GGP450 Internship in GIS

for SP 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


GGP 450 Internship in GIS


SP 2012 HO


Fox, David P.


Assistant Professor of Geography

Office Location

Parkville Campus: Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall (SC), Room 004

Office Hours

-MTWR-- 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM (or by appointment)

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

Jan. 16 - May 13

Class Days

As determined with the Internship Supervisor at the sponsoring institution

Class Time

As determined with the Internship Supervisor at the sponsoring institution


GGP350 and GGP355, or permission of the instructor

Credit Hours



None required, however, the student is strongly encouraged to ask his/her supervisor about GIS books or user resources which they may recommend and to obtain at least one or two of these in consultation with the instructor.  Students are also encouraged to investigate possible books available by various publishers that are closely related to the type of work done at the student's sponsoring internship institution.  ESRI Press, in particular (, has many books available that contain exercises and information about using ArcGIS software (the most commonly used GIS software) in a wide variety of specific industries/application areas.
Managing Geographic Information Systems (2nd Edition), by Nancy J. Obermeyer and Jeffrey K. Pinto.
Guilford Press, 2008.
ISBN: 1-59385-635-0
The above textbook provides an excellent discussion of many organizational and ethical issues that will almost certainly encounter as you work as an intern in a professional GIS environment.  It also provides helpful information on what is required to become a GIS professional yourself.

Additional Resources:
Students are encouraged to utilize ESRI's virtual classroom and potentially complete some of their online courses as deemed appropriate with the guidance of their Internship Supervisor and/or the Instructor.  Many of these courses are free and can be completed in a short period of time.  See for details.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
GGP450 Internship in GIS: The student arranges to work in a professional environment. Internship duties will be based on the needs of the cooperating business/organization. Prior to the beginning of the internship experience, the student and the students intended job supervisor must jointly prepare an internship proposal specifying the objectives to be accomplished. The proposal must be submitted to the instructor and approved before any internship work takes place. Prerequisite: GGP350 and GGP355, or permission of the instructor.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
As an internship, this is essentially an independent study course during which students are expected to learn the practical application of GIS concepts and skills as well as perform meaningful GIS-related work for a business, organization, or governmental agency under the guidance and direction of an approved supervisor.  Therefore, the student's Internship Supervisor actually serves as the primary "instructor," since he/she is most familiar with the specific GIS skills and knowledge necessary to accomplish the work and learning outcomes being performed for the cooperating institution.  You (the student) are expected to contact the course Instructor immediately should any working relationship problems arise between yourself and your sponsoring Internship Supervisor.  In addition, the student is encouraged to discuss any challenges or issues that the student may be having in achieving the goals established in his/her Internship Proposal form.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply GIS concepts and skills to "real-world" problems and situations.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to make maps and other documents using GIS software to the satisfaction of an approved internship supervisor.
  3. Evaluate the GIS tasks and activities performed in a work environment using terminology and concepts appropriate to the field.
Class Assessment:
A minimum of 120 clock hours of internship work experience at an approved institution must be completed.  If the required minimum number of work hours is not verified by the supervisor, the student's final grade will be reduced by 5% for each hour that the student is short.

Internship proposal: An Internship Proposal form (click on link in Attachments section below) must be completed jointly by the student and his/her Internship Supervisor and submitted to and approved by the course Instructor before any internship work is completed.  The Intenship Proposal form contains a summary of the purpose/rationale for the internship position and a list of the specific learning/work objectives to be accomplished while working at the sponsoring institution.  Worth 5% of the course grade.

Daily Journals: The student should use the Journal feature in the Dropbox page of the eCollege website for the course to keep a journal/log book summarizing the activities and work performed on EACH DAY that he/she logs internship work hours.  Use of appropriate GIS terminology is expected in these entries.  The daily journal entries will be checked periodically throughout the term by the Instructor in order to monitor the type of work actually being performed and the progress that the student is making.  Failure to have journal entries up to date at the time of a journal check will result in a 5% reduction to the overall journal score for each entry that is missing.  Worth a total of 40% of the course grade.

