Fall 2014: Information for Students

Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters


  • The Master Composter training prepares individuals to be composting educators for the community. Please see our Mission and Vision.
  • The training will consist of an orientation session plus thirteen training modules, most two hours long.
  • The curriculum is modeled on other successful Master Composter programs in the USA.
  • Certificates and Master Composter name badges will be awarded to those who complete the course requirements (listed below).

Dates and Times:

  • Orientation for the training will take place Saturday, October 11, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
  • Training will be held Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings October 15 to November 8, 2014:
    • Wednesdays, October 15, 22, 29, November 5: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
    • Saturdays, October 18, 25, November 1, 8: 8:00 am to 12:00 noon

Cost and Application Process:

  • The training is open to anyone. If you do not have prior composting experience we suggest that you take at least one of our free composting classes beforehand and start your own compost pile. Please see Classes/Activities for the Public for a list of such classes.
  • There is no residency requirement. You do not need to be a resident of Bernalillo County in order to participate in the training.
  • The cost of the training is $80. We will refund $40 to you after you have completed the course requirements, including your 10 hours of volunteer outreach service. You will receive the refund along with your badge and certificate at the annual fall meeting, November 2015.
  • Click HERE for an application that you can print, fill out, and send via US mail to Master Composter Program, Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Office, 1510 Menaul Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87107.
  • If you have a problem downloading the application, please contact webmaster@nmcomposters.org.
  • Please enclose check for $80 payable to Bernco Master Composters.
  • The application deadline is September 30, 2014. Space will be reserved first for those willing to become Master Composters as they are received until September 23. After September 23, open spaces will be given to those who signed up first but only wish to take the class.
  • If you need to withdraw your application, you must cancel by September 15 in order to receive a full refund.
  • Class size is limited to 30 students.
  • If you submit an application and are not admitted into the program because of lack of space or other reason, your full payment will be refunded.


  • All classes will be held at the Bernalillo County Extension Office, 1510 Menaul Ext Blvd. NW, Albuquerque.
  • See map. Note that the Extension Office can be tricky to find. Leave a little extra time the first time you come. The Extension Service property is surrounded by a chain link fence. Entrance to the fence is on Indian School.
  • Parking is free.

Course Content:

Course Requirements:

  • Attend and participate in at least 11 out of the 13 modules. We strongly encourage everyone to attend all 13 modules. If you must miss a module due to unanticipated circumstances you must make arrangements with the coordinator to make up the work. If you miss more than two modules you will be automatically withdrawn from the training.
  • Complete and submit individual class evaluation forms for each individual class.
  • Read all course materials. Handbook will be provided.
  • Read at least one book from Reading Materials.
  • As a course project each student will create a teaching outline for a short composting class to be taught in the future, or an alternative project approved by the coordinator. Deadlines for projects will be determined by the coordinator.
  • Complete final exam. The exam is a take home test. The completed exam must be submitted within two weeks of the last class. 70% is a passing score.
  • Complete and report ten volunteer hours of community outreach in your community prior to the November 2015 Master Composters annual meeting.
  • Abide by the policies and procedures of BCEMC.

Other Information:

  • Please arrive a little early for all classes as they will start on time.
  • After class, please depart the premises in a timely fashion as the gates to the property will be locked shortly after class has ended.
  • Please silence your cell phone during class.
  • Your class evaluation will be used to take attendance so please fill it out and submit it before you leave class each day.
  • You may bring a soil sample to the Soils lecture.
  • One of the Saturday mornings will consist of a hands-on demonstration, outdoors, at the Extension Office; please wear appropriate layered clothing.
  • In case of snow or other inclement weather, we will follow the Bernalillo County policy. Please check the Bernalillo County web site for closure information. Then check our Master Composter site for make-up dates.
  • Composting is an art and science. You will hear from various instructors. Their opinions may vary. You have to find your own way.
  • Note the style, organization, methods and teaching aids that instructors use. This may benefit you in your future community outreach teaching.