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TCC prepares students for careers in GIS and surveying

Lauren Bollmann.JPGTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (December 6, 2013) – Laura Bollmann already holds a bachelor’s degree in geography. However, she is now studying surveying and geographic information systems (GIS) at Tallahassee Community College in order to expand her skill set and prepare for a career in wildlife and environmental management.
Bollmann graduated from Florida State University in 2011. She considered enrolling in FSU’s program leading to an Applied Master of Science degree in GIS, but TCC’s affordability appealed to her, as did the flexible class schedule. “It allows me to work and go to school at the same time,” Bollmann said.
To help Bolllmann reach her career goals, the College recently sent her to a two-day workshop of the Seven Hills Regional User Group for GIS, where she attended presentations and networked with TCC alumni and area employers.
That is just one benefits of the TCC program, said Bollmann. “I’m learning all the latest versions of the software,” she said, “including AutoCAD and ArcGIS. We are also working with GPS, which is a huge component of GIS.”
A new course for Bollmann this semester is Fundamentals of Land Surveying, taught by Jeremiah Slaymaker, a professional surveyor at the Wantman Group, Inc. The hands-on course covers basic principles of surveying and mapping, such as using survey equipment, leveling, traversing and preparing a map of survey. Slaymaker’s students can often be seen around campus taking horizontal and vertical measurements of various features. They also learn to process field data and import data into an electronic drawing.
“I place a strong focus on real-world applications,” said Slaymaker. “We’ve spent several classes on a project involving a topographic survey for the design of a sidewalk.”
That’s right on target for student Ronnie Mathews, who expects to earn his associate’s degree in drafting and design technology with a surveying/GIS specialization in Spring 2014. Unlike Bollmann, who is interested in a GIS-related career, Mathews definitely wants to become a surveyor.
According to Slaymaker, the program will prepare students for entry-level positions in either GIS or traditional surveying. “Our students will have plenty of opportunities no matter which career path they choose.”
In the spring, Fundamentals of Land Surveying will be offered during the eight-week January Express I term, and will lead directly into a related course, Route Surveying, which will be offered in the March Express term, so students can complete the sequence in just one semester.
Slaymaker believes that the skills taught in these courses are applicable to a broad range of areas. “Surveying is the true foundation of all infrastructure,” he said. “Think about all the roads we drive on, the campus we teach at, or the home we live in…they all started with a survey.”
For information, contact Bret Hammond at (850) 201-8334 or, or visit, choose Areas of Study and scroll to the Drafting and Design Technology programs to find the Surveying/GIS specialization.
444 Appleyard Drive | Tallahassee, FL 32304 | (850) 201-6200 | | Copyright © 2015.
Tallahassee Community College (TCC) is committed to an environment that embraces Diversity and Inclusion, respects the rights of all individuals, provides equal access and equal opportunity, and does not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its programs and activities. For information regarding the College's non-discrimination policies and Title IX compliance visit our Equity and Civil Rights page or email directly to (Other Languages)
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