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Developing a Plan for the National Coordination


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Title: Developing a Plan for the National Coordination

Developing a Plan for the National
Coordination Of Geospatial Technology Education
A Community College Perspective
Deidre Sullivan Department of Geosciences Oregon
State University December 6, 2007 Marine
Advanced Technology Education (MATE)
Center Monterey Peninsula College dsullivan_at_marine
Presentation Overview
  • Introduction
  • What are geospatial technologies and why are they
  • Challenges for the educational system
  • Project rationale
  • Project goals
  • Issues critical to GST education
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion and Conclusions
  • Acknowledgements

What are geospatial technologies?
  • GIS, GPS and remote sensing (GST)
  • Assist the user with the collection, analysis and
    interpretation of spatial data
  • Cross cuts nearly every sector of the economy
  • 5 billion industry in 2002, 2005 gt 30 billion
  • Projected to increase to 700 billion by 2015
  • A U.S. Department of Labor high growth job
  • GST are transformative technologies

Transformation of Oceanography
Transformation of Military Operations
Geospatial Technology Awareness
Hurricane Katrina a disaster on many levels
Google Earth is exponentially raising GST
Challenges for the Educational System
  • GST are a variety of integrated technologies
  • Many more people will need to be educated in GST
  • Steep learning curve plus the software and
    hardware are continually evolving
  • In the past it was used by a cadre of specialists
  • Now it is becoming a system-wide integration at
    all levels and practically all sectors of the
  • GST lacks DOL occupational titles and industry

Project Rationale
  • There is limited coordination of GST workforce
    and educational activities - especially at the CC
  • Duplication of effort apparent in NSF/DOL grants
  • Emerging trends are not adequately addressed and
    integrated into the curriculum
  • The two existing GST academic organizations
    (UCGIS and NCGIA) are university-based and are
    not addressing the needs of CCs
  • Most professional societies do not have strong
    connections to CCs
  • There is a lot of investment in GST education but
    very little coordination of what is being done

Project Goals
  • Long-term goal is to establish a national GST
    Center that will improve the quality, relevance,
    and accessibility of geospatial technology
    education (primarily at the CC level)
  • Identify barriers to effective GST education at
    the community college level
  • Review past and current GST workforce and
    education efforts
  • Produce a plan for the national coordination of
    GST education at the community college level
    based upon broad consensus in the GST community
  • This NSF study is being led by two existing
    technology centers

Issues Critical to GST Education
  1. Workforce needs
  2. Core competencies
  3. Professional certification
  4. Curriculum development
  5. Educational pathways
  6. Professional development
  7. Communication
  8. Awareness and reaching underserved audiences
  9. The role of GST education in supporting college
    administrative tasks and entrepreneurialism
  10. Future trends in GST

Community College Education
  • CCs have been around about 100 years
  • Prepare workers for nations expanding industries
  • Drive social equality
  • CC Students
  • Traditional Transfer (A.A.) and Occupational
    degrees (A.S.)
  • Developmental (Welfare to Work, GED)
  • Incumbent Workforce (professionals, career
  • Greater student diversity (age, socio-economics,
  • Tend to be more responsive to local workforce
  • About 42 of credit students are CC students.
  • So why invest in Community Colleges?

GST and Higher Education
  • More than 2,000 of the 4,165 colleges and
    universities use GST software
  • More than 400 of the 1,157 2-year colleges offer
    instruction in GST
  • GST is both an academic and occupational program
  • Difficulties with articulation

  • Survey of the GST education community
  • 170 GST educators responded to the survey
    in October 2006
  • Conduct background research on the ten critical
  • Researched literature and reviewed
    survey responses to produce a synopsis of the
    current state of each critical issue
  • Hold a national forum on GST education
  • - January 5-7, 2007 in Monterey, CA
  • - 40 GST professionals attended
  • - Produced recommendations for a NGTC
  • Validate and rank the forum recommendations
  • Produce a report and a list of high priority
    recommendations for a NGTC

The following recommendations for each issue are
paraphrased and represent a sampling of the top
recommendations for a NGTC.
1. Workforce Needs
A NGTC should
  • Make best use of existing studies and disseminate
    the information in a user-friendly format
  • Develop strategic partnerships with other
    workforce-related organizations
  • Collect and compare DACUMs
  • Implement additional workforce studies as needed

2. Core Competencies
  • Core competencies define the knowledge and skills
    required to carry out specific tasks that are
    common to a particular profession or occupation.
  • Core competencies are critical links between the
    workplace and the classroom, since they connect
    job requirements to educational subject areas
  • Core competencies provide a framework for
  • efficient curriculum sharing
  • benchmarks for program accreditation
  • articulation agreements
  • exam-based professional certification
  • effective screening and placement of new workers
    into the workforce
  • Core Curriculum Core Competencies

