program ‘write itself’ for a wide variety of settings and populations. Students will practice developing overarching program and individual/group treatment goals that target specific outcomes and become acquainted with a system for writing activity plans based on those goals.
Foundational knowledge of therapeutic horticulture is a prerequisite for taking this course. Registrants should have received a certificate of participation or mastery in TH1: Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture or received permission from the instructors to enroll in this course.
TH3: Therapeutic Horticulture: Accommodating Diverse Populations
This six-week course is the third course in the Online Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture series. This class is intended for those who desire to expand their introductory knowledge of therapeutic horticulture and apply it to their current or future profession or practice.
Students will learn how to safely and ethically apply therapeutic horticulture interventions with diverse populations of varying physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and cultural backgrounds and abilities. The elements of Universal Design will be discussed in relation to the conceptualization and design of healing/therapeutic gardens that are used in TH programming. Students will become acquainted with various adaptive tools and techniques that enable participants of all abilities to connect with plants and nature-based activities in the least restrictive, strengths-based environment.
Foundational knowledge of therapeutic horticulture is a prerequisite for taking this course. Registrants should have received a certificate of participation or mastery in TH1: Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture. Completing TH2: Program Development is recommended prior to enrolling in TH3, but these two classes can be taken out of sequential order as needed.
May 22, 2023 – July 9, 2023