American Sentinel University Highlights Importance of Competency-based Learning at Esri Education GIS Conference

– Promoting an Active Learning Community Helps to Prepare Students for a Lifetime of Success –

AURORA, Colo. – June 28, 2013 – American Sentinel University’s GIS program chair, Stephen McElroy, Ph.D., GISP, will detail how competency-based learning is an educational strategy that provides a flexible means for geographic information systems (GIS) students to demonstrate content mastery in his presentation ‘Online Geospatial Learning Lab Exemplifies Competency-based Learning’ at the upcoming 2013 Esri Education GIS Conference on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in the Carlsbad Room, Marriot Marquis & Marina in San Diego, Calif.

“Competency-based, hands-on learning allows students to put concepts into practice,” says Dr. McElroy. “The ability to apply geospatial themes in practical ways prepares students for similar work challenges in which they will be required to synthesize data and information to produce creative solutions.”

American Sentinel’s online Geospatial Learning Lab was developed earlier this year as part of American Sentinel’s Master of Geospatial Information degree program to serve as a one-stop shop that allows students to explore a given topic in greater depth beyond the classroom. The Geospatial Learning Lab is similar to a learning commons that brings together people, resources and materials in a way that facilitates the development of an active learning community.

McElroy believes that an active learning community is critical to the success of the Geospatial Learning Lab, the entire GIS program at American Sentinel University and plays an important role in using geospatial technology to solve the challenges of the 21st century.

“We want to foster an engaged student population that interacts with others and exchanges ideas and information,” says Dr. McElroy. “Sharing insights and collaborating on projects are hallmarks of the contemporary workplace and promoting an active learning community helps to prepare our students for a lifetime of success.”

American Sentinel University at 2013 Esri Education GIS Conference

American Sentinel University’s GIS faculty team will be exhibiting at the Esri Education User Conference on Saturday, July 6 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m – Sunday, July 7 from 9:45 a.m. – 6 p.m. at booth E109 in the Marina Ballroom F & G, South Tower, Level 3.

American Sentinel will also be exhibiting at the Academic GIS Program Fair on Monday, July 8 from 3:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. at booth A128 in the San Diego Convention Center, third-level ballroom, 6A lobby.

Stop by and meet the team to learn more about American Sentinel’s Geospatial Learning Lab, Master of Geospatial Information degree program and GIS degree programs.

Learn more about American Sentinel University’s Master of Geospatial Information degree program at

About American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited associate, bachelor’s and master’s online degree programs focused on the needs of high-growth sectors, including information technology, computer science, GIS masters programs, online GIS certificates, computer information systems and business intelligence degrees. The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.