MSJC’s Wiaf trains teachers for GIS courses

Banning High School and Nicolet Middle School in Banning are offering Geographic Information Systems (GIS) courses to students thanks to the contributions of an associate faculty member from Mt. San Jacinto College.

Seth Wiaf, from Loma Linda University, teaches Introduction to GIS and Cartography part time at MSJC. Wiaf provided training to faculty at the Banning schools. Wiafe was also instrumental in guiding the articulation process through which high school students will be able to receive credit for community college courses when they take the GIS courses at Banning High. Funding for the development of the program was made possible by grants from Senate Bill 70, the Governor’s Initiative on Improving and Strengthening Career Technical Education (CTE).

The program, which began in the Fall 2010 , will allow Banning middle and high school students to take classes that will lead to college and jobs. Career fields include health, agricultural planning, aerial photography, archaeology, city planning, civil engineering, community and economic development, cultural-historic resource management, ecology and environmental studies, emergency response and much more.

The Banning schools’ GIS programs start with an introductory semester course offered at Nicolet Middle School. Once the students arrive at Banning High they will take two more introductory courses and proceed to two courses that will be articulated with Mt. San Jacinto College. The two courses are “Introduction to Cartography” and “Introduction to Geographic Information Systems,” Felicia Adkins, Director Education Services at Banning Unified School District, wrote in the recent BUSD newsletter Trailblazer.

Students can continue their coursework at Mt. San Jacinto College and after completing two additional courses and the required electives, they will be able to obtain certificate in GIS. The certificate makes them employable within the GIS field. Education can, of course, continue to a four-year degree, according to Adkins.

Read more about it at


MSJC logo