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College of Continuing Education News

October 2012 Archives

Anthony Scott.jpgAnthony (Tony) Scott, Academic Adviser
Tony is the academic adviser for the Manufacturing Operations Management program. He has been advising students in the program since 2009. He has his M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Management and his undergraduate degree from the College of Continuing Education's Inter-College Program. Tony also has over 10 years of experience owning and operating his own concession business. He is always eager to talk with students about admissions, course transferability, prerequisite courses, major requirements, and general University information. Students interested in the MM program can submit a Request for a Planning Chart and then schedule an in-person or phone appointment with Tony to discuss working towards their degree.

The "Make Stuff" Degree

Mac McKeen, MM Faculty Director

Program Overview
Manufacturing Operations Management (MM), or as we sometimes call it, the "make stuff" degree, is designed to provide the knowledge and skills required for a career in the field of manufacturing. In business nothing happens until someone sells something--and there is nothing to sell until someone makes something. It is this awareness that is behind the Manufacturing Operations Management B.A.Sc. degree and the way we prepare our graduates to immediately contribute to the bottom line.

The MM program offers a real-world perspective on the latest manufacturing processes and technologies, along with practical knowledge of management strategies and tactics that are critical to productivity and competitiveness in today's global economy. The classes, which are offered either fully or partially online, offer a flexible way to meet the career development needs of both full- and part-time students.

The Prospective MM Student
The MM program has particular appeal to those seeking career development because it takes a practicum approach, blending theoretical subject matter with reality-based knowledge provided by industry professionals. The entire adjunct faculty is composed of industry professionals working in their field of expertise. These knowledgeable and passionate leaders bring their real-world experiences into the program and course work, and course assignments and research are based on what is happening in the industry today.

This degree is also designed to prepare new professionals to enter the field of manufacturing operations management, which is critical to the medical device industry both here in Minnesota and around the world. In Minnesota, the medical technology industry is a key part of the economy and provides higher wages than other commercial sectors; there are some 35,000 direct jobs and 200,000 indirect jobs in the state.

The Curriculum
The MM courses are process-based and reflect the key focus areas of the ISO 9001 Quality System Standard. Every successful manufacturing company uses this international standard to design and build its systems. The core competencies of this degree are based on the fundamental building blocks of the standard and what is required for an effective and efficient manufacturing operation:


  • Management Responsibility and Leadership - business processes and human capital management

  • Resource Management and Supply Chain - materials conversion and sourcing

  • Product Realization and Manufacturing - transformation cycle

  • Measurement Analysis and Improvement and Quality - continuous improvement and world- class quality systems


Thumbnail image for MM Degree Graphic.jpg
Our goal is to continually update the curriculum to ensure its graduates are able to meet the needs and demands of the medical and technical manufacturing industry, and build and enhance partnerships with other U of M colleges and departments, as well as with employers and companies in the area.

Program Benefits
The MM program gives students real-world perspectives on manufacturing operations. It is also designed to give them an insight into management strategies and tactics and the "soft skills" they will need in a very competitive, rapidly growing global economy. Graduates of the program are prepared to compete for many in-demand jobs, including those in manufacturing and operations, supply chain and materials management, and quality and compliance.

The classes, which are offered either fully or partially online, offer a flexible way to meet the career development needs of both full- and part-time students. The program teaches leadership and management skills, as well as technical skills in the areas of supply chain, quality, processes, and technology. This degree is ideal for individuals who are already working in the field, and want to finish their degree, or for traditional-age students who are interested in getting into this industry.

It is about quality--whether it is a degree program you're creating, or whether you're manufacturing pens or pop bottles or medical devices. There is a saying, 'The definition of quality is when your customers come back...and your products don't.' That's a great way to sum up this degree program.

mac_mckeen.jpgMr. McKeen is a leading regulatory consultant with over 20 years of experience in the medical device industry in a variety of key assignments focusing on rapid product development, clinical study, quality system compliance, and regulatory approval of innovative high quality Class II and III medical devices. He has served as director of regulatory management for St. Jude Medical and director of quality for Phillips Plastics. He is active in a wide range of industry associations as chair of the LifeScience Alley Regulatory SIG and member of the LSA 510k Action Committee, as well as a variety of AdvaMed committees. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Dallas and an R.A.C. (Regulatory Affairs Certification).