Work portfolio (Core Assessment part 1): The student must submit an electronic "portfolio" using the appropriate basket in the Dropbox feature of the eCollege website for the course.  The portfolio must contain at least 5 screen shots of the different types of maps, databases, or other documents that you have created or contributed to during your internship work.   Note: Please do NOT submit actual GIS data files (e.g., ArcMap [.mxd], D-Base [.dbf], etc.).  The student is responsible for notifying his/her Internship Supervisor at the beginning of the semester that sample screenshots of the work you have performed will be needed to submit to the course Instructor and to obtain permission from the Supervisor to share these documents with the Instructor.  The portfolio is due by Wednesday of the final week of the semester.  Worth 25% of the course grade.

Reflection paper (Core Assessment part 2): The student must write a 5-6 page paper regarding his/her internship experience.  The student should summarize: 1) what he/she learned about the practical application and implementation of GIS in the particular area of experience, 2) specific examples of GIS concepts and skills that were utilized to achieve the assigned internship work projects, 3) the major challenges he/she encountered in performing the assigned GIS tasks, and 4) a critique of his/her own internship performance and learning about GIS through this experience.  The paper is due by Wednesday of the final week and should be submitted using the appropriate basket in the Dropbox feature of the eCollege website for the course.  Worth 30% of the course grade.


A = 100-90%
B = 89-80%
C = 79-70%
D = 69-60%
F = 59% or less

Note: Any unsatisfactory ratings on the student's final evaluation by his/her supervisor will reduce the student's final grade by 5-10% per rating, depending on the severity of the unsatisfactory rating. 

Late Submission of Course Materials:
All assessments (assignments, exams, etc.) for the lecture session are expected to be fully completed and submitted by the announced due date and time.  Any work completed and/or submitted after the announced deadline may not be accepted for grading.  The instructor reserves the right to determine whether or not late work will be accepted and how much of a grade reduction penalty is appropriate depending upon the rationale for the student's lateness and whether or not he/she appropriately notified the instructor in advance of the deadline (or as soon as reasonably possible in the event of an emergency/unforeseen circumstance) with any appropriate documentation that may be requested by the instructor for verification purposes.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Students are expected to continuously challenge themselves to learn as much as possible and to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times during their internship work hours.  It is the student's responsibility to discuss any workplace rules and expectations that the supervisor may have (dresscode, e-mail usage, phone usage, etc.) and to fully comply with them. 

The Instructor will ask the student's Internship Supervisor to complete a short Midterm and Final Evaluation form.  Any unsatisfactory ratings by the Supervisor regarding any aspect of the student's performance during the internship will result in reductions to the student's final grade.  The student should also be aware that he/she may be administratively withdrawn from the internship course for repeated reports from the Supervisor of any problems with the student's attendance or performance.

A course webpage will be set up in Park's eCollege system (  Students will be expected to use the Journal feature (in the Dropbox page) to make daily journal entries and the Dropbox feature itself for submitting the Core Assessment documents (portfolio items and reflection paper).  In addition, a Discussion page will be set up under the "Course Home" section.  Although students are not required to make any posts, they are strongly encouraged to use it as a means of posting any questions or comments they may like to share with fellow students and the instructor.  Students should check the Discussion page at least 1-2 times per week in order to read and possibly respond to any other student posts that have been made.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The Internship Proposal form is due to instructor before the first day that the student performs any internship work.  The student is required to notify the Instructor of any changes to the scheduled internship work hours or objectives that are made (with the approval of the Internship Supervisor) at any point during the semester after the Internship Proposal form has been submitted.
Daily journals should be posted in the eCollege Journal page ( by the conclusion of each day that the student logs any internship work hours.  Failure to regularly post daily internship work journal entries may result in a grade reduction.
All Core Assessment documents (i.e., Work portfolio and Reflection paper) are due to the instructor by Wednesday of the Final Week of the term.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Internship Proposal Form due during Week 1


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Last Updated:12/26/2011 1:37:48 PM