updated 10/19/2010 9:46:44 AM ET 2010-10-19T13:46:44

REDLANDS, Calif., Oct. 19, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cape Girardeau Public Schools in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, has signed a site license agreement that will allow all the primary and secondary schools in the district to use Esri's ArcGIS software. Introductory geographic information system (GIS) courses began during the fall semester at Career and Technology Center ( CGCTC ), which offers classes for both high school and adult students. Other schools in the district will conduct their own classes as the GIS teaching capacity increases.

"Our first step is to generate awareness in the district of what GIS is and what it can do," says Dave Dickey, adult education evening supervisor at CGCTC. "We want to involve our career counselors so that they understand how large the predicted growth rate for employment is in this field."

The CGCTC plans to offer professional development classes to instructors in the district who want access to the software as a teaching tool in their classrooms.

As part of the plan to raise the visibility of GIS in the area, the Missouri Mappers Association will stage an awareness fair at the school on GIS Day, which will be celebrated on November 17, 2010. Announcements regarding the fair will be distributed to students throughout the district, inviting them to learn more about the potential of GIS and how it can lead to future education and/or employment.

"We will try to leverage this event as much as possible," says Dickey. "Our Mass Communications department will video the activities, then produce a DVD that will be distributed to the counselors throughout our district. We will also invite the local TV station to cover the event, and someone in our GIS lab will help students try some hands-on training."

Dickey indicates that future plans for GIS instruction at CGCTC include a two-year certificate program that he plans to launch in the fall of 2011.

For more information about Esri's GIS for Schools program, visit esri.com/schools.

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri, the market leader in GIS, has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at esri.com.

Esri, the Esri globe logo, GIS by Esri, ArcGIS, GIS Day, esri.com, and @esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.

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