Land Surveying Coursework

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Land Surveying Coursework

Postby Rob_LS » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:46 pm

If you were forming a new Land Surveying Curriculum at a community college, what courses would you want to have in the program?

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David Kendall
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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby David Kendall » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:43 pm

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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby E_Page » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:11 pm

First off, what is the goal. Is it to create a Certificate Program, an AAS degree, or just provide a few classes of interest for those already surveying or for those interested in going into surveying?

Who is the typical target student?
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David Kendall
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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby David Kendall » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:47 am

In my studies I benefited most (top 3) from Argument (philosophy), Constructive Geometry (assuming Algebra and Trigonometry are taught in high school) and Legal Principles (broad principles followed by locale specific studies). Most of the other stuff I learned on the job.

For overachievers I would suggest a few light astronomy and physics courses.

Communication is key so it would be wise to have a solid foundation for mapping (GIS or classical) and English as these finer points sometimes go by the wayside while focusing on flagging knots, rod bubble calibration and lath stockpile assessment.

PLSS basic structure could be a week in the geometry class curriculum. GPS fundamentals could be another week.

I’m kicking myself right now for skipping Accounting and Business Management

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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby DanFrink » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:04 pm


I found the program at Sac. City to be very beneficial to my career. It covered most of the important topics, and gave me an excellent path towards learning the topics I needed to pass the LS exam. I was bummed when it went away...

Side note, I was lucky and already had a Bachelor's Degree so I was able to get the Associate Degree through Sac City (all general ed. was already completed). It was only offered for a VERY brief time, I'm not even sure how many other's actually got the degree and not just the certificate?


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David Kendall
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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby David Kendall » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:05 pm

I have another suggestion for you Rob. This ought to be worth big points on the final exam

<my apologies to the author but it is important>
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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby jonwheat » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Geometry and Trigonometry with and emphasis on coordinate geometry.
Great post!

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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby jonwheat » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:08 pm

AutoCad/Civil 3D
Still a great post!

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Warren Smith
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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby Warren Smith » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:01 pm

Land Description Writing
Legal Research (Statutes and Case Law)
The Professional Land Surveyors' Act
The Subdivision Map Act
The BLM Manual of Instructions
Warren D. Smith, LS 4842
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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby pls5528 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:27 am

Personally, I think Warren Smith's requirements above would be spot on, but would like to add the following:

1) Interpretation of design and construction plans
2) True Drafting fundamentals (prerequisite to AutoCad)
3) AutoCad (specific to surveying)
4) Fundamental Business
5) Speech

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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby LS_8750 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:01 am

As a practical matter, the above 10 suggestions would turn any prospective student toward a job in a lumber yard over land surveying.

Maybe we are out of touch, dying on the vine... Try harder.

Rather, entrants want to learn how to construct a virtual reality model that shows the totality of every consideration for all interested parties on a holographic presentation platform that has not been invented yet, but will in the not so distant future.
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tel. 707.996.8449 (Sonoma) or 831.477.9215 (Santa Cruz)

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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby falcon » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:04 pm

This is what is required at College of the Canyons, in Santa Clarita: These courses get you the cert, other (Gen Ed) get you to A.S. degree. It is the program I took and was an excellent one.

Introduction to Land Surveying | 4.0 units
Advanced Land Surveying | 4.0 units
Advanced Applications in Surveying I | 3.0 units
Advanced Applications in Surveying II | 3.0 units
Boundary Control and Legal Principles I | 3.0 units
Boundary Control and Legal Principles II | 3.0 units
Construction Surveying | 4.0 units
Computer Aided Drafting for Surveyors | 3.0 units
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems | 3.0 units
Trigonometry | 3.0 units

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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby BeachBum » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:06 am

Hey that's funny, Clark! I came from a lumber yard to surveying!

For a Community College, the basics work the best. Having a lab to go with a few courses are a must. Keeping Clark's comments in mind, having a course that utilizes private companies and government agencies showing some of the cutting edge technologies would be beneficial. Diving deeper into any advanced course should be left to either on the job or through B.S. coursework.

There is no beating around the bush, a portion of this career requires boots on the ground and getting dirty. It's not for everyone. There's challenges and hurdles on every project, but it's a good living and rewarding if you embrace it.
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"I'm just dumb enough to think I know what I am doing!"

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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby DWoolley » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:11 pm

This week there was a technical advisory committee meeting at the local community college to discuss the land surveying program curriculum.

There were several suggestions for the program. However, the greatest consensus on the required classes was to add a writing class. The class would include technical writing, professional correspondence etc.


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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby Edward M Reading » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:14 pm

Based on experience, that is an excellent suggestion.
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Re: Land Surveying Coursework

Postby jpallamary » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:06 pm

A seminar I took, which was years ago here in San Diego, and it stuck with me since, in a very positive manner;
"Ethics for Surveyors"

I realize there may not be enough information to spread out across a normal semester, but certainly is beneficial to many surveyors (or potential surveyors, including civil engineers). This subject could branch off with so many discussions, between surveyor to surveyor (internal company vs. external). The protection to the public. The unbiased work and how we represent ourselves to our client and their disputing neighbors. Code of conduct. Scenarios, potential conversations to clients, superintendents, supportive documentation, field notes etc. Filing of information (public and private). So many options with this subject, and so many fantastic ways to teach others.

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