Registration for online greenhouse and horticultural lighting winter course now open

Participants will to learn about photoperiodic versus photosynthetic lighting in this three-month, self-paced online course about greenhouse and horticultural lighting. The course is now available in Spanish! Registration closes Dec. 15, 2019.

Greenhouse plants
Photo by Heidi Lindberg, MSU Extension

Registration for the winter 2019-2020 session of the award-winning Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting Course and Iluminación para Horticultura e Invernaderos in Michigan State University Extension’s College of Knowledge is now open. The College of Knowledge Online Series was the 2017 National Award Winning Commercial Horticulture Program from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Growers or other interested professionals can participate in the upcoming course by signing up until Dec. 15, 2019. Students will have from Dec. 1, 2019 through Feb. 29, 2020, to complete the English course. The Spanish course, “Iluminación para Horticultura e Invernaderos” is available for the very first time starting January 2020 and will be available until March 31, 2020. 

There are currently three online modules of the Floriculture College of Knowledge. To date, a total of 251 people have taken this course from 27 countries, including 36 U.S. states and 17 counties of Michigan. These participants represented 42.2 million square feet of greenhouse production. The average pre-exam score for students who have taken the course is 74% and the average post-course exam score is 92%, showing significant progress on the topics covered (n=240). The majority (75%) of survey respondents are going to make a crop production change as a result of the course. The topics that were reportedly most helpful were the sections on "high-intensity lighting" and "how to estimate daily light integral in your greenhouse." Of those that responded to the survey, 98% said they would recommend the course to another individual!

Course information

This non-credit, pre-recorded online course on greenhouse and horticultural lighting is intended for greenhouse and ornamental plant growers and others interested in learning about the fundamental concepts about how plants respond to light quality, quantity and duration. Participants enrolled in this self-paced course will take a pre-test and a final exam to gauge their learning of the topics. Self-assessment quizzes will engage students with the material throughout the course. The course also provides links to over 36 trade articles published on pertinent lighting topics. The cost to take this course is $129.

The course is taught on MSU's Desire-2-Learn Course webpage by Heidi Lindberg, MSU Extension greenhouse and nursery extension educator. For more information and to watch a teaser video for this course, check out the Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting Course page.

Available scholarships and incentives 

For the winter 2019-2020 session, there are three scholarships available for those interested in the course but do not have the financial means to take it. Greenhouse growers interested in the scholarship will be able to apply for it upon registering by writing a short paragraph about why you should be awarded this scholarship and how you plan to use the information in your business or professional endeavors. The applicants and winners will be kept confidential. The cost of the course will be reduced to $39.99 for scholarship winners.

Complete the course and be entered to win a $75 gift card (U.S. residents only). Once students have paid for the course, completed the pre-test, final exam and the post-course evaluation, they will be eligible to be entered in a raffle for a $75 gift card.

Register now for the Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting course or the course in Spanish, “Iluminación para Horticultura e Invernaderos!”

Growers should also consider registering for the two other College of Knowledge courses


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