Improving Pathways into the Geospatial and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technician Workforce

Demand for skilled technicians in geospatial technologies and small unmanned aircraft systems continues to increase as new applications are developed for these emerging technologies. To help meet these demands, this project is designed to increase the number of students who are trained to use these technologies in multiple disciplines. Specifically, Germana Community College will create new academic pathways that provide students with multiple opportunities to enter the technical workforce. Building on previous work, an online version of a course that prepares students for the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate exam will be developed to increase student access and enrollment. Students will learn how to apply geospatial and unmanned aircraft technologies to solve real world problems through service-learning projects that will be integrated into existing courses. The project will also support professional development programs and mentoring to increase the capacity of community college faculty to teach in these technical areas. By supporting the integration of geospatial and unmanned aircraft systems technologies into community college technical programs, this project has the potential to increase opportunities for students to enter the technical workforce.

The goals of the project are to: 1) develop new pathways for students at Germana Community College to pursue technical education in geospatial technology and small unmanned aircraft systems; 2) provide faculty professional development programs that will prepare community college faculty for implementing courses that will train students in this field; and 3) increase the number and diversity of students in these technical programs through high school outreach activities. The pathways at Germana Community College will include two stackable certificates that students can use to complete requirements for an Associate of Applied Science degree. To support the new pathways, an online course will be developed that will facilitate completion of the remote pilot certificate. Instructors will assess student learning through knowledge tests and videos of students demonstrating their flying capabilities. The project will offer two faculty institutes to train community college faculty in best practices for implementing curricula relevant to these technologies. Training of faculty will provide hands-on experiences with the technologies using project-based learning that will span different disciplines aligned with participant interests.

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
October 1st, 2020
ATE Expiration Date
September 30th
ATE Principal Investigator
Chris Carter
Primary Institution
Old Dominion University Research Foundation
Record Type
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