Collaborative Project: Geospatial Connections Promoting Advancement to Careers and Higher Education
This collaborative project by Mesa Community College and Northern Arizona University is developing career and educational pathways in geospatial technology (GST) from secondary schools through two-year colleges and universities. Components include a) course and curriculum development that integrates GST and project-based learning as components of a broad range of courses within colleges and secondary schools, b) sustained professional development and support for college faculty and secondary teachers to implement the curriculum, and c) increasing awareness of and training for GST-related careers through internships, outreach and industry involvement. The curriculum is aligned with the Geospatial Technology Competency Model and informed by industry representation on the project's advisory board. The intellectual merit of the project lies in its comprehensive approach to infusing geospatial technology and data-processing and analytical skills within a pathway model aligned with workforce needs. Broader impacts include building technological and instructor capacity in GST within both urban and rural schools across the state, engagement of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in GST careers, and contributing to the development of the future GST workforce in Arizona.