Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) announced this week its plans to suspend its Geomatics degree program at its Wilsonville campus due to low enrollment in the Portland-Metro area. Oregon Tech’s Geomatics degree program in Klamath Falls will continue to operate as usual, with Wilsonville students taking their remaining coursework from that campus through virtual technology.
The Geomatics profession bridges the design professions such as Civil Engineering, and the sciences such as geophysics. Geomatics employs an integrated approach to measuring, analyzing and managing spatial data, employing high-tech equipment like Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), digital photogrammetry, digital total stations, satellite and terrestrial remote sensing to create a detailed but understandable picture of the Earth's natural and manmade features. Geomatics graduates work for organizations such as the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Land Management, and architectural and construction firms.
Oregon Tech has offered Geomatics in the Portland-Metro area since 2012, and in Klamath Falls since 1947. Enrollment at the Wilsonville campus never reached its minimum goals, so academic leaders decided to suspend the Wilsonville program for now and assess its viability going forward. As the Wilsonville campus’ primary feeder institution (Clark College surveying and geomatics program in Vancouver, Washington) continues to grow, it may prove feasible for Geomatics students to again continue their education at Oregon Tech’s program in the metro area.
Brad Burda, Oregon Tech Provost said, “Geomatics is a fascinating but not well known field. We serve young students right out of high school as well as transfer students and returning adults who want to work outdoors, love math and want to learn more about the field. There is high demand for these graduates. Our challenge is increasing knowledge of the degree program and determining if we can reignite the program in Wilsonville at some future date, which is our hope.”
The Klamath Falls Geomatics program at Oregon Tech will “teach out” the four students enrolled in the Wilsonville Geomatics program using streaming technology, or some students may decide to complete the program by moving to the main campus.