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Santiago Canyon College Selected as Winner of $10,000 Award by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Survey


SCC Program Is One of Seven Honored and Only Community College

(Orange, CA) - The Santiago Canyon College (SCC) Surveying and Mapping Sciences program (SMS) has been chosen as one of seven surveying programs from across the country to receive the 2017 National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Surveying Education Award. SCC is the only community college to be tapped for this prestigious honor that comes with an award of $10,000.

The NCEES annual award recognizes surveying programs that best reflect the organization’s mission to advance licensure for surveyors in order to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

“At Santiago Canyon College, we believe that what happens at SCC matters. This has certainly been the case with one of our college’s most distinguished and long-standing career education programs—the Surveying and Mapping Sciences program. This national award helps recognize the excellent work of our instructors and the much-appreciated support of our business and industry partners,” said Von Lawson, SCC’s dean of business and career technical education.

SCC’s two-year associate and certificate program in Surveying and Mapping Sciences is the only land surveying program offered in the Los Angeles/Orange County region. This unique program offers a comprehensive suite of courses taught by a cadre of well-seasoned land surveyors. The program’s five instructors, who all work full-time in the field and teach part-time at SCC, have a cumulative 200 years of real-world experience. The program consists of seven core courses, supplemented by elective courses, covering a wide range of surveying and mapping subjects.

Additionally, the college has made extensive investments in state-of-the-art instruments and equipment, coupled with innovative course delivery methods, all providing the advanced instruction that prepares students for successful surveying careers. To ensure that the SMS program continues to meet regional needs, licensed surveyors from government and private companies sit on the college’s Technical Advisory Committee. Advisors include representatives from CalTrans, the Orange County Survey Office, Cal Poly Pomona, the Port of Long Beach, D. Woolley & Associates, Psomas, Fuscoe Engineering, Stantec Consulting Services, Johnson-Frank & Associates, and The Baker Company. Outstanding support is also provided by the Orange County Chapter of the California Land Surveyors Association as well as the League of California Surveying Organizations.

“The demand for quality surveying education such as offered at SCC has attracted students from as far away as Santa Barbara,” said Donald Mertens, P.L.S., program facilitator and adjunct faculty. “The need for college-educated surveyors remains strong and with the retirement of baby boomers, that need is likely to increase. It’s indisputable that our program has a sterling reputation for assisting our students with their journey in becoming mapping technicians, surveying technicians, or professional land surveyors.”

SCC’s SMS program offers 50 percent of its courses online, including hybrid courses being taught both online and in-person. In 2016-17, 160 students were enrolled and benefited from courses that articulate with Cal Poly Pomona and California State University, Long Beach. The SCC program supports work-based learning experiences such as internships, project-based assignments, and connections with industry partners. Students have secured internships with the Port of Long Beach and D. Woolley & Associates.

One student who has benefited from the courses, resources, and faculty offered through the SCC Surveying and Mapping Sciences program is 34-year-old Aliso Viejo resident Micah Paulk. Paulk, who just landed a survey technician position with GIS Surveyors, first entered the field without any training. He quickly saw that the surveyors who excelled had attended college and pursued licensure. Consequently, in fall 2016, he began studying at SCC and set his sights on an associate degree or certificate as well as licensure.

Paulk has been very impressed by the faculty, all working professionals with a deep knowledge of the industry, who are always going out of their way to help students. In his case, his instructors told him about a scholarship opportunity which he applied for and received.

Every class presents him with the prospect of learning something new. He vividly recalled how motivating instructor Chu Kow, P.L.S., was during a field work class. “As part of the class, one day I had to serve as a party chief or crew supervisor and I was worried I wouldn’t be up to the challenge. Chu told me that I was capable of doing it and that I should just go out and do it. In that moment, I felt more confident about my skill level as a surveyor and I went out and did it.”

The $10,000 NCEES Surveying Education Award will be utilized by SCC to help fund the development of marketing materials to promote the college’s SMS program, including brochures, website content, and outreach material for high school students. If possible, funds will also be used to help underwrite the purchase of high-tech surveying hardware and software.

Additional information about the NCEES Surveying Education Award is posted at

For more information about SCC’s Surveying and Sciences program, contact the SCC Division of Business and Career Technical Education at or (714) 628-4883. Visit to learn more about the program.

About Santiago Canyon College

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves more than 17,000 credit and non-credit students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and senior - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.


The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying is a nonprofit organization made up of engineering and surveying licensing boards from all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since its founding in 1920, NCEES has been committed to advancing licensure for engineers and surveyors in order to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the U.S. public.

NCEES helps its member licensing boards carry out their duties to regulate the professions of engineering and surveying. It develops best-practice models for state licensure laws and regulations and promotes uniformity among the states. It develops and administers the exams used for engineering and surveying licensure throughout the country. It also provides services to help licensed engineers and surveyors practice their professions in other U.S. states and territories. For more information, please visit

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Media Contact:
Judy Iannaccone
Phone: (714) 480-7503​