Office of Continuing Education

Join Our Mailing List | Contact Us | Member Log In


Online Class

Meets on campus on Saturdays and meets online.

Dats: TBD

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Class will also be live streamed.

Dates: TBD



Judy Ratcliffe

GIS Fundamentals: GIS Essentials Certificate Course 1

GIS Essentials Certificate consists of 2 courses taught in the on-line/classroom (when possible) hybrid format. The first course is GIS Fundamentals.  Each course will run for 10 weeks (20 weeks for the certificate) during the spring and fall semesters.



The GIS Essentials Certificate consists of 2 courses taught in the on-line/classroom hybrid format. Each course will run for 10 weeks (20 weeks for the certificate) during the spring and fall semesters.

The GIS Essentials Certificate will focus on the foundational essential practical skills that all GIS practitioners and professionals in the field utilize on a regular basis. The two courses that will comprise Certificate 1 include “GIS Fundamentals” and “Practical Applications of GIS”. This certificate program will introduce students to the initial tenants of GIS and progress through learning the software tools and how to accomplish basic tasks. Additionally students will be taught how to utilize software tools and apply them with basic GIS principles to solve typical industry problems and answer questions raised to GIS professionals every day. Real world scenarios will provide exposure to methodologies and common practices that can be directly tied to workplace projects and everyday GIS challenges. Students will be learning the most recent version of Esri’s ArcGIS platform including ArcGIS Pro. No prior GIS experience is required for this certificate program

GIS Fundamentals (Course 1 of the Certificate) will cover the following information:

Includes discussion of basic geographic principles such as direction, coordinate systems, spatial relationships, and geographic thought; introduction to what GIS is and how it works in general; introduction to the ArcGIS environment and ArcMap/ArcCatalog applications. It also includes discussion regarding cartography and GIS data and data types. Students leave being able to navigate basic software tools including pan, zoom, query, identify and measure and create shapefiles and shapefile data.

Who Should Enroll

Anyone looking to add new GIS skills to their professional portfolio or supplement existing skills in GIS. It is most beneficial to entry and intermediate level GIS users who lack formal training and education in GIS. No previous work experience in geographic information technologies is required or necessary, however, basic computer literacy is required.


Mr. Thad Dymkowski

Thad J. Dymkowski is a GISCI Certified GIS Professional with almost 2 decades of GIS experience ranging from technical, to analytical, to administrative. He is a double alumnus of Central Connecticut State University, with Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in Geography with concentrations in GIS. Thad’s experience comes from years spent in the public, private, and academic professional environments. He is fluent in ESRI ArcGIS software products, and comfortably familiar with several others. He has also been known to compose usable lines of computer programming code in several programming languages and his maps can be found on walls, in reports, and on a few web pages throughout the State of Connecticut. He has presented and spoken at conferences, meetings, and public hearings throughout the State of Connecticut and New England Region. His proudest creation, aside from his children, is the GIS Certificate Program he teaches for the CCSU Department of Continuing Education and the graduates it has produced.


Class meets on campus on Saturdays and class will be live streamed as well.

Dates: TBD

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Central Connecticut State University
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06053
Department of Geography
Ebenezer D. Bassett Hall


I found this first course of the certificate program to be very informative and hands-on , and just the training I needed to broaden and deepen my knowledge of the science and software. Fall, 2022

Thad is clearly very knowledgeable about GIS. He was very quick to respond to emails-which I found immensely helpful due to the online class format. I would have typically preferred in classroom experience….But due to the amount of change that occurred in my personal life at this time (I moved across the country to Nevada)…I greatly appreciated the flexibility of the online format. Fall, 2020

I wanted to thank you for being a great teacher and further developing my GIS skills in the certificate course you teach at CCSU. The program taught me a lot and opened my eyes to the power and possibilities of GIS. Especially to start getting ahead of the curve with Online GIS, which I’m finding very helpful with many projects. My GIS skills/knowledge definitely helped me to get the position at CRCOG.

Hopefully, I’ll have some opportunities to work with you down the road on Statewide/Regional GIS projects. Once I settle into my new position, I’m hoping to get more involved with CT GIS groups and CCAPA. Fall, 2020