Mini Syllabus

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Course ID: AGS182
Title: Gardening Practices and Techniques
Modality: Hybrid
Credit Hours: 2.00

Course Section Information

Institution: Rio Salado College

Section: 10479

Term: Spring 2014

Start Date: 3/10/2014

Weeks: 8

Last date to withdraw: None

Instructor: Doreen Pollack

Course Materials

Be sure that you have all the necessary materials prior to the start date of your course.

Title: Extreme Gardening: How to Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts
Author: Dave Owens
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Poco Verde Landscape
Copyright: 2000
ISBN: 0-9705016-0-9

You must purchase this book at a bookseller or online, it is not available at the Rio Bookstore. You can go to the following site to purchase Extreme Gardening: How to Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts:

Recommended Reading:

  • Organic Gardening Magazine
  • Taunton’s Gardening Green Magazine
  • Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening (2005)
    Pauline Pears; DK Publishing ISBN-13: 9780756609320
  • Desert Gardening for Beginners (1999) Cromell, Guy and Bradley; Quality Books; ISBN 0-9651987-2-3

**Note - You must attend and participate in 3 onsite Saturday planting days at Rio Salado's Tempe Site. You must attend all 3 onsite planting days in order to pass the course.

**Note - All participants in this course must read, understand and agree to the Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability Form. Please read the entire form, accept the terms in the syllabus acknowledgement before proceeding in the course.

Course Description and Competencies

Official Course Description
Cultural practices of vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants as they relate to organic and inorganic gardening.
Official Course Prerequisites
Official Course Competencies
  1. Develop a plan for a garden in the Southwest.
  2. Prepare and plant a garden.
  3. Identify and describe various types of soil.
  4. Develop a water schedule for a garden.
  5. Use organic gardening practices in growing a garden.
  6. Identify and apply fertilizers in a garden.
  7. Grow a garden using hydroponic methods.
  8. Identify and control garden pests, such as insects, weeds, and diseases.
  9. Describe climatic influences that affect a garden.
  10. Identify and recommend cultural practices for specific garden vegetables.

Course Requirements

  1. You must complete all assigned work within the six online lesson and one project in the course (this includes the practice exercises and review questions).
  2. Examinations: There is one Final Exam. The Final Exam is a timed online exam. Prepare and plan.
  3. You must attend and participate in the three 4-hour onsite planting days at Rio Salado’s Tempe.
  4. Remember that this is a two credit-hour class. As such, you will need to dedicate significant time to this course. Plan to spend at least two hours on course content and at least four hours on homework for a total of at least six hours each week. Be prepared to double your weekly class and study time if you choose an accelerated calendar.

Grading Procedure and Scale

Grading Procedure

There are 600 possible points for this course.

5 Review Questions = 90 points
5 Practice Exercises = 90 points
Projects = 90 points
Onsite Project = 30 points
1 Final Exam = 300 points
Total Points Possible = 600 points

Grading Scale

Letter grades for assignments, examinations, and the course will be determined by the following scale:

540 - 600 points = A (90% - 100%)
480 - 539 points = B (80% - 89%)
420 - 479 points = C (70% - 79%)
360 - 419 points = D (60% - 69%)
0 - 359 points = F (0% - 59%)

Please Note: The grading procedure for this course is based on the total number of points possible.

The grading scale is administered equally to all students in the course. Do not expect to receive a grade higher than that earned by your total points. There will be no "point adjustments" made for such things as "class participation" or other subjective factors.

Please note: Extra credit is not available for this course.

Submitting Assignments

All assignments are listed under the "Reading Assignment" box and in the "Assessing Your Learning" section.

Note to students: Keep a copy of everything you submit.

Copyright Acknowledgements

Some images used in courses are licensed as follows: Accunet/AP Multimedia Archive,,, EBSCO Image Collection.

The following items are copyrighted and have been reproduced in this online course, through special permission granted by the rights holders, with all rights reserved. If permission has not yet been received, items are made available under the Fair Use Statute, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. The material is made available solely for the use of registered students in this class and may not be further distributed to any person outside the class, whether by copying or by transmission in electronic or paper form.

Teaching Organic Farming & Gardening: Resources for Instructors. UCSC Farm & Garden Apprenticeship. The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems. University of Santa Cruz. Used with permission.

Martin, E.C., & Gonzales, J. (2017). Arizona master gardener manual. Tucson, AZ: Arizona Cooperative Extension. Used with permission.

Final Grade Options

  • Letter grade (A, B, C, D, F)
  • Extension (in lieu of Incomplete grade) - Students may request an extension because of illness or other extenuating circumstances, if they have been doing acceptable work. The instructor/faculty chair will define the requirements and timelines to complete the course. Please Note: Instructors/Faculty Chair are not obligated to give extensions.
  • Withdrawal-Students may submit a withdrawal request on or prior to the “Last Date to Withdraw” indicated in their RioLearn Gradebook.

    Students should not contact their instructor to request a withdrawal. A student wishing to withdraw from a class within the stated timeline must do so by visiting In extreme circumstances, students do have the option of requesting a complete withdrawal from the college by providing Student Enrollment Services with appropriate documentation.


There may be required in-person or on-line/take-home exam(s) for this course. Please review the "Grading Procedure and Scale" portion of your syllabus for details. Your course materials may give specific information about these exams and make suggestions for test preparation.

