Frequently Asked Questions


Who participates in the Farm Centered Learning Community for Social Change?
Participants come from diverse fields and backgrounds. Many are farmer apprentices just beginning their very first farming season, while others may have years of experience in agriculture. Some might be farmers’ rights activists, interested in the social impacts of the food system, while some may be pursuing a career in soil and resource conservation.

What kind of background knowledge should I have before starting?
The curriculum is accessible to everyone, though we recommend starting with the Introduction course if you are new to the concepts of agroecology.

What is the Applied Agroecology Certificate?
Please visit our Certificate Page to learn more.

When can I enroll?
Enrollment for the Introduction to Agroecology course will be open in May 2016. New courses will continue to be added as we build them, and enrollment will be open as soon as they are available. See our Registration Page for more information.

Do I need to take the courses in a particular order?
No, we don’t require that courses be taken in a particular order but highly recommend it for students wanting to receive a certificate or integrate a farm project into their studies.

How long do the courses take?
Courses are designed to take from 4- 6 hours per week, some course are 3 weeks long, some are as long as 12 weeks. See the course descriptions for more details.

Are there grades or a pass/not-pass system?
Only students registered in the certificate program are expected to complete specific assignment requirements which are then evaluated by a course moderator. For students enrolled in a course without joining a certificate track, there are no grades or pass/not pass.

What are the costs to join?
The cost to join the "certificate-track" to receive moderator feedback and the specific course certificate will be posted for each course.

All participants can:
-- Receive full access to MESA’s online courses
-- Connect with MESA’s diverse network of learners & educators via discussion forums, chats & webinars

At the end of your first course, you may continue your current free participation, or pay MESA’s sliding scale fee to earn your certificate and receive these additional benefits:
-- Staff feedback on course assignments;
-- Staff support for project development and evaluation;
-- Supplemental medical insurance for farm-accidents or injuries;
-- Priority enrollment with 10% discount to join any outbound program offered by MESA;
-- Earn a Certificate in Applied Agroecology. Paper certificates include MESA's embossed stamp and designation as a bona fide U.S. Department of State training program.

What kind of network will I be connecting to?
MESA is proud to offer participants of this online learning community access to our global farmer and agricultural activist network. In this network you can connect with current and previous students, MESA program alumni, and host farms. The network features member and farm profiles from around the world, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and more.