Yakima Valley Community College's
Vineyard and Winery Technology Program Expansion
In the fall of 2007, Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) launched a Vineyard and Winery Technology Program to address the needs of Washington's Wine Industry for well-educated technicians. This program blends a science-based curriculum with hands on practical experience. Every fall quarter students become winemakers utilizing their very own state-of-the-art Teaching Winery by crushing and fermenting both red and white wine grape varietals. In winter and spring quarter's students learn and participate in wine maintenance, blending and bottling procedures. Their award winning wine is sold year around in the on-campus tasting room Yakima Valley Vintners.
In the spring of 2010, YVCC students put their viticulture skills to the test as they established a Teaching Vineyard on the Grandview Campus. Students participated in all aspects of vineyard preparation from soil sampling to planting the vines in their new home. The Teaching Vineyard consists of three Vitis Vinifera varietals: Cabernet Franc, Lemberger and Riesling.
YVCC's Vineyard and Winery Technology Program's current program structure best serves students living within close proximity to the school. With the help of a National Science Foundation project grant (#1007321) the YVCC Vineyard and Winery Technology Program has been working to transition its current face to face format which will better meet the needs of the Washington Wine Industry. This process has involved:
  • Realigning the curriculum to match the industry calendar
  • Hiring Ms. Margaret Hollinger an instructional design consultant
  • Providing faculty with professional development opportunities
A gradual roll out of redesigned courses began Fall 2011 and will continue until the redesigned courses began fall of 2011 and will continue until the redesigned Vineyard and Winery Technology program launches in the fall of 2013.
Four Ways Online Education Matches and/or Surpasses Face to Face Education:
  1. Student centered learning
  2. Flexibility
  3. Highly interactive discussions
  4. An intimate community of learners