Become a Better Composter!
Composting is about recycling organic material back to the soil in a usable form. It’s also about reawakening our awareness of the value of healthy soil in the food web. Composting is practical, convenient and inexpensive.This course is offered online with a flexible asyncronus option.
Track 1: VT Master Composter Volunteer Certification
Track 1 (VT Master Composter Volunteer Certification)
Volunteer Certification Requirements:
- Complete all weekly course requirements on time devoting about 6 hrs per week to the course and attending all the weekly online sessions on Zoom, September 16-October 28-Thursday nights from 6-7pm
- Able to attend one in-person composting workshop in St. Albans OR in Ludlow.
- Willing to participate in a 10-hour volunteer internship
- Dedicated to maintaining annual volunteer certification, 5 hrs per year
Benefits of Certification:
- Receive official "Master Composter" Volunteer status
- Learn from experienced UVM faculty and Master Composters in the field
- Give back to your community
- Membership in our volunteer network
- Receive access to special offers and educational opportunities
A good fit for this program is someone who is...
- A Vermont resident (required)
- Confident using a online-course platform, zoom, and word processing programs
- Eager to make a difference in your community
- Happy to teach others and share your knowledge
- Able to interact amicably with others
- Interested and deeply committed to Environmental Stewardship
- Able to sincerely comit to following the course schedule and completing all assignments on time
- Dedicated to completing 10 hours of volunteering within 2 years of taking the course
- Willing to serve as a Master Composter volunteer year to year
- Comitted to maintaining their certification year to year
To apply for Track 1 (Volunteer Certification, as an In-State Student only):
- After the volunteer application is filled out you will receive an invitation to join us for a short zoom interview. Please note, we have limited slots in this track, and once all of our slots are filled this Track option will close.
Track 2: Self-Paced Home Composter Certificate
Track 2 (Home Composter Certificate)
A good fit for this program is someone who...
- Is a non-resident (living out of state/country) (*VT residents can also apply for this track)
- Is less confident using an online course platform, zoom and word processing programs
- Travels frequently
- Works full time or has other scheduling comitments
- Can't commit to turning in assignments on-time
- Wants extra time to complete the course, or doesn't want the pressure of deadlines
- Doesn't have time or interest in volutneering
- Works in the composting industry
- Wants to apply their knowledge to their home composting system
- Is less comfortable or interested in teaching others about composting
- Is interested in the professional benefits of earning a Home Composter Certificate
Track 2 Requirements:
- Complete the pre-recorded lectures, quizzes, activities at your own pace
- Complete the final exam with a 70% or higher grade
- Finish all assignments by December 15th.
Track 2 Benefits:
- No schedule, no pressure, no hassle
- Access the course materials anytime, anywhere
- Receive a Home Composer Certificate that can be used profesionally
- More time to navigate the online learning platform
To Register for Track 2 (Self-Paced as an In-State or Out-of-State student):
Course Content & Syllabus
Course topics include:
- Soil and Decomposition Ecology
- Biology of Composting
- Recipe Design
- Disease Control
- Site, and Container Selection
- VT Act 148
- Managing the Compost Process
- Educational Outreach
- Worm Composting
Assignments for Track 1 & 2:
Read assigned materials for each unit
Watch a pre-recorded lecture (1-2 hours) for each unit
Take a quiz for each unit (5 questions each, multiple choice) 80% or better requried to pass
Take final exam (10 questions multiple choice) 70% or better required to pass
Additionally Track 1 Students weekly assignments:
Post 1 weekly question for the instructors to answer (on time)
Post a reply to the weekly student discussion board (on time)
Attend all of the weekly Zoom Q&A sessions, TBD, typically held on Thursdays from 6-7 pm
The online course is offered statewide through the Extension Foundation Campus website, using the Moodle software platform.
The textbooks for this course are the Vermont Master Composter and the NY Master Composter Manual. These manuals are provided to students in an online pdf format in an effort to save paper.
The instructor Q&A sessions are held weekly online using Zoom. These sessions are for Track 1 students only and provide an opportunity to interact with UVM faculty to ask questions and review the lecture material.
Course lectures are provided as pre-recorded YouTube videos.
Still not sure about taking an online course?
Learn more about scholarship opportunities.
Refunds & Accommodations
Dropping the course/Refund Policy
Full refund up until the course starts. The last drop date is October 1st. Unfortunately, we cannot provide refunds for the course modules that you have already been given access to on the website. Refer to the Course Syllabus for more information.
Anyone requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate should contact Beret Halverson @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-656-1777 prior to August 20, 2021.
Lisa Chouinard (802) 656-9562 or email@example.com
Course Information & Scholarships:
Beret Halverson (802) 656-1777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Heath, 603-543-1307 or email@example.com
Master Composter is managed by the UVM Extension Community Horticulture program with financial support from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.