GIS Certificate Of Completion: Cross-Industry Appeal In Competitive Job Market

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, has applications far beyond maps and geography.

Law enforcement, health care, urban planning, economics, environmental science, history, business, real estate and information technology—these are just some of the growing number of industries that incorporate GIS into their daily work.

In fact, according to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Assistant Professor of Geography Samuel Wallace, virtually every field of study today uses some form of GIS, making knowledge of its use critical for students and employees across all disciplines.

“GIS requires people who have basic understanding of spatial relationships, along with the system software,” said Wallace.

MCCC offers a nine-credit Certificate of Completion program in GIS that provides students with valuable skills that can lead to immediate employment in a GIS-related field. The program is ideal for current students, as well as for working individuals who want to add a GIS credential to their resume.

The College’s GIS program prepares students to operate industry leader ESRI’s ArcGIS 10.2 software. The Certificate of Completion is comprised of three courses: Introduction to Geographic Information, Map Design in GIS and GIS Applications. Courses are offered evenings to accommodate working adults, and the entire certificate can be completed in under a year.

The intro course, GEO 210, is being offered Thursday evenings this fall at MCCC’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The next course, GEO 220, is tentatively scheduled to run at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, in spring 2015.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, GIS-related occupations are expected to grow by 20 percent overall through 2022—nine percent higher than the average occupation growth rate.

To learn more about GIS at MCCC, email Assistant Professor Samuel Wallace at

Fall semester classes at Montgomery County Community College begin on Aug. 27. Visit for registration information.

Montgomery County Special Olympics Honors Partnership With MCCC

Special Olympics copy (5)Blue Bell, Pa.—Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Montgomery County (SOPMC) athletes presented Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) with a banner on Aug. 7 to celebrate more than 20 years of partnership.

The College hosts SOPMC soccer and cross-country teams at its Central Campus in Blue Bell, and many of its students, staff and alumni are SOPMC volunteers. In 2008, when MCCC reintroduced its intercollegiate athletics program, the Mustangs immediately got involved to support Special Olympics, which provides year-round training and competition to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“Community engagement and community service are vital components of our athletics program. We want our student athletes to realize the importance of serving others,” said Bruce Bach, MCCC Director of Athletics.

Last year, the College’s athletes completed over 1,800 hours of community service, 181 of which were spent volunteering with SOPMC. The Mustangs assist with the organization’s annual volleyball and basketball tournaments—events that Bach says his athletes “look forward to every season.”

During the banner presentation on Aug. 7, Special Olympics athlete Samantha Weitz, Lansdale, thanked the College for its support.

“The continuous support you give me and my fellow athletes empowers us on and off the playing field. Thanks to you, Special Olympics can offer opportunities like this to thousands of athletes…just like me who have gifts, talents and skills to share with our community,” said Weitz, who is a Special Olympics Global Messenger, meaning she is trained to be a spokesperson for the organization.

Special Olympics athletes, along with Scott Otterbein, Special Olympics Montgomery County Manager and Track Coach, and Jill Schoeniger, Soccer Coach, then presented the banner to MCCC representatives Dr. Kathrine Swanson, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and Bruce Bach, Director of Athletics.

According to Otterbein, since taking the volunteer position as County Manager in January, his management team has focused on increasing visibility and raising awareness of Special Olympics, which offers 18 sports in 34 locations throughout Montgomery County.

“We’ve been working to recognize and praise our partner sites such as Montgomery County Community College, which provides us with access to soccer fields and adjoining fields for our long distance running program. The banner is both a symbolic and tangible sign of our appreciation,” he said.

To learn more about Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, visit

Montgomery County Community College’s Mustangs compete in Region 19 of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). To learn more, visit