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GRACE : GIS/T Resources & Applications for Career Education

Dear Teachers and Students:


Welcome back to the GRACE Project in the new school year! I want to use this opportunity to tell you about the changes we have made to the GRACE Project registration forms and one enhancement to the student pre-intern virtual campus training.


We are asking students to provide the home mailing address in the new registration forms. For the students, your home address will help us find internship opportunities close to you. The address info will not be shared outside of the GRACE Team.

More importantly, we have restructured the technical training of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for student internship candidates based upon feedback we received from students. GIS is one of the most in-demand technology skills of today with countless career opportunities in every workplace sector. The GRACE Project provides students with professional GIS/Technology training and opportunities to gain work experiences in local organizations as Interns. Students who choose to participate in the internship program will receive GIS training through the ESRI Virtual Campus. This training is provided free of charge for students in the program. Here is how the program works:


Pre-Interns will need to successfully complete the following to become a qualifying GRACE Internship candidate:


1.      Complete the online GRACE Internship Program Registration form

2.      Attend four online mentoring sessions*

3.      Download and install the ArcGIS Desktop software (PC only)

4.      Complete the eight Required ESRI Virtual campus courses**

5.      Submit ESRI Certificates of Completion online for each completed Virtual Campus course ( www.nsfgrace.net clicking the upper rightest button, “Upload Esri Certificates”)


* Online mentoring sessions will be held every 2 weeks (dates TBD) for the first ESRI virtual campus course, Learning ArcGIS Desktop (for ArcGIS 10), because it is the first GIS technical course, and every 3 weeks (dates TBD) for the remaining courses. The sessions will be conducted live via WebEx (or some other web conferencing software free to students).


A kickoff session will explain how the program works, along with how to access the Virtual campus courses, download software, and upload certificates. The remaining three sessions will be held to monitor your progress, highlight upcoming courses, and answer your questions. You will be encouraged to interact and ask and answer questions during the session.


** There are 8 required ESRI Virtual Campus courses, and 12 elective courses (not required). The initial required course is estimated to take ~ 24 hours, and the remaining required courses vary in length from 1 to 4 hours each. At the completion of each course, you will receive an ESRI Certificate of Completion (www.nsfgrace.net click the 3rd upper button, “High School Students (Interns)” or directly enter http://www.nsfgrace.net/helpdesk/index.php ).


Once you have completed the Pre-Internship requirements, the GRACE team will work to help place you in an internship program hosted by a nearby government agency, non-profit, or business. Students who are successfully placed in internships will complete approximately 120 hours of work with the agency at $10/hr.  


It is important to note that internships are not guaranteed. You will need to apply to the internship host agency just like a real job. You will have the advantage of being a GRACE participant and the internship stipend support from the GRACE program, but you will need to conduct yourself in a professional manner and successfully pass the interview.


Sincerely yours,


Yichun Xie, Ph.D.
Professor of GIS, RS and Planning
Principal Investigator, the NSF GRACE Project

Director, Institute for Geospatial Research & Education
Eastern Michigan University