white roses

FLORAL DESIGN AND SHOP MANAGEMENT

Floral Design is the art of using plant materials and flowers to create a pleasing and balanced composition. Professionally designed arrangements incorporate the elements of design: line, form, space, texture, and color, and the principles of floral design: balance, proportion, rhythm, contrast, harmony, and unity.

In addition to arranging flowers, a florist is also responsible for their care. They must be proficient in all aspects of plant care and be able to maintain a wide variety of species in the flower, foliage, herb and ornamental grass families. Some floral designers become so knowledgeable and passionate about plant care that they are able to transition to working in a wholesale capacity.

The Floral Design and Shop Management program trains students by offering excellent instruction of industry skills necessary to secure employment in the floral industry.

Students receive hands-on experience and quality instruction with instructors who are accredited by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). AIFD is a globally recognized and respected organization that is dedicated to promoting the art of floral design as a professional career. AIFD is the definitive accreditation a florist strives to achieve.

Apply now at GWC

Business and Career Education

Christopher "Chris" Whiteside
Executive Dean Business and Career Education

For more information contact:
714-895-8792

Full-time Faculty:
Gail Call AIFD
Professor, Floral Design
gcall@gwc.cccd.edu

Associate In Arts Degree In Floral Design And Shop Management

Required courses


Associate In Arts Degree In Floral Design And Shop Management

The Floral Design and Shop Management program trains students by offering excellent instruction of industry skills and practical training necessary to secure employment in the floral design industry. Students receive hands-on experience and quality instruction with instructors who are accredited by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). The Floral Design program is recognized as the Shirley Haas Student Chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers (SAIFD). Golden West College’s Shirley Haas Chapter is the only SAIFD chapter in Southern California and students may choose to apply. The objective of SAIFD is to further the students’ education and participation in floral design through conventions at local and state levels, and at the National AIFD Symposium. The Shirley Haas Chapter of SAIFD is one of the education-based pathways aimed at preparing students for national accreditation with AIFD.

The program is aligned with the California Certified Florist’s Certificate and completion of this program will help prepare students for the state exam. Students will learn an internationally recognized occupation and portable skill. The California Certified Florist’s certificate is another approved education-based pathway to accreditation with AIFD. Our alignment with CCF therefore reinforces the opportunities offered our students. Courses not only teach technical skills necessary to gain employment but also address the multicultural and international aspect of this industry. Other courses challenge students to pursue their creativity and critical thinking skills. Some courses prepare students to be a salesperson, manager, business owner or entrepreneur.

The program offers employment opportunities by supporting local businesses by acting as a job clearing house. Students have the opportunity to participate in professional industry events, such as the California State Floral Association’s Annual Event, Top Ten Design Competition and Student Competition, the AIFD National Symposium and local industry design shows. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the construction of floral designs for campus events that support student success.

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

1. Create an arrangement illustrating the elements and principles of color theory and floral design.

2. Distinguish floral industry standards for application to commercial venues.

3. Identify and categorize varieties of flowers and foliage by genus and species.

4. Illustrate and produce industry standard floral designs used in wedding décor, sympathy tributes, window display, permanent botanicals, and event design.

5. Identify principles and practices of flower shop operation.

Required courses

FLRL G110 – Basic Floral Design – 3 units

FLRLG115 – Wedding Designs – 2 units

FLRLG120 – Advanced Designs in Global Floristry – 2 units

FLRLG125 – Advanced Floral Design – Events and Display – 2 units

FLRLG127 – Creativity and Competition – 2 units

FLRLG130 – Floral Business and Marketability – 3 units

FLRLG132 – Permanent Botanicals – 2 units

Choose one course, 3 units, from the group below:

MGMT G152 – Starting a Business – Entrepreneurial Small Business – 3 units

BUS G100 – Introduction to Business – 3 units

MKTG G100 – Principles of Marketing – 3 units

Major Total: 19 units

GE Pattern: GWC AA, CSU General Education Breadth or IGETC Pattern: 21-39 units

DEGREE TOTAL UNITS (maximum): 60 units

Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate Of Achievement

Required courses

Floral Design Artisan Certificate of Specialization

Required courses

Floral Design Entrepreneur Certificate of Specialization

Required courses


Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate Of Achievement

The Floral Design and Shop Management program trains students by offering excellent instruction of industry skills and practical training necessary to secure employment in the floral design industry. Students receive hands-on experience and quality instruction with instructors who are accredited by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). The Floral Design program is recognized as the Shirley Haas Student Chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers (SAIFD). Golden West College’s Shirley Haas Chapter is the only SAIFD chapter in Southern California and students may choose to apply. The objective of SAIFD is to further the students’ education and participation in floral design through conventions at local and state levels, and at the National AIFD Symposium. The Shirley Haas Chapter of SAIFD is one of the education-based pathways aimed at preparing students for national accreditation with AIFD.

