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Vancouver Island University: Master of Geographic Information System Applications (MGISA), Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications (ADGISA), and Spatial Data Infrastructure Programs
Vancouver Island University (VIU), located in Nanaimo British Columbia, is now offering two GIS programs that are the Master of Geographic Information System Applications (MGISA) and the Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications (ADGISA). The University’s Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) program has been adapted to meet local needs, and is currently being taught in Ukraine by local instructors.
The Master of Geographic Information System Applications (MGISA) Program builds on the existing Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications (ADGISA) Program by providing opportunities for students to strengthen their GIS skills, enabling them to compete more effectively and for better positions in the job market.
The program consists of a Stage 1 and a Stage 2, each of 30 credits. Stage 1 involves the same courses as the current Advanced Diploma, and is available both face-to-face and online; the Stage 2 courses will be delivered online, with face-to-face or online supervision and defense of the research project thesis.
The program offers courses, labs, seminars, and a research project to generate an intellectual environment in which students can enhance their theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the area of Geographic Information Science. It combines a strong academic foundation with professional skills by requiring both academic courses and a thesis research project.
The Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications (ADGISA), a post-graduate program in GIS applications, is offered in both Face-to-Face and Online teaching modes. The Face-to-Face version offers a valuable twist: After an intensive four months of hands-on training in a dedicated classroom setting, students then spend the next four months using GIS as a tool in resolving a real-world geographic or spatial problem of their choice. As a result, a number of local and regional businesses, industrial firms, government agencies, crown corporations and research institutes have provided project opportunities. The student project, which may be paid, has been designed so that students will be fully job-ready upon graduation.
The ADGISA program is also delivered in a fully online format, with all resources, lectures, lab assignments and exams being delivered online. Because everything is delivered online, and designed for access at any time, students can participate from anywhere in the world that has Internet access. This program delivery runs over 16 months, and has been designed for students who are currently in the workforce, or who simply need or want to work from home. Classes are delivered over a longer period, and the practicum has been replaced with three specialty courses in Programming, Remote Sensing and Global Positioning Systems.
Ukraine SDI Project
The Partners for Development Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada funds selected Canadian universities working on international development projects. VIU and its partners, the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (NUK), and the National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” (NTUU-KPI) proposed developing and delivering an educational program to the Ukrainian civil service to support that country’s development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The proposal was successful and began November 2012.
One of the long-term goals of the project is to develop capacity in Ukraine for cadastral land management, particularly for agricultural land. Around 120 students will participate in the training program over the life of the project. These students come from government ministries such as the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food. VIU is developing six GIS/SDI-related courses, translating them into Ukrainian, adapting them to the Ukrainian context, piloting them in Ukraine and then supporting the partner universities as they prepare to offer the courses themselves on an ongoing basis.
Six Ukrainian instructors have been working collaboratively with VIU’s team of GIS instructors in order to ensure that we design and deliver a high quality program in Ukraine. Faculty members from other disciplines, including Geography, Forestry and the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning have added their expertise to the project.
Geography Department, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo BC