The Master Gardener application consists of three parts. An introduction to each is described below.
Part I: The Application
The Alabama Master Gardener Program is an educational outreach program provided and administered by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. It is a program to train individuals who will volunteer their expertise and services in support of the Extension effort related to education.
These are the minimum requirements for earning the Alabama Master Gardener certificate.
- Submit the necessary forms for a background check and receive approval from Extension before volunteering.
- Sign the Alabama Master Gardener Program Memo of Agreement.
- Attend 50 hours of training and instruction as specified in host location.
- Achieve an average passing score on all tests.
- Report to Alabama Extension a minimum of 50 hours of Extension-approved volunteer service.
PART II: The Memorandum of Agreement and Volunteer Responsibilities
Memorandum of Agreement
This agreement is intended to indicate the seriousness with which the Alabama Cooperative Extension System considers its relationship with all Master Gardener volunteers. The intent of the agreement is to assure you of our appreciation of your services and to indicate our commitment to do the best we can to make your volunteer experience productive and rewarding. The agreement lists expectations for volunteers and the commitment of support from Extension.
Master Gardener Volunteer Responsibilities
Master Gardeners volunteer in their communities on behalf of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and when acting or designating themselves with the title of Master Gardener. All volunteer activities should be approved by the local, sponsoring Extension agent.
The following are examples of approved activities for volunteers while representing Alabama Extension:
- Contribute to or assist a program designed, sponsored, or coordinated by Extension
- Provide the public with research-based information generated or approved by Extension
Four guidelines for validating volunteer work are as follows:
- Will it benefit the community?
- Is it associated with a noncommercial group or project?
- Is it related to gardening, the environment, or an Extension program?
- Are you helping people learn?
Part III: Background Check
We implement this procedure for everyone’s safety: Master Gardeners and everyone associated with the program and its volunteers. Conducting a personal background check is a standard best practice for quality volunteer program management.
Once your application request is accepted to the Master Gardener program, the local program coordinator will give you instructions for completing the background check forms. Your application is not complete until these forms are submitted. All applicants must be approved by Auburn University and Extension before they begin volunteering.
All personal information files are strictly confidential and access to these files is restricted under Auburn University policies. The Human Resources office provides quality records services consistent with a commitment to privacy rights, affirmative action, and equal employment opportunities.