Plant Protection

Cert of Achievement with 30-59.5 units

The Plant Protection Certificate of Achievement prepares students to design and implement comprehensive integrated pest management programs for private or public entities. Pest Control Advisers (PCA) provide written recommendations for the application of pesticides, as well as providing guidance to farmers for overall plant health.   This certificate satisfies the core-course requirements specified for option “3. b” in preparing to take the Pest Control Advisor’s exam with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The following courses need to be completed with a 2.0 grade point average or better. Note: In addition to completing the course work, the Department of Pesticide Regulation requires PCA exam applicants to have completed 24 months of technical work experience before taking the exam. Courses in the program provide hands-on experiences designed to give students a combination of practical skills and technical knowledge. Students who intend to transfer should meet with a counselor or advisor to review lower-division requirements of the college or university they plan to attend.

Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate the ability to communicate with clients, assess pest damage for ecological and economic sustainability, determine thresholds and implement IPM practices based on client/crop needs
  2. Explain and apply basic principles of soils, cation exchange capacity, entomology and botany to horticulture practices and pesticide mode of action.
  3. Demonstrate application of pesticides in a safe manner, include selecting proper PPE, mixing, calibration and application.
Program Requirements:

Physical & Biological Sciences (12 units required)
Course Block Units: (12 Required)
AG50 Fundamentals of Environmental Science 3
BIOL1 Principles of Biology 5
BIOL2 General Zoology 4
BIOL3 General Botany 4
BIOL10L General Biology 4
BIOL15 Bioscience 4
CHEM2A Introductory Chemistry 5
CHEM2B Introductory Chemistry 4
CHEM10 Concepts of Chemistry 3
ECOL10 Environment-Concepts and Issues 3
Crop Health (9 units required)
Course Block Units: (9 Required)
ENVHR20 Fund of Environmental Horticulture 3
ENVHR22A Landscape Plant Identification I 3
ENVHR22B Landscape Plant Identification II 3
PLSCI21 Fertilizers and Plant Nutrition 3
PLSCI22 Introduction To Soils 3
PLSCI22L Introduction To Soils 4
Pest Management Systems & Methods (6 units required)
Course Block Units: (6 Required)
PLSCI30 Principles of Pest Management 3
PLSCI31 Introduction To Sustainable Agriculture 3
PLSCI32 Plant Protection Materials 3
Production Systems (6 units required)
Course Block Units: (6 Required)
AG43 Beef Cattle Science 3
AG45 Principles of Animal Science 3
AG45L Principles of Animal Science 4
AG46 Animal Feeds and Nutrition 3
ENVHR21 Plant Propagation 3
ENVHR24 Greenhouse Management 3
PLSCI20 Principles of Plant Science 3
PLSCI20L Principles of Plant Science 4
PLSCI25 Field Crops 3
Electives (9 units required). Select any additional course listed above from Crop Health, Pest Management Systems & Methods, or Production Systems
Course Block Units: (9 Required)
Internship (3 units required) Note: Minimum of 24 months documented work experience is required by Department of Pesticide Regulation to be eligible to sit for the Pest Control Advisor Exam (
Course Block Units: (3 Required)
AG32 Internship 3
Total: 45