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College of Continuing Education News

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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.

janet_pelto.jpg
Janet Pelto

At age 18, on my first day at new student orientation at the University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD), it hit me. I had found it. The "it" was what I wanted to do for a career: work with students at a college or university. And, more than 20 years later, this is still true.

During those 20-plus years, I've worked with the new student orientation program, recruited freshmen and transfer students, and served as an academic adviser for undecided freshmen as well as adults returning to school. I've spent the bulk of my professional life as a career counselor, working mostly with adults in mid-career transition, many of whom were considering going back to school.

Now, as the College of Continuing Education's (CCE) Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention, I am excited to bring all of that experience together in this new role and continue to do what I love most: working with students at a college or university. And although while recruiting (or "enrollment management," a term that didn't even exist when I was an admissions counselor in the late '70s) has become a lot more sophisticated; the goal--to help students find a next step that fits them--is still the same.

To assist you in your work with students, we have created a special web page with transfer admission information. And, watch your mailboxes! I'll be sending out a new CCE magnet with the transfer admission website address in the near future.

If you or one of your advisees would like to contact me, I can be reached at pelto001@umn.edu or 612-625-2529. I look forward to working with you and your students, and will be in touch to schedule a visit to your campus.

Ann Johnson, Faculty Director
Peter Hilger, Faculty Member

What Exactly Do Construction and Facility Managers Do?
Construction management (CM), and its newer subspecialty facility management (FM), are great options for students who have a passion for hands-on knowledge of how the built environment is put together, from houses to highways. Though this career usually involves desk work, construction managers also spend a lot of time outdoors. They need to be ready for constant change and comfortable with high levels of personal interaction.

Construction management consists of a wide array of specializations in both the building process itself and of facilities after they are built. A construction manager ensures the successful transformation of design into structure as, for example, a field engineer working in the trenches day in and day out; an office-based project manager; or an estimator or accountant working on a school, a highway, or an apartment building.

A facility manager learns to see the entire life-cycle of a structure and could work as, for example, a systems specialist, a space planner, or a maintenance manager. FMs ensure safe, sustainable facility operation that continually serves constituents, and they are integral to the success of many businesses. Facility management is gaining in importance as more buildings are renovated or repurposed and new buildings are getting more costly, increasing pressure to maintain existing facilities. In addition, many of the existing FM workforce will retire, and there are nowhere near enough professionals in those ranks to replace them.

Construction employment is always sensitive to fluctuations in the economy, but will continue to grow as a result of advances in building technology, materials, and methods, combined with the increasing needs for energy-efficient structures and replacement of portions of the nation's infrastructure. Prospects are best for those with a bachelor's degree plus practical experience. Construction management employers include building contractors, specialty trade contractors, architectural and engineering service firms, and government agencies.

With or without any construction work experience, if a student has an affinity toward the built environment--an interest in the tangible results of specialties like architecture or carpentry--construction management could be an area worth exploring.

What Makes the CCE Program So Unique?
The Construction Management program at the College of Continuing Education is the only program in the Midwest that encompasses the entire construction life cycle: residential and commercial building, highway/heavy and civil works, and residential and commercial facility management. The late afternoon or evening classes permit students to combine work and study, and the program is centrally located in a large metro area, with connections to many construction and facility industry constituents. Courses are taught by professionals who serve as engineers, construction managers, attorneys, and risk managers by day. They introduce students to real-life construction projects and the issues that accompany them. Study options include an advanced-standing bachelor's degree, and an 18-credit certificate and minor. The CM internship program, required for the major, has a great track record of placing students into positions with our industry constituents.

The CM program also provides unique interrelationships with many other disciplines, and the hundreds of U of M buildings and facilities are available to expose students to real-life design and construction scenarios. A great example of cross-University collaboration is the 2009 Solar Decathlon, an annual international contest that challenges college students to create houses completely off the power grid, which are then displayed on the Washington Mall for 10 days of 10 contests (hence decathlon). Combining the talents of CM students and those from other University departments, the U of M entered for the first time with its ICON House, and came away with two first place finishes in engineering and lighting, and fifth place overall. The CM team was responsible for design teamwork, developing the construction details, constructing the house on the St. Paul campus, deconstructing and transporting the house in large sections over the road to D.C., and re-assembling the house on the National Mall--a true design/build project delivery.

To see a video of the ICON House and for more information about the program, visit the Construction Management home page.

