designer

If you are considering landscape architecture studies, use the drop down menu under the students tab for more information about specific coursework at West Valley College, Saratoga, CA.  If you are still contemplating your path, see the information below.

Are you interested in becoming a landscape designer or landscape architect?  Maybe you would like to improve your own knowledge about design, so you can refine your garden; perhaps you are interested in horticulture, construction, or planning.  As an associate professor, I observe students contemplating their careers and personal interests, so I hope to provide information here about various professional paths as well as personal pursuits. I have followed many of these directions before my associate professorship at the college...a combo platter of the dos and don'ts of what I have done over the years.  

Since I teach landscape architecture subjects, let's start with a few of the basics for quick reference.  First, Draftscapes provides an informative overview of the varying degrees available to both landscape designers and landscape architects, including how the degrees will inform different career paths:

If after watching the above video you feel landscape architecture is right for you, then review the local FAQs from the Department of Consumer Affairs, California Architects Board, Landscape Architects Committee on Becoming a Landscape Architect.  The website notes  various ways to qualify for taking the exams, so please explore this section thoroughly.

As a student of landscape architecture, you are eligible for free membership to the American Society of Landscape Architects, so if you have not already joined, I cannot think of a better time!

Alternative 1: Become a certified landscape designer, which is beneficial to people only interested in residential designs.  You can find out more from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

Alternative 2: Become a licensed landscape contractor, where you can design then build your creations.  Consider reviewing available information from the California Landscape Contractors Association.

Alternative 3: Become a Master Gardener as part of the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Subsequent posts will assist with other career directions or additional information specific for landscape architecture interests.  Whichever way you go, best of luck in your endeavors!