Geographic Information System Certificate (GISC)

*This is an overview of the program. The course sequencing is meant to serve as a guideline for your semester planning. Please note that the scheduling of courses, program sequencing and curriculum are subject to change.*

STARS is both the name of an industry standard Geospatial Certification and also the name of a series of courses that prepare the student to take the GIS certification test. STARS is the first and only competency based, industry recognized, entry-level, geospatial certification! The five STARS courses are mapped directly to the “GWD” (Geospatial Workforce Development) model. The GWD is recognized by NASA, the U.S. Department of Labor and by industry leaders as the basis for determining the skill set needed to make the best possible geospatial employee. The courses delivered by following the STARS curriculum series are designed to both teach and assess a student’s level of competence in the geospatial skill set required by the geospatial industry to become employed. The STARS certification is a series of courses that provides students with skills to be an entry level geospatial technician. The curriculum is based upon teaching all concepts and skills that would be necessary to enter the geospatial industry. The concepts course does discuss and educate students on basic concepts in Project Management, GIS, and Remote Sensing. It is in this course where students learn about history of mapping, projections, coordinate systems, scale, multispectral imagery, and various other concepts that are essential to being effective in GIS/RS. Other courses discuss the uses and applications of ArcGIS software and its extensions including: Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, Network Analyst, and Leica’s Image Analysis extension for ArcGIS. The capstone project is a guided project in one of three areas in Agriculture, Public Health and Safety, or Business and Marketing. This course demonstrates a student’s application of the skills and concepts learned in previous courses (This project is submitted to the STARS Certification Committee on completion for review). Successful completion of this course c and the STARS Exam are essential components to receiving the certification.

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • obtain an industry standard Geospatial Certification work with ESRI software.

  • be knowledgeable about spatial technology and remote sensing.

  • Additional Disclosure Information
Geographic Information System Certificate (GISC)
First Semester   Credits
ENG 105 College English I 3
GIS110 Fundamentals of Goegraphic Information System (1st 8 weeks) 4
GIS 115 Concepts of Geographic Information System (2nd 8 weeks) 3
Elective* GIS 3
  Semester Total 13
Second Semester    
GIS 210 Introduction to Spatial Analysis (1st 8 weeks) 4
GIS 215 Advanced Applications in GIS (2nd 8 weeks) 4
GIS 220 GIS Technology Projects (1st 8 weeks) 4
CIS 180 Introduction to Project Management 3
  Semester Total 15
Third Semester    
GIS 280 GIS Internship 2
  Semester Total 2
  Credit Total 30

*GIS Elective – Select from one of the following:
GIS 120 – GIS in Homeland Security
GIS 125 – GIS in Law Enforcement
GIS 130 – GIS in Economic Development
GIS 135 – GIS in STEM 


Geographic Information System (Certificate)

Apporximate Cost of Program

Books: 1,600 Fees: 564 Tuition: 3,200
Books: 1,600 Fees: 852 Tuition: 6,400
Out of State    
Books: 1,600 Fees: 1,140 Tuition: 9,600
Schuylkill County    
Books: 1,600 Fees: 852 Tuition: 4,800
  • On-Campus Room & Board: Not Offered

Length of Program
Intended time to complete: 18 months