East Tennessee State University Engineering Technology, Surveying & Digital Media

Surveying and Mapping Science

About



Surveying is a rapidly developing profession that deals with spatial information, i.e. the “where” question. As almost all information has some kind of location, the variety of information and applications which the Professional Surveyor deals with is extremely wide.

The professional practice of surveying focuses on the location of various land use rights and the boundaries between them. Consequently surveying is often considered to be a quasi-judicial profession.

However, like most professions, it is grounded in the sciences, notably the sciences of mathematics and measurement theory. And, perhaps to a greater extent than many other professions, surveying is being rapidly affected by new technological changes, such as GPS, GIS, computerized mapping, robotics, scanning, and wireless communications

ETSU’s BS degree in Surveying and Mapping Science is accredited by the ASAC Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

As such, it meets or exceeds the minimum educational requirements for surveying licensure in most states and many foreign jurisdictions. Prospective students should check the licensure requirements of every specific state of interest as professional licensure requirements vary from state to state. In addition to education requirements for licensure, most states also have work experience and examination requirements that must be met before a license to practice surveying will be granted.


Outcomes



Student Outcomes – Surveying and Mapping Science

Graduates are expected to have:

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and applied sciences
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. an ability to formulate or design a system, process, or program to meet desired needs
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. an ability to identify and solve applied science problems
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. an ability to communicate effectively
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of solutions in a global and societal context
  9. a recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern scientific and technical tools necessary for professional practice.

Program Specific Student Outcomes Criteria – Surveying

  • Graduates can function:
    • As a professional,
    • As an effective member of a project team,
    • In a dynamic (changing) environment
  • The program will produce graduates who are technically competent and adapt to the work environment
    • Note: “technically competent” means that the graduates have knowledge of and exposure to basic surveying field equipment and general understanding of surveying laws

Expectations


Our students come to us with a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, and talents. No one generalized statement will fit everyone. So perhaps the best answer to the question of what to expect as a surveying graduate is to answer in the negative; what not to expect.

Surveying graduates are not master technicians or crew chiefs. While many of our students acquire mastery of surveying technology before coming here, and while all of our students should have some basic familiarity with various surveying technology and theory, they will need more practice and instruction with surveying technology. For example, please know that a typical four credit course gives a student approximately the same amount of lab time as 2 weeks of full time employment.

At ETSU, we believe that the best way to prepare students for service as future professionals is through a partnership between education and employment. We see the role of the educational institution as exposing the students to the breadth necessary to see all the opportunities before them, both personally and professionally. We see the role of the employer as providing the depth needed to master the opportunities that they decide to pursue.

This means that our graduates won’t leave ETSU knowing all that is needed to know as a professional surveyor. Although they will have been exposed to a great deal of theory, they are not expected to be a master of it. Although they will have written many papers, given oral presentations, performed field work, prepared maps and done a host of other assignments while at ETSU, they will not been given enough exposure to any one thing to have mastered everything. But, by the time they graduate they should know how to learn.

And they will still have much to learn.


Curriculum



To graduate from ETSU with a degree in Surveying and Mapping Science a student must complete a total of 128 hours. These hours are broken down as follows:

  • General Education (42 credit hours)
  • Surveying and Mapping Science Technical Core Requirements (74 credit hours)
  • Guided Electives (12 credit hours)

A list of these classes and a course description of each can be found in ETSU’s on-line catalog. 

Program Objectives & Student Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives:

Within two to four years graduates with a B.S. in Surveying and Mapping Science will:

  1. Be prepared to successfully complete the FS (Fundamentals of Surveying) portion of the professional license exam;
  2. Seek progressive experience and increased professional opportunities;
  3. Become active and strive for leadership roles in the state and national organizations that represent their profession;
  4. Contribute to the continuing success of the ETSU program and the profession.

The student outcomes for the B.S. degree in Surveying and Mapping Science include the General Criteria a-k established by the ASAC of ABET plus those following below:

ASAC of ABET – General Criteria for Student Outcomes:

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and applied sciences
(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
(c) an ability to formulate or design a system, process, or program to meet desired needs
(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
(e) an ability to identify and solve applied science problems
(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
(g) an ability to communicate effectively
(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of solutions in a global and societal context
(i) a recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning
(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues
(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern scientific and technical tools necessary for professional practice.

