Online Surveying Courses Provide Flexibility


Surveying Instructor Terry Cleaver with a class.
The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton is reimagining surveying education with the introduction of online classes. During the spring 2020 semester, UACCM is offering three online courses that will provide more flexibility to students pursing a surveying degree. This reinforces UACCM’s commitment to remain on the cutting edge in its academic offerings. 

“We’re trying to give individuals who are already working in the field an opportunity to get an A.A.S,” said Terry Cleaver, a surveying instructor. “But we also want to offer this option to conventional students.”

Like any online education, those offered in the surveying program allow students to work on their own time schedule within the framework of the class. Cleaver noted that several students—largely in upper level classes—are already working for surveying firms and can benefit from doing some classwork completely online. Many travel across the state to conduct their job; however, attending a class in person and then going to work can be difficult for some. 

The need for online courses began when the Arkansas State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors raised the requirements to take the Fundamentals of Surveying Exam, the first exam required towards licensure. Today, aspiring surveyors must at least have an Associate of Applied Science degree, which is offered at UACCM, to gain a license. As the demand for more education grows, so does the need to provide students with options. 

The courses include Legal Principles and Boundaries, the study of rights and interest in land ownership and transfer of property; Boundary Evidence and Procedures, which covers laws pertaining to the location of land boundaries described by writings and to apply the law when locating deed boundaries; and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a computer-based data processing tool used to manage and analyze spatial information.

Cleaver felt that these make good classes for online learning, as all three are required in the UACCM surveying curriculum for the A.A.S. and will maintain a path toward licensure. Surveyors research titles and deeds as part of their daily work, and understanding the law behind marking boundaries is critical. “Even students already working in the field are using this,” he said. “They may just not realize it.”

The first online surveying course occurred in the summer of 2019 and resulted in success. Cleaver, who taught it, even received interest from working professionals from out of state. 

Go here for more information about the surveying program.

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