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Deidre Sullivan's OSU M.S. Degree 2007

Developing a Plan for the National Coordination of Geospatial Technology Education: A Community College Perspective

Master of Science, Geography, Oregon State University, Fall 2007
Minor in Marine Resource Management
Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science

Graduate committee: D. Wright, J. Jones, J. Good

Deidre Sullivan
Monterey Peninsula College and
Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center
Monterey, CA 93940
Geospatial technology is a rapidly growing and changing field. The term
geospatial technology (GST) refers to geographical information systems
(GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing (RS), all
emerging technologies that assist the user in the collection, analysis,
and interpretation of spatial data. The speed at which new fields are
adopting GST, along with the speed at which equipment and software are
being modified and updated, precludes many industries, much less the
educational system, from keeping up to date. The issue is further
complicated at the community college level because national coordination
of workforce information and educational resources within the community
college network is fairly poor.

Developing a Plan for the National Coordination of Geospatial Technology
Education: A Community College Perspective was an effort to document the
needs and concerns of community college educators and to use this
information to produce recommendations for the development and operation
of a National Geospatial Technology Center (NGTC).

The following ten issues were identified by community college educators
as critical to GST education: 1) workforce needs; 2) core
competencies[1]; 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; and 10) future trends in GST.

From the recommendations put forth in this study, it is clear that
community college educators want a NGTC that will: represent their
interests in national education and workforce initiatives, act as a
clearinghouse to provide easy access to existing curricula and workforce
information, and provide access to professional development
opportunities, among other activities described in this report.

Additionally, it is imperative that a NGTC works with existing
competency-related efforts (University Consortium for Geographic
Information Science's (UCGIS) Body of Knowledge; GeoSpatial Workforce
Development Center's (GeoWDC) Geospatial Technologies Competency Model;
Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA) / Association
of American Geographers (AAG) study, Defining and Communicating
Geospatial Industry Workforce Demand, Phase I report recommendations,
and existing DACUMs[2]) to bring them closer together so that core
competencies, and in turn a core curriculum, that supports many
entry-level positions, can be established and agreed upon by a wide
range of stakeholders. The consequences of not coming to an agreement
will certainly contribute to greater gaps between what the workforce
needs and what the educational system is producing.

Research paper available in the ScholarsArchive@OSU permanent collection

also as the National Geospatial Technology Resource Center Planning Grant Final Report

Defense Presentation

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