2. National Core Competency Efforts
  • Geospatial Workforce Development Center
  • GST Competency Model (2003)
  • University Consortium for Geographical
    Information Science
  • Body of Knowledge (BoK) (2006)
  • DACUMs (many grassroots efforts) (1997 2006)
  • Texas Skill Standards for GIS
  • Geospatial Information and Technology Association
    (GITA)/ Association of American Geographers (AAG)
  • Defining and Communicating Geospatial
  • Industry Workforce
    Demand (2006)

2. Core Competencies
  • Of the 170 GST educators surveyed in phase 1
  • 63 felt core competencies are needed for
    national coordination
  • 33 were unsure
  • 4 felt that core competencies are not needed
  • Assist UCGIS and AAG in continuing and expanding
    the BoK and making it more user friendly for
    undergraduate teaching and educating the
    incumbent workforce.
  • How well does the BoK embody two-year
    community college GST programs that are
    responding to local and regional workforce needs?

A NGTC should
3. Professional Certifications
  • Certification is recognition by ones colleagues
    and peers that an individual has demonstrated
    professional integrity and competence in their
    field. GISCI Professional Certification, ASPRS
    Certification, and SPACE STARS Certification
  • Serve as a repository of certification,
    accreditation, and licensing information
  • Evaluate certification options
  • Join organizations that offer certifications to
    represent CC views

A NGTC should
4. Curriculum
A NGTC should
  • Create an online clearinghouse that encourages
    submission, review, and search capabilities for
    geospatial curriculum materials
  • Develop an introductory course or modules that
    provide the fundamental geospatial skills as
    outlined in the BoK

5. Articulation/Educational Pathways
A NGTC should
  • Develop an online forum and white paper that
    discusses strategies for achieving articulation
  • Organize, compile, and compare articulation
  • Develop career pathways that provide guidelines
    for a seamless education in geospatial technology
    from secondary to community college to university
  • Develop standards to integrate GIS into AP
    geography courses

6. Professional Development
  • Of the 170 educators surveyed, 84 indicated that
    they are self taught by reading literature.
  • 67 lacked membership in any professional
  • Barriers to professional development include the
    cost, lack of time, travel distance, lack of
    opportunities, and a lack of administrative
  • Organize, compile, and disseminate up-to-date
    information on professional development

A NGTC should
6. Professional Development(continued)
  • Offer geospatial technology professional
    development in a variety of formats
  • Identify the major barriers to professional
    development through surveys and other feedback
  • Keep abreast of geospatial technology trends and
    make recommendations on the type of professional
    development needed
  • Build partnerships with 4-year universities,
    professional societies, government agencies,
    industry and NGOs to promote, encourage, and
    expand professional development opportunities

7. Communication
A NGTC should
  • Act as the representative body for two-year
    colleges, faculty, and students in the field of
    geospatial technology
  • Act as a collective voice to promote community
    college interests in professional societies,
    workforce-related studies, core curriculum
    projects, certification and accreditation
    efforts, and other activities of importance to
    community college audiences
  • Create a comprehensive website and listserve to
    facilitate communication

8. Awareness and Reaching Underserved Audiences
A NGTC should
  • Promote GST as a mainstream scientific tool for
    community college education
  • Disseminate stories of successful geospatial
    awareness events and identify effective GST
    education tools
  • Identify effective student recruitment approaches
    for GST programs

9. The Role of GST Education in Supporting
College Administrative Tasks and
A NGTC should
  • Develop a searchable clearinghouse with how-to
    templates, standard data models, and best
    practices to support community colleges in
    workforce/economic development, institutional
    research, grant writing, student marketing, and
    facilities management.
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for geospatial data as
    it applies to community college demographics,
    enrollments, economics, etc.

10. Future Trends in Geospatial Technology
  • Include information technology instruction within
  • geospatial curriculum, largely relating to
    the evolution
  • of GIS to enterprise GIS.
  • Increasing need for web-based instruction and
  • web-based data delivery.
  • Assess and disseminate trends in the geospatial
    industry in order to project changes in the
    industry and workforce
  • Assist community colleges with adapting their
    curricula to future trends

A NGTC should
  • GST workforce development is critical to our
  • A GST growth rate of 35 a year (DOL)
  • GST is ranked at the top with nano and
    biotechnology (DOL)
  • Growth driven by GST tools and high quality data
  • Challenges
  • No standard occupational titles or industry
  • Education system is poorly coordinated and
    communication among community colleges is not
  • University and community college approaches to
    education can differ
  • A common language (core competencies) needs to be
    established, agreed upon, and validated by
    working professionals that will meet the needs
    for many entry level positions

