The U.S. Department of Labor has identified geospatial technologies as one of 12 "high-growth" industries. The proposed accreditation by the USGIF Academy for academic-based Geospatial Intelligence Certificate courses and programs will help guide this "high-growth" industry by ensuring the competencies of geospatial intelligence professionals entering the field and providing relevant continuing education opportunities for the workforce.
"This is an exciting initiative for the geospatial intelligence community in that it is the first time that standards are being set for the learning priorities required to be successful in the workplace across industry and government," said Sue Kalweit, chair of the USGIF Academic Subcommittee. "For the USGIF Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program to succeed, it will take a continued cooperative effort among industry, academia and government to ensure a win-win outcome for all. It truly represents the purpose for establishing the USGIF."
The impetus for establishing an accredited Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program began with an industry consensus that the supply of qualified workers does not meet the demand of the quickly growing geospatial intelligence enterprise. Although there are a variety of professional and academic certificates in GIS, there is no accreditation program that can meet the needs and expectations of employers in the geospatial intelligence market. An important role of the USGIF accreditation process is to serve as the quality assurance for educational programs offered by various institutions that can serve the geospatial intelligence industry.
"It has always been a goal of the Foundation to exchange ideas, share best practices, and promote the education and importance of a national geospatial intelligence agenda," said USGIF President and Chairman of the Board K. Stuart Shea. "The Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program will ensure that relevant tradecraft learning objectives are taught, appropriate education and training is provided, and qualified candidates are available for employers. It is a great leap in the right direction for our community and the tradecraft."
The workplace expectations that the learning objectives were based upon came from the results of a survey of USGIF members using the competency model developed by the GeoSpatial Workforce Development Center at the University of Southern Mississippi. To support the creation of the program, the Foundation established a panel of industry, academia and government experts who, with support from the USGIF Academic Subcommittee, drafted the curriculum guidelines and accreditation standards for which the Foundation is seeking stakeholder input.
The curriculum guidelines, accreditation standards, feedback submission form and background information is available for download and review from the Foundation's website, www.usgif.org.
The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation is a Virginia-based nonstock, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger community of interest between government, industry, academia, professional organizations and individuals who share a mission focus around the development and application of geospatial intelligence data and geo-processing resources to address national security objectives.
United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Jordan Fuhr, 703-788-6788 Email Contact