Lassen Community College announces part-time, fully online professional certificate in geographic information systems (GIS)

If you lean a little to the nerdy side — as a professional or a beginner — and are looking to enhance your skills or get into a good career in a short period of time, here’s a great opportunity for you.

Lassen Community College just unveiled a part-time, fully online professional certificate in Geographic Information Systems, set to begin Sept. 12.

Designed to cater to both professionals seeking to enhance their skills and individuals interested in entering the GIS field, the two-semester program offers in-depth coverage of GIS technologies, vector databases, geospatial computations and more.

This unique program targets various sectors including firefighting, forestry, the Bureau of Land Management, agriculture and real estate, where GIS technologies play an essential role in mapping and analyzing data to inform vital decision-making processes.

As part of this announcement, Annika Peacock, an adjunct instructor at LCC and also a part-time student enrolled in the GIS program, shared her enthusiasm for the upcoming class.

“I’m thrilled to be both promoting and participating in this innovative GIS program,” she said. “Our commitment to flexible, quality education aligns perfectly with the needs of mid-career professionals, like myself, as well as beginners who want new skills to enter a growing field. The course’s asynchronous design allows students to learn at their own pace, making it ideal for those looking to advance their careers without disrupting their current responsibilities. I encourage anyone interested in this growing field to explore this opportunity with Lassen College.”

The GIS certificate promises to provide a gateway to a highly in-demand field, with an average entry- level salary of $71,000 per year in California. With affordable tuition rates for California residents ($46/unit) and Western Undergraduate Exchange residents ($69/unit), this program offers an accessible path to a promising career.

Interested parties are invited to visit the program’s web page for more details and to apply.

According to the web page, a Geographic Information System is a combination of hardware, software, data, people and protocols and is primarily used for the acquisition, maintenance, and analysis of geospatial data and information. GIS was founded in the art and science of geography, and more specifically was born from forestry and its associated applications (i.e., natural resources). Its main purpose is to serve as a tool for analyzing geospatial phenomena, via various data overlay operations, to provide information in the form of visualizations (i.e., maps), which ultimately provide greater insight into such phenomena from the perspective of geospatial patterns and real-world feature relationships. The end goal of a GIS is to provide meaningful analysis results to better understand real-world situations and help end-users of such information make better decisions regarding how best to handle geospatial phenomena. Many pathways can be realized for students who complete the GIS Certificate, which is designed to prepare students for employment following graduation or for transfer to a four-year institution of higher learning.

Curriculum covers the foundation of three core components of GIS
Desktop GIS — history of GIS, the foundation of what a GIS is and how it works, geospatial data (i.e., structures, models, acquisition, creation, editing, storage, and retrieval), basic geospatial data overlay analyses, and data and information display (i.e., maps, figures, charts, graphs, tables).

Online GIS — like Desktop GIS and will cover the foundation of disseminating GIS through a web-based environment.

Mobile GIS — involves a basic understanding of Global Positioning Systems and field data collection using concepts surrounding latest trends in mobile GIS applications, via hardware, software, and protocol perspectives.

Career Options
GIS Technician for private entity or government agency 

  • Private-based GIS practice consulting; and
  • Supplemental GIS education to add to existing or future education in another field, which will help to strengthen overall knowledge from a technical standpoint.

Program highlights

  • GIS Certificate as an entirely online program of study. No physical classroom involvement is required.
  • GIS Certificate can be completed in just two semesters; fall, and then spring semesters.
  • GIS Certificate provides individuals with the education necessary to enter the workforce as an entry-level GIS Technician, or add to an existing or future bachelor’s degree education. For example, a combination of a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology and a certificate in GIS can be a very valuable and powerful combination to potential employers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that geospatial-based occupations are expected to grow faster than average for all occupations over the coming years, with the need for geographic information being a main source for such growth.

Requirements of the program
In order to participate in and successfully complete the Certificate of Achievement in GIS, students will need basic computer skills, such as familiarity with Windows operating systems, Windows File Explorer, and basic word processing and spreadsheet software applications; a strong and reliable high-speed Internet connection; and a Windows PC-based personal computer (i.e., desktop or laptop) that is sufficient for installing and running required GIS software associated with this educational program.  An Apple personal computer may be used in lieu of a Windows-based system, but students who choose to do this will need to prepare their Apple system in such a way that allows the Windows OS to install and run on the Mac-based system, to allow for installation of the required GIS software.

Additional information regarding specific computer requirements can be found here: https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/get-started/arcgis-pro-system-requirements.htm  In addition, students will need a modern and functional Apple- or Android-based smartphone or tablet to complete one of the courses in the course series.

About Lassen Community College
Lassen Community College provides educational programs for all pursuing higher education goals. The core programs offer a wide range of educational opportunities including transfer degrees and certificates, economic and workforce development, and basic skills instruction. The College serves diverse students, both on campus and in outreach areas in its effort to build intellectual growth, human perspective, and economic potential.