World Campus congratulates first-ever online geospatial grads

May 07, 2009

Geospatial intelligence certificate program is the first of its kind in the United States

The first class of students in the pioneering Penn State World Campus post-baccalaureate geospatial intelligence certificate program will graduate this spring, just in time to meet the increasing need for geospatial workers.

This program, which is the first of its kind in the nation, is helping to meet the high demand for trained geospatial intelligence professionals. According to Todd Bacastow, lead faculty member for the program, geospatial graduates can apply the new skills and information gathered from the classes to careers in the defense, intelligence, meteorological and health industries.

“There is a consensus among many within the geospatial industry that the supply of qualified workers does not meet the demand of the quickly growing geospatial enterprise in the areas of national security, law enforcement and business,” said Bacastow. “The U.S. Department of Labor identified geospatial technologies as one of 12 ‘high-growth’ industries.”

The 14-credit online certificate program is designed to improve skills in geospatial technology, spatial thinking and information literacy.

“This was a class of pioneers. Penn State’s program was the first of its kind in the U.S.,” Bacastow said. “The students were phenomenal and created a truly collaborative online learning environment.”

Geospatial intelligence is information and insights that decision-makers rely on to plan for emergencies, to coordinate responses to natural and human-induced disasters, to manage natural and cultural resources, to enforce the law and to improve national security activities.

Bruce Williams, of Cary, N.C., is a geospatial certificate student who is scheduled to earn his certificate. He said the lessons he learned in his class will enhance his career.

“I plan to combine and leverage my 20 years of information technology sales and marketing expertise with the knowledge and skills gained in this area of study, to enhance my career potential and transition into the geospatial technology market in a customer facing role,” Williams said.

The program is designed so that credits earned in this certificate program may be applied toward the master’s degree, should a student be granted admission into the master’s program.

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(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 14, 2009