calendar Add meeting dates to your calendar.


Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM


REIF, Samantha L. and BUTZOW, Dean G., Math and Sciences, Lincoln Land Community College, 5250 Shepherd Rd, PO Box 19256, Springfield, IL 62794,

Community colleges face many obstacles in recruiting and retaining geoscience students. The traditional intro courses that we offer (geology, geography, meteorology) give the student a deeper appreciation of the intricate relationship we have with our physical world. In today's world of growing technology, we need to go beyond our traditional courses and show our students geoscience skills that will put them in a position for a solid career in this field. The geoscience faculty at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) in Springfield, IL felt offering a program in GIS may be the best way to attract new students. A plan was put in place and three goals were established: to create a GIS program for our current geoscience students so they have skills necessary to put them a step ahead in the workplace or their transfer school; to offer courses/workshops to the community which will expand their skills and make them more aware of LLCC's geoscience offerings; and to bring GIS technology onto the LLCC campus to be used in other courses and departments.

The process of developing a GIS program began 2 years ago. We applied for and were awarded an Association of American Community Colleges (AACC) funded MentorLinks Grant. The AACC funds MentorLinks as part of its Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant from the NSF. MentorLinks serves to enhance existing technical programs or start new technician education programs. A $15K, two-year grant was awarded to LLCC and a mentor, a fellow community college educator, was assigned to help guide the process. The mentor provides insight into problems and solutions that arise in the process of creating a new program, as well as working as a liaison to help explain the process to administration and technical support.

With support of our administration, we designed our first course, Introduction to GIS and purchased a site license of ESRI software. The development of the GIS program has been a learning experience, but with the advice from our mentor and much perseverance, we successfully taught our first course. We are now in the process of refining this course, as well as working with the local workforce and other area community colleges to design a series of courses that will meet the needs of both members of our community as well as our traditional students who will be continuing their education at a transfer school.

Meeting Home page GSA Home Page