Career opportunities for the manufacturing sector are promising. That is because manufacturing is the third largest industry in Minnesota and accounts for more than 13 percent of jobs statewide.

Not only is the career outlook good, but the working environments are comfortable and the jobs are complex and interesting. High-performing, cross-functional employees who can implement new processes and enhancements are in great demand as traditional work methods give way to collaboration.

Furthermore, many industries, such as medical technology, are still expecting growth, especially in Minnesota. Wage and salary employment in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing is projected to grow about 14 percent by 2016; in electronic instrument manufacturing, 12 percent.

In addition, new vacancies in all sectors are being generated as baby boomers begin to retire in unprecedented numbers. It is estimated that 85 percent of these emerging manufacturing jobs in Minnesota will require advanced education, with 20 percent requiring a bachelor's degree. (www.deed.state.mn.us.)

Experienced manufacturing operations professionals are well compensated, depending on industry and level of responsibility. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition predicts a median pay of just over $87,000 for an industrial production manager.

Individuals with experience in production occupations, combined with the knowledge this program provides, will have the best prospects of moving into positions of responsibility, such as:

  • Team Leader
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Materials Manager
  • Production Planner
  • Operations Analyst
  • Operations Manager
  • Production Supervisor
  • Quality Auditor
  • Quality Manager

The College of Continuing Education understands that many students are under serious financial pressure and are increasingly dependent on financial aid to continue their education. Therefore, CCE has its own Scholarship/Financial Aid Coordinator, Jessica Haensch, who works directly with students to give them the support and tools they need in order to better understand the different sources of financial aid available to them. The College has its own scholarship and grant awards for students in degree and certificate programs. CCE scholarship and grant awards are applicable to tuition and fees and typically range from $1,000 - $2,500 for undergraduate students. Please visit our website for complete financial aid information.

MM 3001: Manufacturing in a Global Economy (online) (3 cr)
In today's changing global economy, high-performing manufacturing operations must function at the intersection of three important dimensions: leadership, product quality, and innovation. This course breaks down each dimension in detail and explains how all three are interrelated and necessary to achieve sustainable profitability.

MM 4011: Design of Manufacturing Systems and Simulations (online) (3 cr)
Design and analysis of different types of manufacturing systems such as flow lines, assembly systems, cellular manufacturing, flexible manufacturing, and automated systems; control issues in manufacturing systems such as facility layout, scheduling, batch sizing, group technology, and bottleneck management. A variety of modeling and analysis tools are used, including computer simulation and operations.

MM 4039: Manufacturing Decisions (2 cr)
Strategies to evaluate/make business decisions related to outsourcing a product or manufacturing process. How to assess risks associated with outsourcing. How to maintain control of key supply chain factors for delivery of quality/value.

ABus 4022: Management in Organizations (online) (3 cr)
This course brings together key elements from the practical (on the job), the theoretical (in the classroom), and the personal (self-assessment) to facilitate a better understanding of management as a profession. By the conclusion of this course, you will have learned to: compare and contrast theoretical and practical thinking on professional management, and apply this knowledge to current practice; describe and apply the characteristics of a strong manager in a high-performance organization; explain and illustrate how planning, organizing, leading, and controlling are accomplished in a specific industry or organization; and assess your own aptitude, interest, and knowledge for entering the management profession.

ABus 4041: Dynamics of Leadership (online) (3 cr)
In this course, learning about leadership will occur in two ways: learning about and understanding leadership strategies, values, characteristics, and styles (the context); and analyzing your own perspectives and beliefs about leadership (your interpretation of the context). This course will give you the knowledge and understanding of the qualities and skills necessary to become a leader within various contexts. It will assist you in working in various organizational environments and understanding the impact of globalization and diversity on achieving organizational directives.

ABus 4151: Innovation for Leaders and Organizations (3 cr)
Innovation as a cornerstone of a knowledge economy. History and value of the innovation process, and importance to individuals and organizations. Strategies to foster personal and collaborative innovation. Responsibilities in personal innovation skill-building and leading innovation in organizations.