See the Career and Internships web page to learn about the career paths of some recent CM graduates.

ann_johnson.jpg Ann Johnson, faculty director
Ms. Johnson is the faculty director of the Construction Management degree program, where she manages the development and delivery of curricula. She is a professional engineer (PE) registered in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. She has also served as a teaching specialist in the Civil Engineering Department for the last 13 years, teaching CADD, highway design, AutoCAD, and surveying. In addition, she teaches courses in highway design and construction materials for the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Aggregate Ready Mix Association. She began her career as an engineer in the Airports Department at HNTB Corporation, and supervised the reconstruction of the Benson Municipal Airport and projects at the St. Paul Downtown Airport. She then worked at Braun Intertec as a senior engineer in the Pavements Division. She has served as the specific pavement section coordinator for the FHWA Long Term Pavement Performance Project in the North Central Region. She holds a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, and an M.S. in civil engineering with a pavement emphasis from the University of Minnesota.

peter_hilger.JPG Peter Hilger, faculty member
An architect by training, a builder by passion, and a teacher at heart, Peter Hilger has served the Construction Management program since its inception in 1994, and he received the CCE Distinguished Educator Award in 2009. In the classroom, Peter brings his construction and business experience to bear with an approach that challenges students to think beyond the facts and figures, communicate thoughtfully, and support decisions with sound reasoning and rationale. He counsels faculty and administration on strategic planning and program development, serves on the College of Continuing Education Academic Advisory Council, and informally advises students on career matters. Peter uses "constructive creativity" for the Design/Build delivery of public/private educational, commercial and industrial projects, as well as consulting on development planning, zoning approvals and expert testimony in his current firm, Rylaur, LLC. He received a B.S. in architecture from Georgia Tech in 1978, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 1980. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Megan Seltz, academic adviser
Megan is the academic adviser for all Construction Management students. She is always happy to talk with students about admission, course transferability, prerequisite courses, major requirements, and general University information. Prospective students should submit a Request for a Planning Chart and then schedule an in-person or phone appointment with Megan to discuss earning a degree in Construction Management.

Commercial and Residential Construction
The construction industry is expected to grow in 2012, according to a recent survey conducted by HIS Global Insights, an international forecasting company, and state labor market experts agree. This is welcome news, considering how hard these two industries have been in the recent past. Contributing to this is a new state tax credit to help finance the rehabilitation of historic buildings. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota estimates that this tax credit alone will be responsible for approximately 1,800 new construction jobs in the next few years.

Facility Management
If you are a facility manager, you're in luck. There are more facility management jobs than there are graduates. In fact, there are up to five openings per graduate, according to reports at the recent International Facility Management Association conference. Not only are there more openings than graduates, within the next 10 years, anywhere between 50 and 70 percent of the current facility managers will be retiring. In Minnesota, the average salary for a beginning facility manager (FM) (Level 1 FM) with a bachelor's degree is $65,505, and ranges from $50,500 to $76,500, as per A. Peter Hilger, AIA, Faculty, FM Program Leader and Internship Adviser.

Highway Heavy and Civil Works
Highway heavy and civil works pertains to the construction of roads, streets, and bridges. Even though some consider this to be one of Minnesota's two seasons, before August 1, 2007, few of us probably gave much thought to this industry. The collapse of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River instantly brought the importance of this industry into the minds of millions. And, according to Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development, the industry is expected to show modest grow, both short- and long-term.

Below is just a sampling of what B.A.Sc. in Construction Management students can take this spring. A complete list is available online.

CMgt 4471: Sustainability for Construction Managers
Impact of building industries past, present, and projected on the environment: sustainable building initiatives; environmental principles and practices throughout pre-con, construction, close-out and operations; impact on the construction manager's role, procurement methods, contracts, estimating and scheduling, and team structure; adoption issues facing green construction; current technologies and future movements. Real-world knowledge will be applied through case studies, guest lectures, and team projects. (2 credits; prerequisites: none)

CMgt 4542: Building Energy Systems
Conceptual understanding of functions of building mechanical systems and their integration with other building components through case studies. Residential and commercial HVAC systems, alternative energy sources, energy efficiency, structural implications of mechanical systems, indoor air quality, and environmental control strategies. (3 credits; prerequisites: CMgt 3001, junior or senior)

ABus 4041: Dynamics of Leadership (online)
Successful leadership via flexible approach. Knowledge, skills, and abilities that leaders develop from eight leadership strategies: academic, bureaucratic, eclectic, economic, fellowship, military, political, social. Ways to lead diverse populations in a global environment. (3 credits; prerequisites: 45 credits completed)

ABus 4151: Innovation for Leaders and Organizations (online)
Innovation as cornerstone of knowledge economy. History of innovation process, importance to individuals/organizations. Strategies to foster innovation. Responsibilities in innovation skill-building/leadership. (3 credits; prerequisites: 45 credits completed)