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TCC students attend GIS workshop

DD students and staff.JPGFrom left: Adam Dock, Andrew Bowden, Bret Hammond, Shawn Einarson, James Cash and Amber Reams.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (December 3, 2012) - Four students from Tallahassee Community College’s drafting and design technology programs attended last month’s Seven Hills Regional User Group’s (SHRUG) GIS workshop at the Florida State Conference Center. SHRUG is an alliance of GIS users, including staff from consulting firms, educational institutions, public agencies, hardware/software vendors and non-profit organizations.
The students accompanied Bret Hammond, who chairs TCC’s engineering technology programs, and Shawn Einarson, director of career and technical education for the Division of Technology and Professional Programs (TPP).
“We were a bronze sponsor of this meeting last year,” said Hammond, “but we wanted to have a bigger presence (this year), so we signed on as a gold sponsor.”
The workshop gave TCC the opportunity to get its programs in front of prospective employers, other colleges and universities, and professionals who might be interested in acquiring additional skills.
Hammond knew the event would benefit students as well, exposing them to the “wide-open” range of uses for geographic information systems (GIS) data, from emergency management to voting patterns, from monitoring bird populations to mapping watersheds. They saw first-hand how GIS information can be integrated with the computer-aided design (CAD) tools they had learned to use at TCC. The group also made several contacts that expressed interest in setting up internships for TCC students.
Drafting and design instruction at TCC includes two certificate programs: the 15-credit-hour CAD Foundations certificate and the 18-credit-hour fire sprinkler design technology certificate. Students also have the option of enrolling in the drafting and design technology associate in science (A.S.) degree program, with a specialization in building construction or surveying/GIS.
“Many of our students already have degrees in other fields and come to us to re-tool their skills or branch out into a new career field,” said Hammond.
Student Adam Dock, who will graduate in December, returned to college after a first career in retail. Dock has continued to work full-time while in school, but looks forward to starting his new career. He hopes to relocate to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area to join the aviation or automotive industry.
Amber Reams earned her A.S. degree in the spring of 2012 and is now completing requirements for the two certificates. She is also working on an associate in arts degree so that she can transfer into the bachelor’s degree program in construction engineering technology at Florida A & M University. She said she is interested in “everything technology” and especially enjoyed one company’s presentation about its new 3D modeling system.
Students Andrew Bowden and James Cash were also on-site, attending sessions and helping to staff the TCC booth. TPP paid the registration fees for all four students using funds from a grant for school-to-work programs.
For more information about drafting and design technology and other career programs, contact (850) 201-8352 or e-mail
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