The Heights

Updated: December 19, 2016

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Popular Geospatial Technology Program now at Foothill Sunnyvale Center

Whether you’re a police officer, city planner, realtor, health care worker or another type of professional, Foothill’s Geospatial Technology Program (GIST) will help you develop in-demand skill sets to analyze trends, predict change, find customers and more. The popular program and its variety of courses are headquartered at the new Foothill College Sunnyvale Center.

One of the top emerging industries in the 21st century, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, geospatial technology is a tool that supports and informs a variety of professions. This technology includes geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing and geographic positioning systems (GPS).

Foothill’s GIST courses emphasize a practical, hands-on approach to learning. Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll have the skills to use leading GIS software, including ArcGIS, QGIS, CartoDB, IDRISI and others. You’ll also develop the professional skills that employers demand. Courses include Introduction to Mapping & Spatial Reasoning; Introduction to Geospatial Technology; Geospatial Data Acquisition & Management; Advanced Geospatial Technology & Spatial Analysis; Specialized Application of GIS; Remote Sensing; and Cartography.

The GIST Program awards an associate in science degree, as well as a series of three specialty certificates. The certificates build a solid technical background in GIST concepts and applications, including cartographic concepts, database design, programming and interdisciplinary applications of technology. Designed for working adults, each certificate can be applied to the next in the series, and the entire sequence can be completed in four 12-week quarters. The certificate program is based on model curriculum developed by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Labor and National Center for Geographic Information Analysis.

You can complete GIST Certificates of Achievement I and II in one academic year. The Certificate of Achievement III and the associate degree may be completed in one academic year, depending on your prior academic experience. Students who also work full time may prefer to complete GIST courses in four or more quarters.

There are no prerequisites and you may enroll in the GIST Program at any time. You may register after submitting the college’s free application for admission at and creating an account for There is no fee to apply.

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