Community college educators want
  • A NGTC that will
  • Represent their interests at national venues
  • Act as a clearinghouse to provide easy-access to
    current curriculum and workforce information
  • Provide access to professional development

A NGTC should NOT
  • Become a geospatial technology certification-grant
    ing organization
  • Be an organization that provides educators with
    evidence (certification, certificates or
    licenses) that they have satisfied the minimum
    qualifications specific to teaching geospatial
  • Be an accreditation body for geospatial programs

The Future of a NGTC
  • A NGTC has been proposed to the National Science
    Foundation by one or more collaborative groups
    largely consisting of community colleges.
  • The status of a NGTC will not be known until
    early 2008.
  • But, regardless of which group is funded, its
    success may very well hinge on its ability to
    follow the recommendations of this study.

  • If we as a nation are to remain economically
    competitive, achieve greater understanding in
    protecting our resources, and reduce the chaos
    and loss of life associated with manmade and
    natural disasters, we will need an efficient,
    responsive, and well-coordinated GST educational
    system with good communication between all levels
    and a better understanding of the knowledge and
    skills workers need to be successful in the
  • It is essential that some organization,
    presumably a NGTC, end the community college
    silence and act as a collective voice to promote
    community college interests in issues and
    activities of national importance.

  • My committee
  • Dawn Wright (major advisor)
  • Jim Good (minor advisor)
  • Julia Jones
  • Alex Sanchez (OSU Community College Leadership
  • Geosciences faculty, Office Staff and the
    Graduate Office
  • Jill Zande at the MATE Center
  • Karen Haberman at Western Oregon Univeristy
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF/DUE 063424)
  • Co-PIs Ann Johnson and Terry Brase
  • Environmental Systems Research Institute
  • Agrowknowledge Center
  • MATE Center
  • Oregon Sea Grant
  • My parents

Backup Slides
Project Management and Funding
  • Project Funding NSF/DUE/ATE 130,760
  • Project led by two existing centers
  • Project Team
  • Project Director (PI)
  • Two Co-PIs
  • Nine working advisory committee members
  • Web site support
  • Graphic artist and publication support
  • Significant in-kind contributions from
  • ESRI
  • Agrowknowledge Center
  • MATE Center

Convergence of GST Education and Workforce
  • GITA/AAG study made recommendations for improving
    the GeoWDC GST Competency Model with reference to
    the UCGIS BoK
  • The USGIF is using the BoK for program
  • This study reviewed 4 DACUMs and mapped portions
    of these DACUMS to the BoK

Seminal education efforts in GST
National Center for Geographic Information and
1988 NCGIA formed to advance the understanding
of geographic processes and spatial
relationships through improved theory, methods,
technology, and data. NSF
1990-1995 NCGIA Core Curriculum NSF
1992 - present NCGIA Remote Sensing Core Curriculum NSF/NASA/ASPRS
1995-1999 NCGIA Core Curriculum for Technical Programs NSF
1995 -2000 NCGIA Core Curriculum for GIScience NSF
Seminal education efforts in GST
University Consortium for Geographical
Information Science
In 1994 the UCGIS was formed to provide a
unified voice for the GIS research community
1998-present UCGIS Model Curricula Project Multiple sources/industry
2006 UCGIS Body of Knowledge in GIST in published by AAG
Seminal workforce efforts in GST
2003 GeoWDC Geospatial Technologies Competency Model NASA
2004 GIS Certification Institute is formed URISA/Independent
2006 GITA/AAG study, Defining and Communicating Geospatial Industry Workforce Demand, Phase I report is released DOL-ETA
2007 US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation program accreditation criteria released
2007 Texas Skill Standards for GIS Technicians State of Texas Based upon DACUM.
GITA recommendations occupational titles,
industry definitions, methodology for estimating
GST workforce demand, actions for closing the
workforce supply/demand gap.
Convergence of GST Education and Workforce
  • GISCI is using the UCGIS BoK to see if it may
    serve as a backbone for an exam-based
    certification program.
  • I don't mind using a few items from the core
    knowledge areas for GIS from the GIST Body of
    Knowledge, but I found that document to be loaded
    with doctoral thesis topics rather than everyday
    applications of GIS technology.

Learning to Think SpatiallyGIS as a Support
System in the K-12 CurriculumNational Research
Council, 2005
  • Spatial thinking must be recognized as a
    fundamental part of K-12 education and as an
    integrator and a facilitator for problem solving
    across the curriculum. With advances in computing
    technologies and the increasing availability of
    geospatial data, spatial thinking will play a
    significant role in the information-based economy
    of the 21st-century.
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