An increasing percentage of the nation's technician workforce will use geospatial technologies in their occupations. An important need has therefore emerged for well-qualified technicians who possess geospatial skills. To meet this emergent need, the University of North Georgia (UNG) will collaborate with industrial partners to develop new programs focused on geospatial and engineering technology to prepare highly-skilled technicians for success in applicable science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions. The curriculum will promote an integrated understanding of areas such as geographic information systems, computer-aided design techniques, surveying, and spatial analysis. In addition, the project will create course materials that incorporate elements of geospatial and engineering technologies into traditional science classes such as biology, geology, and physics to also enhance student learning in these courses. The project will offer students the opportunity to obtain employer-recognized credentials, expand pathways toward technician careers, and enrich the scientific and engineering technology workforce.

Through a strong partnership of education and industry, the project will develop curricula for two new academic programs at the UNG-Gainesville campus: an Associate of Science degree in Geospatial and Engineering Technology and a certificate in Land Surveying. Innovative courses will be developed to integrate aspects of geospatial technology courses, such as spatial environmental variability, and aspects of engineering technology courses such as numerical and design case studies. The coursework will focus on applications to distinctive technical areas including agricultural science and engineering, forestry and conservation, environmental science and engineering, surveying and mapping, geology, and civil engineering. The project will develop articulation agreements that link high schools and technical colleges to associate and bachelor level degrees to offer seamless transition pathways. The intellectual merit of this project is manifested by introducing and combining geospatial and engineering technologies to enhance career pathways in many applicable fields. The impact of the collective efforts on student learning will also be assessed. The project will disseminate course materials, processes, methodologies, outcomes, and best practices to the STEM education community.

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