ETSU Program Specific Student Outcomes

  • Graduates can function:
    • As a professional,
    • As an effective member of a project team,
    • In a dynamic (changing) environment
  • The program will produce graduates who are technically competent and adapt to the work environment
    • Note: “technically competent” means that the graduates have knowledge of and exposure to basic surveying field equipment and general understanding of surveying laws


Course Delivery


The lecture component of most surveying classes is videostreamed. Videostreamed lectures are recorded and made available to all students. Videostreamed lectures are usually offered in two sections. The students in one section are expected to attend the lectures live in the classroom. The students in the other section have the option of attending classes live in the classroom, or by participating live via computer. Students who would like to have the option of attending lectures live via computer are charged a fee to cover the costs of this option.

Labs for freshman and sophomore classes are typically held on the main campus in the vicinity of Wilson-Wallis Hall. Labs for junior and senior students are often held at the Valleybrook Farms campus. This campus consists of 144 acres of improved and unimproved space and is ideal for giving students an opportunity to work in conditions routinely encountered by surveyors working in a rural environment.

Students who enroll in sections that have a live videostreaming option also have the option of making arrangements to perform lab exercises off-campus. Those who exercise this option will need to make arrangements with a partner who will assist in administering exams and lab assignments at off-campus locations. Prospective students or partners who would like to learn more about this option are encouraged to contact the Surveying and Mapping Science degree program coordinator to learn more.

We encourage all students to attend lectures and labs live on campus in the conventional manner, as we feel this provides the best environment for effective learning. However, we want to make sure that place-bound students are not precluded from attaining their educational goals either. Although we feel that attending lectures live via computer and performing labs off-campus under the supervision of an approved partner is more difficult and requires more time and effort from the student, we are providing this option to allow place-bound students to complete classes that they otherwise could not complete.



Employers



There are several paths to locating the right employee to match your firm’s needs.

One path is through a resume book published by our student surveying club. Several of our students have taken the initiative of preparing their resumes and publishing them in this book. This book is typically published each January. If you would like a copy of it, just send an email to the program coordinator or to the student surveying club.

Although the students who have placed their resumes in this book are some of our most organized and attentive, you may find that no one listed in the resume book adequately meets your firm’s needs, or that no one remains available by the time you are ready to make a hire. In either event, other alternatives are available.

One direct path that is available to you is to make a direct posting of your needs to our student e-mail list. We maintain an email list of all surveying majors, as well as some alumni, faculty and other interested people. All prospective employers are invited to submit an announcement of any employment opportunities they may have and that announcement will be forwarded to everyone on the list, usually within 24 hours. If you would like to post an employment opportunity to the list, you can send it directly to surveyors@listserv.etsu.edu.

Another path is to work with our career center. They provide a variety of services to prospective employers, ranging from career fairs, to posting job notices and providing interview rooms, to helping you participate in our co-op program. If you would like to learn more about the variety of services provided on campus to prospective employers, go to the University Career Services site, or the College of Business & Technology career services site.

Academic Common Market



The Academic Common Market is an interstate agreement in which students from participating states may be able to pursue the Surveying & Mapping Science degree from ETSU at in-state tuition rates. The states that are participating in 2013/2014 are Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. A similar program exists for residents of North Carolina counties that abut the Tennessee border. If you are a resident of one of these states or counties and would like to know more about how this program works, go to the university’s common market page.

Surveying Club


The students at ETSU have formed a student organization dedicated to helping the students enrolled in the Surveying and Mapping Science program degree.

Any student at ETSU is eligible to join this club.

The Surveying club at ETSU is a valuable resource for the surveying students at ETSU and we strongly recommend that every surveying student join the club and activity participate in it. Club activities can include:

  • Mentoring services provided to new students
  • Creation and dissemination of a resume book
  • Hosting presentations by professionals, vendors and prospective employers on topics not covered in the classroom
  • Organizing field trips to surveying conventions and other events of interest.
  • General social fellowship
  • And more.

Learn more about the club.