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Georgia Master Gardener
Agents & CoordinatorsAdvanced Training course using microscopes

Master Gardener Advanced Training Program

Advanced Training Resources:
Silver Star Level
Gold Star Level
Gold Star Application (pdf)
General Guidelines
Current Training Schedule

Advanced Training is horticultural and related training for current, active Georgia Master Gardeners that wish to go above and beyond the initial 40-hour, core horticulture training. To be eligible for Advanced Training, MGEVs must have completed the initial training and 50-hour volunteer service requirement, and have current, active status (including UGA Volunteer Agreement on file and any additionally required screening). In some cases, Extension approval is requireed.micrscope work for Advanced Training course

The Georgia Master Gardener Program,through the State Program Office, continually strives to meet its goal of training volunteers at all levels to assist the UGA CAES. The Advanced Training program provides recognition to individuals who have gained advanced knowledge and skill to support Extension programming by participating in day-long training sessions in our training categories or subject areas, including:

Advanced Training Category:
Category Description:
Examples of Trainings Offered:
Sustainable Gardens and Landscapes (SGL) investigation of gardening techniques, methods, and crops for the consumer/residential gardener. Topics include organic gardening practices, plant expert series, vegetable gardening, and selection and use of ornamental plants
  • Sustainability in the Garden: Understanding the Spectrum of Conventional and Organic Approaches
  • Secrets of Turf Success
  • Woody Plant Identification
  • Teaching with Demonstration Gardens
Water Quality and Management (WQM) investigation of the impact of gardening and landscaping techniques and methods on water quality and management. Topics include fertilizer applications, septic system management, rain gardens, water-wise landscaping, etc.
  • Backyard Watersheds: Rain Gardens at Work
  • Cleanscapes: Landscapes, Septic Systems, and You
  • Water-wise Landscapes
Urban Forestry and Ecology (UFE) study of the urban forest and related ecology. Topics include tree selection, cultural issues, urban tree issues, plant protection, etc.
  • Urban Trees
  • Native Trees
Diagnostics and Technology (DT) in-depth study of factors affecting plant growth and development, such as diseases, insects and cultural phenomenon, and the use of technology to identify and find solutions to these factors
  • Diagnosing Ornamental Problems: From the Landscape to the Lab
  • Vegetable Diagnostics
Youth and Community Gardening (YCG) study of gardening with special populations, including youth, elderly, disabled, and at-risk. Topics include gardening methods, project management, MGEV leadership for community vegetable gardens, adaptive tools, and demonstration gardens
  • Get Kids Gardening!
  • Kids in Bloom
  • From Dreams to Reality: Putting “Community” in Community Gardens
Required (R) training in teaching techniques, leadership, or communication that provides support to MGEV projects. Topics include creative teaching techniques, making great presentations, financial resources development and management, etc.
  • Creative Teaching Techniques
  • Making a Great Presentation
  • Leadership


MGEVs can participate in as many Advanced Training sessions as they desire. Once started, the requirements for Advanced Training should be completed within five years to achieve recognition. There are two levels of Advanced Training recognition, the Silver Star and the Gold Star.

Silver Star Level

This is a generalist level and recognizes those volunteers who have completed advanced training in a variety of subjects.


  • Successfully complete 4 elective modules (module duration is 6 hours of class time)
  • Successfully complete 1 required module: Creative Teaching Techniques, Leadership: Building a Dynamic MG Network, etc.


Gold Star Level

The Gold Star is a specialist-level training. Participants must choose one category or subject area and concentrate study in this area. The educational project that demonstrates application of learning is a key component of Gold Star recognition. Suggested projects include teaching a series of classes, preparing lesson plans, writing fact sheets, and preparing multimedia presentations. Project approval by the County Extension Office is required before and after project completion. MGEVs who earn the Gold Star agree to be a resource to the local Extension office for the chosen specialty subject area. NOTE: Silver Star is NOT required prior to earning a Gold Star.


  • Select one specialty area and successfully complete 3 modules within specialty subject area
  • Successfully complete 2 elective modules from any other subject area
  • Successfully complete  1 required module
  • Successfully complete volunteer project (related to specialty subject area), including submission of a project package application to CEA with copy to State Office
  • Gold Star Application Package (pdf) updated 1/2016


Advanced Training General Guidelines

  • Advanced Training topics are chosen from existing approved training criteria to plan a day of training. Approved training criteria are accessible through the Agent’s internal resource page.
  • Advanced Training sessions are offered by the State Program Office and by County Extension Agents. A tool for planning Advanced Training is accessible through the Agent’s internal resource page.
  • The SPO office approves new training criteria as it is proposed and developed. Directions for proposing new criteria are accessible through the Agent’s internal resource page.
  • Advanced Trainings have a READLING LIST. Participants are asked to review the READING LIST prior to training to be prepared for discussions and activities.
  • Pre and post evaluations can be used to measure impact and ensure quality of training. Participants must demonstrate mastery of the course objectives of each module.
  • Certificates and pins will be issued when all requirements are fulfilled.
  • Training sessions should have a minimum of 25 to a maximum of 50 participants per training.
  • Training fees/costs range from $30.00 to $50.00 per participant per module and are calculated to cover all expenses.
  • Training sites should be accessible to program participants and have sufficient material and human resources to conduct specialized training.
  • For more information, contact the State Program Office (