Important AHTA Updates

Important AHTA Updates


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHTA made some adjustments to our internship requirements. These included extending the time for students to complete internships that were affected by the pandemic.

Internship Extension

In April 2020, interns who started an internship during the pandemic or their internship was interrupted because of the pandemic, were granted an additional year to complete their internship, through end of April 2023.  At this time, AHTA is extending this through December 2023. Beginning January 2023, AHTA will reinstate the 2-year time frame for interns to complete their internship.  If this presents a hardship, please contact the AHTA Office.

Direct Client Hours

In March of 2023, the Board of Directors voted to revise the Internship Handbook to clarify that telehealth is an accepted form of direct client contact for internships. We believe that in-person horticultural therapy sessions are preferred. However, we understand that health care may continue to utilize telehealth as a means of interacting with clients. (link to internship handbook online)

Internship Supervisors

The Board of Directors recognizes the challenge of finding internship sites and internship supervisors. In March of 2023, the board voted to revise the internship supervisor requirements and removed the full-time work or 2,000 hours of paid horticultural therapy work. It is our hope that this will help encourage more HTRs to step up and be willing to supervise an intern either on-site, off-site, or online. All internship supervisors must submit an application to AHTA to verify your status as an internship supervisor.

Internship Resources

Telehealth and Horticultural Therapy

In 2020, the AHTA developed telehealth guidelines to assist students working on completing their internships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board recently revised these guidelines and noted that telehealth may continue to be a valuable tool for health care providers to use. The updated Telehealth Guidelines have been posted in the Member Center section of our website for all of our members to access. 

Visit Member Center

Coursework Pre-Approval

For many years members and educators have asked the AHTA about the possibility of pre-approving coursework. In September of 2022, the AHTA Board of Directors voted to enact a coursework pre-approval taskforce. It is noted that many professions have a process to pre-approve college coursework for professional registration. The coursework pre-approval program was approved by the AHTA board at our March board meeting. In the coming months more details about this program will be released as we update our website and set up the online form for this process. The coursework pre-approval process will review plant science and human science coursework needed for professional registration. It will also refer to the Course Titles/Content that Support the AHTA Core Curriculum Topic Areas. If a course matches the example course titles on this form, you will not need to go through the pre-approval process. It will take a minimum of four weeks for courses to be reviewed. Stay tuned for more information and the announcement when this process is up and running. We are grateful for our Coursework Pre-approval Task Force that helped to research best practices and develop this new program. The Task Force consisted of Derrick Stowell, Andy Zeiger, Silvia Yoshimizu-Yee, Colleen Griffin, Nicole Norlin-Giron, and Rebecca Francis.

Grandfather Clause

The AHTA Board of Directors last made significant changes to the professional registration process in 2013. During that time a grandfather clause was enacted. It is noted that most applicants do not fall under this clause. However, the board wants to be sure that anyone who does qualify under this clause is aware of the guidelines.

Grandfather statement:

AHTA recognizes that many members started their pursuit of professional registration under the old Option B (the standards in effect before October 1, 2013) where individuals randomly selected courses from a list of horticulture and human science topic areas. AHTA does not want to discredit this work that many individuals started in the years prior to October 1, 2013. The grandfathering period is based on how many courses an applicant has taken prior to this date. If six (6) or more courses for professional registration were taken before October 1, 2013, you will be reviewed under the old Option B (the standards in effect before October 1, 2013).

We strongly recommend and encourage you to take the remaining courses from the new required coursework list. If all coursework was taken before October 1, 2013, you will be reviewed under the old Option B. Those individuals applying for professional registration after October 1, 2013, that do not meet the noted exceptions, will be reviewed under the new Option B.

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If you have any questions about this clause, please contact the AHTA office for more information.
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