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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - PAD6717
Tracking Number - 5147

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2016-08-01
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: Elective for MPA- To GC. Needs revision. OGS fixed Approved To USF Sys 5/18/16; to SCNS after 5/25/16. Nmbr 5717 apprd as 6717 eff 8/1/16

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2014-12-12
  2. Department:
  3. College: AS
  4. Budget Account Number: 1256000
  5. Contact Person: Kim Lersch
  6. Phone: 47276
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: PAD
  9. Number: 6717
  10. Full Title: GIS Applications for Urban Management
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): GIS for Urban Management
  19. Course Online?: B - Face-to-face and online (separate sections)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: None
  23. Corequisites: None
  24. Course Description: Provides a basic introduction to the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for urban decision makers. No prior knowledge of GIS is assumed. No restrictions on registration.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed to compete with national trends
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This course was offered on a trial basis in Summer, 2014 and will be offered again as a special topics course in Summer, 2015. We are getting requests from our students asking for basic GIS training. While some do take GIS courses in other units, the courses are not specifically targeted to their interests. As there are approximately 75 graduate students in the MPA program we anticipate offering the course at least once a year.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? Yes, 1 time
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) A Ph.D. is required in a public administration, geography, sociology, planning or related discipline. The instructor should have experience using GIS software as documented by course work, research, or experience.
  29. Objectives: The objective of the course is to provide students with a basic introduction to the use of GIS software (both commercial and open source) in the public sector.
  30. Learning Outcomes: At the end of this course, students will: 1) Gain a practical understanding of GIS concepts, vocabulary, technical issues, and applications; 2) create basic maps; 3) interpret geographic information; 4) apply their skill set to solve new problems; 5) identify sources of GIS data for use in urban organizations
  31. Major Topics: I. Getting started with maps and data;

    II. Symbolizing and displaying data;

    III. Getting information about data;

    IV. Creating and editing data;

    V. Presenting data;

    VI. Applications to real world settings;

    VII. Open Source alternatives for mapping and analysis

  32. Textbooks: Required:

    Law, M. (2013). Getting to know ArcGIS for Desktop, Third Edition. Redlands, CA: ESRI Press.


    Thomas, C. & Humenik-Sappington, N. (2009). GIS for Decision Support and Public Policy Making. Redlands, CA.: ESRI Press.

    Harder, C., Ormsby, T., & Balstrom, T. (2013). Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Project Workbook (2nd ed.). Redlands, CA: ESRI Press.

    Fleming, C. (2014). The GIS guide for elected officials. Redlands, CA: ESRI Press

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: LeGates, R. (2005). Think Globally, Act Regionally: GIS and Data Visualization for Social Science and Public Policy Research. Redlands, CA.: ESRI Press.

    Various (free) on-line courses offered through and Federal Emergency Management Agency (GIS & Disaster Mangement) to supplement individual student interests.

    Q_GIS 2.6 Open Source GIS Users Guide (free)

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Students must have access to a computer with a high speed internet connection. For students working off-campus, GIS software must be installed on your PC or Mac. A trial version is available at no cost.

    Students will work through a series of tutorials and modules. The tutorials will comprise 40% of their grade; 60% of their grade will be based on the completion of assigned modules.

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Students will complete series of tutorials from their textbook as well as selected training modules. The projects will be open book and you can ask other students for assistance if you get stuck. The goal of the course is to provide you with the confidence to pursue more advanced training in GIS.
  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. Its the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: Students will be provided with a soft due date and a hard due date for each project. While no direct penalty will be assessed if a student misses a soft due date, after a hard due date the project will not be accepted and the points will be lost.

    While students may ask questions and work together to complete a project, each student must turn in their own assignment.

    Please refer to the University Policy on Academic Integrity.

  38. Program This Course Supports: MPA
  39. Course Concurrence Information: Potentially, students from a variety of social science graduate programs may take this course if their home department approves, including sociology, criminology, communication, or other university programs.

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or