NSF Awards Grant to Minnesota Schools for UAS, Geospatial Education

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) division has awarded a grant of $599,997 to Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) in partnership with St. Cloud State University (SCSU) for the advancement of geospatial information technology (GIT) and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) education and training.

NCTC’s awarded project is entitled “Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Geospatial Information Technology Integration into Technician Education.” The three-year project will focus on developing new capabilities in geographic information science at both Minnesota schools and create educational pathways through dual-credit enrollment and 2+2 articulation agreements for NCTC students.

“We will be using the funds to complete specific work requested by government agencies in the aviation sector – which will also serve to further the knowledge of the industry as a whole,” comments Dr. Dennis Bona, president of NCTC.

NCTC says it has the only accredited UAS maintenance program in the nation and the first two-year associate of arts degree program in geospatial intelligence analysis. The school says the new grant will be used to continue working on drone innovations and create new educational opportunities for students – leading to a highly skilled GIT and UAS workforce.

NCTC and SCSU are hosting an agreement signing ceremony to celebrate the awarded project. The ceremony will be held on Sept. 27 at 2:00 p.m. in Thief River Falls at the NCTC Aerospace site.

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