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Online Class

Spring, 2025



Judy Ratcliffe

GIS Practical Applications: GIS Essentials Certificate Course 2

WIOA Eligible

The GIS Essentials Certificate consists of 2 courses taught in the online format. Each course will run for 10 weeks (20 weeks total for the certificate) during the spring and fall semesters.



The GIS Essentials Certificate consists of 2 courses taught in the online 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.

The GIS Practical Application course will cover the following information:

Discussion of practical applications of GIS in the real world using geoprocessing tools (buffer, clip, join) and an introduction to the geodatabase data structure. Discussion regarding GIS design, implementation and administration. Students leave with basic geoprocessing skills, geocoding, georeferencing, and being able to create a geodatabase and associated data structure.

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. GIS skills are often looked for in marketing, planning, sales and a number of other positions.  No previous work experience in geographic information technologies is required or necessary, however, basic computer literacy is required.

Course 1 is required, however students can attend this course only with the permission of the instructor.


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.


This is an online class with live (virtual or in person) meetings.


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