The program is aligned with the California Certified Florist’s Certificate and completion of this program will help prepare students for the state exam. Students will learn an internationally recognized occupation and portable skill. The California Certified Florist’s certificate is another approved education-based pathway to accreditation with AIFD. Our alignment with CCF therefore reinforces the opportunities offered our students. Courses not only teach technical skills necessary to gain employment but also address the multicultural and international aspect of this industry. Other courses challenge students to pursue their creativity and critical thinking skills. Some courses prepare students to be a salesperson, manager, business owner or entrepreneur.

The program offers employment opportunities by supporting local businesses by acting as a job clearing house. Students have the opportunity to participate in professional industry events, such as the California State Floral Association’s Annual Event, Top Ten Design Competition and Student Competition, the AIFD National Symposium and local industry design shows. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the construction of floral designs for campus events that support student success.

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

1. Create an arrangement illustrating the elements and principles of color theory and floral design.

2. Distinguish floral industry standards for application to commercial venues.

3. Identify and categorize varieties of flowers and foliage by genus and species.

4. Illustrate and produce industry standard floral designs used in wedding décor, sympathy tributes, window display, permanent botanicals and event design.

5. Identify principles and practices of flower shop operation.

Required courses

FLRL G110 – Basic Floral Design – 3 units

FLRLG115 – Wedding Designs – 2 units

FLRLG120 – Advanced Designs in Global Floristry – 2 units

FLRLG125 – Advanced Floral Design – Events and Display – 2 units

FLRLG127 – Creativity and Competition – 2 units

FLRLG132 – Permanent Botanicals – 2 units

FLRLG130 – Floral Business and Marketability – 3 units

Choose one course, 3 units, from the group below:

MGMT G152 – Starting a Business – Entrepreneurial Small Business – 3 units

BUS G100 – Introduction to Business – 3 units

MKTG G100 – Principles of Marketing – 3 units

Total units: 19


Floral Design Artisan – Certificate of Specialization

The Floral Design Artisan Certificate of Specialization offers students short-term training in the art of floral design. Courses offer excellent instruction of industry fundamentals and required skills to prepare students for entry-level employment in various areas of the floral industry. Courses are topic specific regarding the special events which desire floral decor in our world. Instruction includes technical skills required to create wedding florals, event design and display, and sympathy tributes with a global approach to floral artistry that addresses the multicultural and international aspect of this industry. This certificate is the foundation of the Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate of Achievement. The program is aligned with the California Certified Florist’s Certificate and completion of this program will help prepare students for the state exam

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

1. Identify principles and practices that are industry appropriate.

2. Create an arrangement illustrating the elements and principles of color theory and floral design.

3. Identify and categorize varieties of flowers and foliage by genus and species.

4. Distinguish floral industry standards for application to commercial venues.

Required courses

FLRL G110 – Basic Floral Design – 3 units

FLRL G115 – Wedding Designs – 2 units

FLRL G120 – Advanced Designs in Global Floristry – 2 units

FLRL G125 – Advanced Floral Design – Events and Display – 2 units

Total: 9 units


Floral Design Entrepreneur – Certificate of Specialization

The Floral Design Entrepreneur Certificate of Specialization offers students short-term training in floral design that includes instruction of industry fundamentals as well as specialized courses that introduce the permanent botanical design industry and bolster creativity in the art of floral design. Courses offer excellent instruction of required industry skills to prepare students for entry-level employment in various areas of the floral industry. Courses include resume building and portfolio development and basic business information for those who desire to open a floral business. This certificate is part of the Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate of Achievement. The program is aligned with the California Certified Florist’s Certificate and completion of this program will help prepare students for the state exam.

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

1. Distinguish floral industry standards for application to commercial venues.

2. Create an arrangement illustrating the elements and principles of color theory and floral design.

3. Identify and categorize varieties of flowers and foliage by genus and species.

4. Identify principles and practices of flower shop operation.

Required courses

FLRL G110 – Basic Floral Design – 3 units

FLRL G127 – Creativity and Competition – 2 units

FLRL – G130 Floral Business and Marketability – 3 units

FLRL – G132 Permanent Botanicals – 2 units

Total: 10 units

View all GWC courses

FLORAL DESIGN G110 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Basic Floral Design

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of theory, techniques and skills currently practiced in the floral industry. The course includes applied art principles, cut flower and foliage care and botanical identification, handling practices, proper use of florist’s tools and materials, pricing of floral products and historical period designs. This course prepares students for entry-level positions in the floral industry. Detailed instruction and demonstrations are given on various arrangement styles and flowers to wear. Students utilize lab time to execute class projects. Lecture & lab. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU.

FLORAL DESIGN G115 – 2 Units

Course Outline

Wedding Designs

Advisories: Floral G110

This course provides the student with theory and lab experience in the complex styling of floral pieces specific to weddings. The course explores the advanced techniques of design, identifies the latest in floral bridal trends and execution of traditional floral compositions for wedding décor. Body flowers, carrying pieces, ceremony and reception designs will be executed. Consultation, service, delivery procedures, ordering and pricing will be covered. Completed lab projects are taken home by the student. Lecture and lab. Completion of the Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate prepares students for state certification and national accreditation. Advisory: Floral G110 – Basic Floral Design Lecture & lab. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU.

