Educational Achievement Component

While formal educational experiences may not contribute as much as experience to a GIS professional’s qualifications, they are a valuable means of acquiring the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that individuals need to be successful in any profession. These guidelines are meant to encourage practitioners to seek continuing education opportunities while incentivizing education providers to build substantive GIS programs with quality courses. The GISCI is not an educational accrediting body, and therefore will not attempt to evaluate the quality of educational institutions or programs. Instead, it will ensure that individuals who seek certification have successfully participated in a minimum of relevant, formal educational experiences.


Education Point Schedule

The Education Point Schedule consists of three parts:

  • Credential (Degree/certificate) Points: points earned through successful completion of a formal degree (BA, BS, MA, PhD) or certificate program offered by accredited educational institutions.  Points are only awarded for your highest degree and can be from any field of study.
  • Accredited Course Points: points earned through successful completion of individual courses (through the degree program, above), workshops, and other formal, documented educational activities whose subject matter relates directly to geospatial technologies and integration with other technologies.  Points are obtained through Total Student Activity Hours, the total number of hours an academic institution expects a student to spend in and out of class in meeting course assignments.   A 3-credit hour class would have 120 Total Student Activity Hours and would yield 3 Education points in the portfolio. Qualifying courses include Geography, GIS, remote sensing, databases, data analysis, programming, higher math (especially trig and stat), AutoCAD, computer science, and networking.
  • Non-Accredited Course Points: points earned through courses and training taken outside a college or university setting.  These could be software-specific training, such as Esri, AutoCAD, Oracle, or other training, and the points are awarded based on the total time spent online or in an instructor-led environment.
  • Conference/Webinar Attendance Pointspoints are awarded in recognition of the valuable informal learning afforded by participation in meetings and conferences sponsored by professional societies and regional and local user groups.  Points are awarded based on the total number of hours spent online or at a conference.

The web site will track an applicant’s total points in this area as they are entered and advise the applicant when the Education point goal has been met.

The minimum number of Education points required for certification is 30 points.  The minimum needed for recertification is 6.


Educational Achievement Documentation

Applicants who claim Credential Points are expected to document their degrees and/or certificates with photocopies of their highest degree diploma and/or certificate if the official transcript(s) does not contain that information.  This/these can be uploaded to the site.

Applicants who claim Course Points are expected to provide evidence of their achievements with an official transcript that states courses by title

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