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Front Range Community college has received approval to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Geospatial Science. At its March 2 meeting, the Colorado Commission for Higher Education voted unanimously to grant FRCC permission to offer its first four-year degree at the college’s Boulder County Campus in Longmont. The college is planning to begin the program in January 2019.

Geospatial Science courses teach a set of skills and technologies that are used in more than 400 occupations, including environmental science, engineering, and fire protection. The degree will prepare students to work in high-tech fields, including:

  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS);
  • Global Positioning Systems;
  • Cartography;
  • Satellite Remote Sensing; and
  • Photogrammetry and LiDAR Data Analysis.

In Colorado and the surrounding states, there are very few undergraduate programs focused specifically in GIS or Geospatial Science. “Employers have asked FRCC to develop a higher-level program,” said Deborah Craven, dean of instruction for FRCC’s Boulder County Campus. “There are hundreds of GIS job openings per year in Colorado that this program will help to fill.”

The new program builds on the successful associate degree program currently offered by FRCC. The new Bachelor of Applied Science offering will allow associate degree graduates to continue on for an additional 60 credits to complete their bachelor’s.

Students graduating from the new bachelor’s program will have the skills to step into GIS positions without the need for extensive additional training. The first junior- and senior-level courses will be offered starting in the spring of 2019.

Offering the more advanced courses gives students an opportunity to build additional skills, even if they don’t want to stay for the full bachelor’s degree. Taking one (or more) of the higher-level courses can provide them with vital skills specific to their job or desired field.

“I’m very excited about the approval of the program,” said Jennifer Muha, program lead for geospatial sciences at FRCC. “Creating an affordable B.A.S.—which is heavily focused on in-demand skills and theory—will allow our graduates to apply competitively in a wide variety of fields that utilize geospatial science.”

The program still needs final approval from the Higher Learning Commission for accreditation. The final step will be approval from the U.S. Department of Education, which will allow the degree to be eligible for financial aid.

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About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers nearly 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, and Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.

About the Colorado Community College System

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities.

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