FLORAL DESIGN G120 – 2 Units

Course Outline

Advanced Designs in Global Floristry

Advisories: Floral G110

Globalization has changed the floral focus to include intercontinental design techniques and imported products. This class increases awareness and appreciation of cultural influence and country specific designs. This course provides practical application and construction of design styles with an emphasis on International floral customs, European floral designs, sympathy tributes and dual purpose designs, such as wedding and event décor. Lecture and lab. Completed lab projects are taken home by the students. Completion of the Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate prepares students for state certification and national accreditation. Advisory: Floral G110 – Basic Floral Design Lecture & lab. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU.

FLORAL DESIGN G125 – 2 Units

Course Outline

Advanced Floral Design – Events and Display

Advisories: Floral G110

This course focuses on the advanced design skills and techniques used to create thematic floral arrangements for special events and window display. Planning, organization, design, and delivery as well as party props, room décor, table treatments and display elements are emphasized in this course. Theory and lab experience accentuate art principles and creative thematic approaches to floral design. Students will design and create a themed floral arrangement during labs. Completed lab projects are taken home by the student. Completion of the Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate prepares students for state certification and national accreditation. Advisory: Floral G110 – Basic Floral Design Lecture & lab. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU.

FLORAL DESIGN G127 – 2 Units

Course Outline

Creativity and Competition

Advisories: Floral G110

This course focuses on advanced design skills and techniques emphasizing the use of the student’s own imagination and creative talent to create individualized, non-standard, contemporary flower arrangements. Theory and lab experience will broaden the student’s design expertise and personally expand and develop creative potential. Creativity development, stimulation of the imagination, critical thinking and practice of technical skills prepare students to participate in competitions, separating the designer from the copier. Completion of the Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate prepares students for state certification and national accreditation. Advisory: Floral G110. Lecture & lab. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU.

FLORAL DESIGN G130 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Floral Business and Marketability

Advisories: Floral Design G110

This course reinforces basic floral knowledge, introduces advanced design styles and industry techniques and provides practical experience to gain proficiency in advanced commercial floral design skills. Theory of design, techniques and color concepts are reinforced as students create floral arrangements and corsages. Personal marketability, resume building, and portfolio creation are emphasized as well as exploration of shop operation including pricing for profit, salesmanship, merchandising and management. Flower and foliage identification by genus, species and common name aligns with state certification requirements. Lab practicum develops advanced floral design techniques, projects are taken home by the student. Lecture & lab. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU.

FLORAL DESIGN G132 – 2 Units

Course Outline

Permanent Botanicals

Advisories: Floral G110

This course provides the student with history, theory and lab experience in the use of permanent botanicals as a medium of floral design. Instruction includes the use of artificial floral product and preserved natural plant materials. The course emphasizes the principles and elements of design, color theory, and the mechanics and techniques of construction for home decor and commercial interior applications. Theory and lab experience accentuates the preservation process of flowers and foliage for use in floral design. Completion of the Floral Design and Shop Management Certificate prepares students for state certification and national accreditation. Advisory: Floral G110. Lecture & lab. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU.

FLORAL DESIGN G192C – 1-4 Units

Course Outline

Cooperative Work Experience – Occupational

This course will enable students to earn college unit(s) on-the-job by learning or improving knowledge or skills related to their educational or occupational goals. Occupational Cooperative Work Experience is discipline-specific in that students’ job and learning objectives relate to the Work Experience course. Students can work in either paid or unpaid (Internship) positions. Student may earn up to 4 CWE units per semester, maximum of 16 CWE combined units while at GWC. Units are awarded upon achievement of approved learning objectives and completion of required hours worked. Each unit of credit requires paid employees to document 75 hours (volunteers or unpaid employees – 60 hours) during the semester. Student must have: 1. Consent of academic program faculty and division dean. 2. Consent of CWE Program Coordinator or designee. 3. Working in a job directly related to college major or career goal. Letter grade only. Transferable to CSU.

  • Program is well established with 30 years of history.
  • Instructor has strong industry ties, including Board membership to the California State Floral Association.
  • Comprehensive curriculum covers all aspects of the floral industry, including flower processor, design assistant, designer, sales person, manager, owner and entrepreneur.
  • Small class-sizes allow for personal attention during practical applications.
  • Evening courses are scheduled to accommodate working students.
  • Quality, hands-on experience by instructors who are accredited by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD).
  • GWC students have the opportunity to participate in professional industry events, such as the California State Floral Association’s Annual Event, Top Ten Design Competition and Student Competition, the AIFD National Symposium and local industry design shows.
  • The GWC Floral Design Program is recognized as the Shirley Haas Student Chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers (SAIFD). Golden West is the only SAIFD chapter in Southern California and GWC students may apply for membership.

Most of the courses in this program  transfer to the California State University (CSU) system and Private colleges and universities. Please see your GWC Counselor early in your studies to choose the transfer option that is right for you.

Career Options

  • Floral Designer
  • Florist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Manager/Assistant
  • Floral Specialist
  • Floral Associate
  • Gift Specialist
  • Events Production
  • Wedding and Event Designer
  • Retail Floral Sales Associate
  • Retail Sales Merchandizer
  • Visual Display Coordinator
  • Wholesale Florist