The GRACE (GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education) Project is a multi-year National Science Foundation Grant project that was initiated by Eastern Michigan University, partnering with the Michigan Virtual University, Michigan Mathematics & Science Centers Network, Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association, and Michigan Communities Association of Mapping Professionals.  Its goal is to bring resources and materials into K-12 classrooms which will provide educators and students with hands on learning experiences with GIS and geo-spatial technologies to bolster GISci in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and provide potential future employment opportunities for students.

This process is broken down into three phases: Explorer level where basic GIS tools are used as an introduction to the GISci field; Investigator level where students’ use advanced tools to assist with science and technology projects; and Intern level where those students who excel are given real life opportunities to participate in the GIS community.

See GRACE video

The GIS/T Resources and Applications for Career Education (GRACE) project is funded by NSF Innovative Technology Experience for Students and Teachers Program (2014 – 2018, DRL-1433712). This project is implemented through the partnership between Eastern Michigan University (EMU), Michigan Virtual University (MVU), Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network (MMSCN) and Michigan Communities Association of Mapping Professionals (MiCAMP). The project has two main goals: (1) to provide professional development opportunities to middle and high school teachers in Michigan for bringing rich GIS datasets and analytical functions into classroom teaching; and (2) to train high school students according to the ESRI Desktop GIS Entry Certification Standard with hands-on skills and to gain work experiences in local organizations and government agencies as Interns.

MiCAMP and Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget are primarily responsible for identifying GIS skillsets for the GRACE internship training and for coordinating the internship placement. As an agreement with the NSF GRACE project, MiCAMP members and GIS professionals in Michigan who agree to mentor the GRACE project student interns have full access to the training modules (a set of 20 ESRI Virtual Campus Courses) that the GRACE interns are studying and practicing.

There are 8 required courses (the first eight marked with *) and 12 elective courses:

(1) Learning ArcGIS Desktop (for ArcGIS 10) – 8 modules – 24 hours credit (Required*)
(2) Getting Started with the Geodatabase – 1 module – 1 hour credit (Required*)
(3) Creating and Sharing GIS Content with ArcGIS Online – 1 module – 4 hours credit (Required*)
(4) Creating Web Applications Using Templates and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS – 1 module – 4 hours credit (Required*)
(5) Configuring and Administering an ArcGIS Online Organization – 1 module – 4 hours credit (Required*)
(6) Teaching with GIS: Field Data Collection Using ArcGIS – 1 module – 3 hours (Required*)
(7) Getting Started with ArcGIS Pro – 1 module – 3 hours (Required*)
(8) The 15-Minute Map: Creating a Basic Map in ArcMap – 1 module – 3 hours (Required*)
(9) Introduction to Editing Parcels Using ArcGIS Desktop 10 – 1 module – 3 hours
(10) Network Analysis Using ArcGIS – 1 module – 3 hours
(11) Address Geocoding with ArcGIS – 1 module – 3 hours
(12) Finding Geographic Data in ArcGIS – 1 module – 3 hours credit
(13) 3D Visualization Using ArcGIS Pro – 1 module – 2 hours
(14) Basics of Python (for ArcGIS 10) – 1 module – 3 hours
(15) Building Geoprocessing Models Using ArcGIS Pro – 1 module – 3 hours
(16) Distance Analysis Using ArcGIS Pro – 1 module – 3 hours
(17) Using Lidar Data in ArcGIS 10 – 1 module – 3 hours
(18) 3D Analysis of Surfaces and Features Using ArcGIS – – 1 module – 3 hours
(19) Managing Parcel Data Using ArcGIS Desktop 10 – 1 module – 3 hours
(20) Modeling a City Using Esri City Engine – 1 module – 3 hours

If you want to find out the descriptions of these 20 lessons, please navigate to and click on the “High School Student Interns (Interns)” option. Here you will find the detailed information.

If you are interested in obtaining access codes to some of these ESRI courses, please provide the following information

Office Address:
Work Phone:
Email Address:
Interest of Serving as a GRACE project student GIS mentor (Yes only):
The ESRI VC Courses to which you are requesting access codes:

in an email to After doing so, you will receive an email in the next few days which will include the access codes you are requesting and how to register as GIS mentors online. In general, the GRACE project staff will process the access code request twice a week (Monday and Wednesday). For any further questions, please feel free to email We appreciate your interest in serving as a GIS mentor for our students and have a nice day.

Moreover, in case that the student interns are working on GIS applications beyond the above course list, the below is a link to the full list of the courses available to a standard ESRI annual license,

You may request access codes to these courses too. However, several of these courses may not be available to the educational license.