Pest Control Advisors (PCAs) are licensed professional production consultants who serve California agriculture, natural resource and horticulture producers. PCAs specialize in pest management, but they are also an important resource to producers in a wide range of production concerns related to 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.

This certificate is approved through the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Upon satisfactory completion of the listed requirements and filing an application for graduation with Admissions and Records, the student’s transcript will reflect completion of this certificate.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the certificate, the student should be able to:

  • 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.
  • Explain and apply basic principles of soils, cation exchange capacity, entomology and botany to horticulture practices and pesticide mode of action.
  • Be prepared to take the California Pesticide Applicators Certificate Exam with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
  • Demonstrate application of pesticides in a safe manner, include selecting proper PPE, mixing, calibration and application.

Requirements for Certificate

To prepare for the PCA exam, students will need to complete 42 units of the required curricula specified in the core-curricula areas below with a 2.0 grade point or better in each course.

Category 1 - Physical and Biological Sciences:

Choose 12 units from the following courses: 12

  • AGNR 60 Environmental Science (3)
  • AGNR 65 Forest Ecology (3)
  • AGPS 20 Plant Science (4)
  • BIOL 1# Principles of Biology (4)
  • BIOL 10 General Biology Lecture (3)
  • BIOL 10L General Biology Lab (1)
  • BIOL 12 Field Biology (4)
  • BOT 1# General Botany (4)
  • CHEM 2B# Intro to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (5)
  • CHEM 6 Intro to Chemistry Applied to the Environment (4)
  • CHEM 26 Fundamentals of Gen, Organic, and Biochem (4)
  • CHEM 70 or 71# Organic Chemistry (4)
  • MICR 1# Microbiology (5)
  • ZOOL 1# General Zoology
Category 2 - Crop Health:
  • AGEH 31# Landscape Irrigation 3
  • AGNR 70 Wildlife Conservation and Management 3
  • AGPS 24 Soils 3
Category 3 - Pest Management and Methods:
  • AGEH 26 Integrated Pest Management 3
  • AGEH 61 Plant Protection Materials 3
Category 4 - Production Systems: 

Choose 6 units from the following courses:

  • AGAS 11 Livestock Feeding and Nutrition (3)
  • AGAS 19 Principles of Animal Science (3)
  • AGAS 30 Livestock Production (3)
  • AGEH 10 Plant Identification and Usage (3)
  • AGEH 22 Nursery Practices and Plant Propagation (2)
  • AGEH 33 Environmental Horticulture (3)
  • AGEH 38 Landscape and Turf Management (3)
  • AGEH 60 Master Gardener Training (3)
  • AGEH 71/72 Organic Gardening (1 each)
  • AGNR 4 Introduction to Range Sciences (3)
  • AGNR 53 Forest Protection and Restoration (3)
  • AGNR 55 Introduction to Forest Operations (3)
  • AGVIT 81 Vineyard Care (1)
Restricted Electives: 9

Complete an additional 9 units from Categories 2-4 above

#Indicates at least one prerequisite is required.

Total Units for Certificate: 42

For reference only as of 2019/2020

Degree Requirements and Courses

Learn more about certificate and degree requirements, course content, recommended sequence, and schedule.

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