Spring 2018: Master Composter Volunteer Training Course, Information for Students

Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters


Please note, application deadline has been extended until Friday, April 6. We still have room for more!


  • The Master Composter volunteer training prepares individuals to be composting educators for the community. Please see our Mission and Vision. This is a train-the-trainer program. Applicants are expected to continue participating in the Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters Association, volunteering a minimum of 10 hours per year educating the community in the science, benefits, methods, and techniques of composting.

Course Content

  • The training will consist of an orientation session plus eleven training modules, most two hours long.
  • The curriculum is modeled on other successful Master Composter programs in the USA.
  • Please see Spring 2018 Schedule and Syllabus.

Dates and Times: April 11 to May 5, 2018

  • Orientation for the training will take place Wednesday, April 11, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.
  • Training will be held on the following Saturdays from 8:00 am to approximately 3:00 pm: April 14, 21, 28, and May 5.


  • All classes will be held at the Bernalillo County Extension Office, 1510 Menaul Ext Blvd. NW Extension, Albuquerque. See map.
  • 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.

Course Requirements

  • Attend and participate in all of the training modules. If you must miss a module due to unanticipated circumstances, you must make arrangements with the coordinator to make up the work. Excusals will be granted on an individual basis, and depending on the module, missing the training may mean automatic withdrawal from the program. A fundamental benefit of the training is the classroom interaction with the instructors, other master composters who frequently attend, and fellow students who bring a variety of experience to the course. Simply reading the class preparation material is not sufficient to compensate for missing the classroom experience.
  • Complete and submit individual class evaluation forms for each individual class.
  • Read all course materials. Handbook and syllabus will be provided.
  • Read at least one book from Reading Materials.
  • Complete final exam. The exam is an open book, take home test. The completed exam must be submitted no later than May 31, 2018. 80% is a passing score.
  • 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 June 30, 2018.
  • Complete and report ten volunteer hours of community outreach in your community prior to October 15, 2018. For a list of activities that you can do, please see Volunteer Opportunities. Report hours directly to the BCEMC Outreach coordinator.
  • Abide by the policies and procedures of the BCEMC.
  • Complete and sign the NMSU Volunteer Agreement and the Photo Release Form.
  • Certificates and Master Composter name badges will be awarded to those who complete the course requirements.

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 electronic devices and do not text 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.
  • Two of the Saturday mornings will consist of a hands-on demonstration, outdoors, at the Extension Office; please wear appropriate layered clothing and bring work gloves.
  • Composting is both an art and science. You will hear from various instructors whose opinions may vary. You will develop your own particular skills through reading, research, teaching, and most importantly, practice.
  • Note the style, organization, methods and teaching aids that instructors use. This may benefit you in your future community outreach teaching.
  • Wifi is available in the building; details are on the bulletin board to the right of the screen in the classroom.
  • Bring your own refreshments, lunch bag. There are restaurants close by.
  • Bring your pen and notebook and a 3-ring binder for hand-outs.
  • You are welcome to bring your own flash drive to download presentations.
  • Please familiarize yourself with all of the left menu items of the BCEMC Website prior to the training.

Cost and Application Process

  • The training is open to anyone with prior composting experience, using any method. We also suggest that you take at least one of our free composting classes beforehand to get a sense of the education commitment. Please see Classes and Activities for the Public for a list of such classes.
  • This training is for those who are willing, able, and can commit to spending volunteer time teaching composting methods. People whose primary objective is to learn more about composting are welcome to attend any of our free public classes, or one of the longer workshops offered for a nominal fee.
  • Any applicant who does not have composting experience should gain some hands-on experience and take some of our public classes, then apply again next year.
  • 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 $90. This includes your first year's dues ($20) for your BCEMC Association membership.
  • Here is the application form. Please print it, fill it 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.
  • When you mail your application, please enclose check for $90 payable to Bernco Master Composters. Or you can pay via a debit/credit card or PayPal using the button below. You will be able to indicate on the application that you paid the Pay Now button. Please note that if you pay by debit/credit card, you will not be required to have a PayPal account or login to PayPal.
  • The application deadline is Friday, April 6, 2018.
  • If you need to withdraw your application, you must cancel by March 15 in order to receive a full refund.
  • 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.