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Rachael Lucero

"There are so many opportunities for science research at Highlands, even for undergraduates."...more

College of Arts and Sciences > Natural Resources Management > Environmental Geology > Geographic Information System Minor and Certificate Program

Geographic Information System Minor and Certificate Program

Course Descriptions | Undergraduate GIS Minor | Undergraduate Certificate Program | Graduate Certificate Program

student and professor using GIS systemThe purpose of the GIS Minor and GIS Certificate Program at New Mexico Highlands University is to provide students and interested members of the community with an opportunity to develop a basic proficiency with cutting edge Geographic Information System (GIS) technology that can immediately be applied in the workplace, provide a highly marketable skill-base when seeking employment, and/or endow the student with skills for pursuing an advanced degree in GIS. GIS is a computer-based database management system for capture, storage, retrieval, analysis and display of spatial data. Students who complete either program will be better prepared to map data for decision-making in business, environmental protection, risk assessment, utility planning & management, emergency response, land use planning, transportation planning, delivery route planning, real estate, crime prevention, and so on.  The GIS minor consists of 22 credit hours and the GIS certificate program requires 18 credit hours.  Both programs afford students with a conceptual base and technical skills in using a desktop GIS and applying GIS across disciplines to solve real-world problems. 

Program Description
GIS technology is a growing component of scientific research and analysis and is also well established within the social sciences. This proficiency is still a new field and limited experience often yields very competitive pay. Students graduating from four-year institutions are expected to have a basic familiarity with GIS, particularly when entering natural resource careers.  Furthermore, once students are exposed to GIS at an introductory level, they frequently ask for more; even to the point of wishing to specialize in this field.  To address these needs, many schools have established GIS concentration areas and post-graduate certificates. The GIS Minor and GIS Certificate Program at Highlands University makes the university more competitive in recruiting and retaining students and improves students’ opportunities in the job market. The design of both tracks affords Highlands undergraduate and graduate students with a supplemental program to specialize in within their chosen degree field, while the certificate program will serve as a stand-alone program for undergraduate and graduate students, members of the community, and other non-traditional students interested in gaining marketable experience with practical GIS experience.

Opportunities for Employment       
The GIS minor and GIS Certificate Program will provide students with the opportunity to learn concepts and applications of GIS technology, obtain hands-on experience using the latest GIS software, use geospatial technology to develop solutions to issues facing communities and industry, explore interdisciplinary elements of GIS including cartography, database design and spatial analysis, and understand how GIS is used within health care, public works, natural and historical resources, environmental management, geologic mapping, and other fields.  Collectively these skills will provide the individuals that complete the GIS Minor and GIS Certificate Program with a strong skill set that is highly marketable across many disciplines with numerous employment opportunities within New Mexico and abroad. 

This program is under the College of Arts and Science

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