2017 GeoTEd-UAS Professional Development Institute for Community College Faculty

Spring, 2017, Blacksburg, VA


What: GeoTEd-UAS Institute Professional Development Cohort

Who: Community College / 2-Year College Faculty (full-time faculty only)

Topic: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Operations Technician Training
When: May 21-26, 2017
Where: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Cost: We have already allocated the limited number of faculty professional development scholarships available to Virginia Community College faculty. With that being said, we still have a handful of seats available at the workshop. These seats will be provided to interested participants without a scholarship. Participants will be admitted on a case-by-case basis. Participants will be responsible for covering their own travel and workshop related expenses (if flying, Roanoke, VA is the closest airport).

For individuals who are interested in joining the cohort, there are two workshop payment options:

1. The All Inclusive Option: $1450 (includes room and board, workshop instruction, workshop supplies/materials while in Blacksburg). Participants are only responsible for covering their own travel expenses to and from Blacksburg, VA.

2. The Daily Commuter Option: $900 (includes sUAS for training, other workshop supplies and materials , and lunches, but does not include room accommodations or breakfasts / dinners). This option is being offered only to individuals who live locally. Participants are responsible for covering their own travel expenses to and from Blacksburg, VA.

    Payment options will be provided after acceptance. Major credit cards can be used towards payment.


    Application Process: An online application form must be completed for non-scholarship applicants. You can complete the online application now, and submit the letter (via email) later. Acceptances and notifications will be provided by January 20th, 2017 

    Workshop Overview

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) represents a new data collection tool, that can add tremendous value to industry and decision making. Many existing employment sectors have an immediate need for Operations Technicians to take advantage of UAS operations capabilities.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently released new guidelines and regulations for the operation of small UASs. It is anticipated that these guidelines will further spur the proliferation of UAS technology across employment sectors.

This professional development opportunity is designed to provide training for 2-year college / community college faculty in the operation of UAS so that faculty will be better qualified UAS instructors. The cohort members of this institute are expected to serve as trained UAS operations technicians at their respective community colleges, and provide / organize related courses that are needed to meet employer demand. Institutional support is an essential component in the application process.

We expect that most faculty will be able to instruct one of the areas (UAS flight operations, UAS flight planning, UAS data capture formatting and manipulation, sensor selection, remote sensing data analysis, UAS maintenance, etc.) but may not have access to the laboratories or knowledge for covering all of the needed informational areas. For example, a faculty member may know how to use GIS and can learn how to plan and complete a mission, but does not know how to access the equipment to maintain the aircraft. Community colleges that can demonstrate coverage of needed knowlege areas will be considered for this program.

Past cohort participants have found this experience to be extremely rewarding, and have developed expertise and extensive professional networks that, in many cases, have changed the way that they approach their courses. Also note that, in addition to attending two workshops, a mentoring program provides additional support during the course of the academic year. If you are interested in cutting edge technology and innovative educational tools, then we encourage you to apply and join us!

Note that completing the online application does not, in itself, guarantee faculty acceptance to the workshop. You will be notified!

Space is limited. We encourage you to complete an online application form as soon as possible.


This professional development opportunity is provided through GeoTEd UAS and is supported by the NSF ATE.