Check your Gradebook for specific due dates for your exam(s).

In-person exams are given at various locations throughout the Phoenix Metro area for students who live in Maricopa County.

You may view information on Testing Sites to select the testing location and hours of operation that fit your needs. You may also contact our information line(480) 517-8560. Requests can be made via the Internet by completing and submitting the proctor request form to Testing Services.

In-Person Examination Procedures

  1. There is no appointment necessary to take your exam. Exams can be taken during normal hours of operation at any Rio Salado College testing site.
  2. You must complete the final exam by your course end date.
  3. You may take your exam(s) before your course end date if and only if you have received all of your graded assignments.

Syllabus Acknowledgement

Special Note: The online syllabus acknowledgement (found under the “Assessing Your Learning” on the Lesson 1 page) should be completed prior to accessing any assignments for the class. If the online syllabus acknowledgement is not completed by its due date, students will be automatically purged from the course. Additionally, if a student is purged from class and has been provided permission by the department to be reinstated, the syllabus acknowledgement must be completed upon reinstatement into the class; even if it had been previously completed.

Late or Missing Assignments

Assignments that have due dates are due on time according to the due dates in your gradebook. If you need to request an extension for an assignment, a request must be made to your instructor via RioLearn at least one week prior to the due date. You can request a due date change using the “Modify Due Dates” feature from the “Due Dates” tab in the Gradebook.

See the course’s Welcome letter for the late point deduction policy for the department.

Course Completion Policy

A student who registers for a Distance Learning course is assigned a "start date" and an "end date." It is the student's responsibility to note due dates for assignments and to keep up with the course work.

Library Services

The Rio Salado Library is committed to student success and provides a variety of materials and services to enhance student learning.  Utilizing Rio’s online library for your research is the best way to ensure that your sources are validated, authoritative, and appropriate for college-level coursework. Librarians are available to help you at all times via our Ask a Librarian live chat service. Also, the How Do I..? Streaming Video Series provides instruction on how to use the online library to find books, articles, ebooks, streaming films, and more.

Please note that when library materials (e.g., articles, ebooks, and streaming media) are integrated into your lesson content, you will see the notation “…provided to you through the Rio Salado Library.

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct includes cheating, conspiring to cheat, soliciting to cheat, attempting to cheat, plagiarism, fabrication on an assignment, or other forms of dishonest presentation.

Posting assessments on an unauthorized web site, soliciting assessment answers and the unauthorized acquisition of assessments, assessment answers, or other academic material is cheating.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment.  It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling or sharing of term papers or other academic materials.  Information gathered from the Internet and not properly identified is also considered plagiarism.

We expect every student to produce his/her original, independent work. Any student whose work indicates a violation of the MCCCD Academic Misconduct Policy (including cheating and plagiarism) can expect sanctions as specified in the college catalog.

Rio Salado College uses software that uncovers plagiarism from student to student and other data sources on the Internet. If a student is found to have plagiarized content, grade consequences will be applied in accordance with departmental policies.

Civility Policy

The faculty of Rio Salado place a high value on the importance of general ethical standards of academic behavior and expect that communication between students and instructors or among students shall maintain the level of formality and mutual respect appropriate to any college teaching/learning situation.

Language or behavior that is rude, abusive, profane, disruptive, or threatening will not be tolerated. Activity of this type is Academic Misconduct as defined in MCCCD Policy AR 2.3.11. Students engaging in such behavior will be removed from the course with a failing grade. Additional sanctions may be applied pursuant to AR 2.3.11.

Requirement for Active Class Participation

Please note that students may be withdrawn from class for non-participation.

If you receive financial aid of any kind, it is your responsibility to protect your eligibility to receive financial aid by meeting the active participation requirements of this class.

Change of Address

Please notify Course Support at (480) 517-8243 or 1-800-729-1197 or by email at Please include your name, student number, phone number, and new address including city, state, and zip code.

Disability Statement

In accordance with Rio Salado College and Maricopa Community College District policies, all students should have equal access to course materials and technology. Please contact the Disability Resources and Services Office prior to the start date of your course at 480-517-8562 if you have any of the following needs:

  • you are a student requiring an academic adjustment due to a documented disability (as protected by The Americans with Disability Act Amendment Act)

  • you are experiencing difficulty accessing course materials because of a disability

  • you are pregnant or parenting and would like to discuss possible academic adjustments (as protected under Title IX)


1 Maricopa Community College District Administrative Regulation 2.8.1:

2 Rio Salado College Disability Resources and Services website:


Course content may vary from this outline to meet the needs of this particular group.

Student Solution Center

Rio Salado College is dedicated to a quality learning experience and has provided the Student Solution Center webpage as a resource for students to raise issues to our attention. We look forward to the opportunity to provide an equitable solution for all involved parties. For grading or instructional issues, students should first contact their faculty member(s) in accordance with the Instructional Grievance Process. For non-instructional complaints, students may contact the Judicial Affairs team by telephone at 480-517-8749 or 480-517-8152, or email at Students may also contact their state regulatory agency; the Arizona SARA Council; and/or the Higher Learning Commission to escalate their concerns.

Rio Salado College Copyright

Course Content © Copyright 2016 Rio Salado College. All Rights Reserved.

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