Why Agroecology?

Identifying the most viable and sustainable ways to improve our agrifood system remains one of the most important challenges of our time. While there are no magic bullets, the field of Agroecology is a demonstrated, holistic approach that addresses the social, ecological and production challenges of current agrifood systems.

Why now?

The field of agroecology is gaining influence in a diversity of academic, political and advocacy spaces worldwide. In 2014, for the first time in its history, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition. Agroecology has also received endorsement from La Via Campesina, and the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture was recently renamed as Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (Gliessman)—demonstrating that groups of peasant farmers, scientists, and international policy makers are each convinced of agroecology’s value and potential. This increased attention has brought with it a call for empirical research about the performance of agroecological practices and a demand for training in agroecological principles. In response to these demands, we have developed a rigorous and practical option that offers a foundation in agroecology, opportunities for research, and a design that makes it accessible to students, international audiences, and mid-career professionals.

What is the time commitment per week?

Workload for this course, including readings and assignments typically amounts to 4-7 hours per week.

What is the cost to take PSS 311 as a non-credit student?

The 2021 program fee for non-credit students is $750.

What is the payment policy for this program?

To reserve your seat, you have the option of paying in full by credit card, or by making a minimum payment of $500 at registration. Note that the balance must be paid two weeks prior to the start of this offering and you will receive email reminders if you have a balance due. We do not offer payment plans for this program.

What is the refund policy for these courses?

If you need to cancel your attendance for this course, you must notify us via email at noncredit@uvm.edu at least three business days prior to the start date of the course to receive a full refund, less a $25 cancellation fee. The deadline for 2021 is May 19th. If a medical condition necessitates cancellation/withdrawal (documentation provided), this will be reviewed by our Studies Committee for any type of refund.

Will I receive a Certificate of Completion?

Students completing this course will receive a digital badge and you will be able to print a certificate of completion from Acclaim.

What career opportunities are available with this certificate or what do graduates generally go on to do after completing the program?

The CGSA is meant to be an enrichment of an existing career path, for people that are working in related work that want to complement their knowledge and skills in agroecology.

Non-profits in agricultural development, both nationally and internationally. Examples of international organizations are Groundswell International, Heifer, the Agroecology program of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, etc.

I am from California, therefore I am on Pacific Coast Time (UTC). How will I be able to tune into online lectures?

Course content is available via Blackboard online to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among the cohort of students. This method of teaching design makes it accessible to students, international audiences, and mid-career professionals.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative Team at agroecol@uvm.edu.