Journey to Project Management Program Design: Certification, Alignment, and Quality in Higher Education

Journey to Project Management Program Design: Certification, Alignment, and Quality in Higher Education

Nancy Crain Burns (Crain Burns Associates LLC, USA) and Gabriela Ziegler (Davenport University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0054-5.ch005

Abstract

Approaching a project can be considered a journey of discovery. Each person involved has a different background and comes to the table with a diverse perspective. The authors use the analogy of a journey throughout the context of the case study. Providing quality education for university students often includes a journey toward the best approach. This journey entails outlining the appropriate curriculum, finding the appropriate content, establishing dynamic learning objectives and aligning the course with student needs and learning styles. After these criteria are met, the university seeks and selects the most qualitied faculty members to teach the course(s). When specialized credentialing requirements are involved, the University must take further steps to ensure that each course meets the standards of the certifying body. The context of this journey and enhancement of Davenport University's Global Project Management Program will include three parts. Part I will review recognition that course updates were necessary to meet changes in the latest revision of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide 6th ED, 2017). The university faculty, staff and a consultant with project management credentials developed a consistent process for making updates and ensuring that changes were made to meet requirements. Throughout the consulting phase, principles of Human Performance Improvement/Technology were followed to develop this process. Part II will exhibit a case study that illustrates successful student certification pursuit after completing the capstone course in the program. Part III will review future opportunities for application of performance improvement principles to other projects.
Chapter Preview
Top

Organization Background

Since this case study is a journey of discovery and application, background information shows the intersection of three institutions and their processes: Davenport University, the Project Management Institute and the International Society for Performance Improvement. By making necessary updates to the Global Project Management Program, Davenport University ensures that its curriculum provides quality education for students and continuation of the Registered Education Provider designation. Using the principles of performance improvement, the university creates a repeatable process for updates that can be used in this and other circumstances.

Davenport University (DU) is an accredited institution with locations in Michigan and with a global presence online. Davenport is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ((HLC). The most recent accreditation evaluation was in 2014 when the HLC’s Institutional Actions Council voted to approve the extension of the university’s reaffirmation date for accreditation to 2021-22. Davenport aspires to be renowned as a quality institution of higher education that understands the market better than any other institution. The university strives to apply this understanding to all programs and teaching, preparing T and its graduates to exceed employer expectations, transform communities and change lives by believing that every person can achieve his or her dream. Davenport is dedicated to providing a quality education for all students. The university’s mission statement includes “preparing students to achieve their highest levels of academic performance” (www.davenport.edu, 2019). It is also a military friendly institution. This study will concentrate on the Bachelor of Science in Technology Project Management program.

The Bachelor of Science TECHMPROJ (BSTM) program at Davenport University was created in 2010. In 2011, the name of the program was changed to BS (Bachelor of Science) Global IT Project Management and in 2014, its name was changed to BS (Bachelor of Science) Technology Project Management. Since 2010, the department continued to refine the program over the years. In 2017, the program underwent a comprehensive review, updating the project management courses to standards set in the new PMBOK® Guide. With this goal in mind, the university formed the new Technology Management program with its structure, requirements and continuous improvement processes. The Technology Management program known as TECHMPROJ BS is a 120-credit program that has six specialties: General Technology Project Management, Accounting Information Systems, Computer Information Systems, Health Information Systems, Information Security, Networking, and Professional Focused Technical specialty. With the goals of aligning course content with the Project Management Institute’s revisions, the quality and rigor of the program were increased in 2017‒18 and the program was reviewed again internally. Because of this extensive review, the program was updated with new Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition) updated and approved by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The program has matured and become more rigorous.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Certification: Proof and/or attestation that an individual has achieved competency in an area of work and/or application of knowledge. Recognition that an individual is “certified” is normally issued by an organization authorized to grant such acknowledgement.

Project Management: When a temporary endeavor is defined with a clear beginning and end, it is considered a “project” rather than an ongoing “operation.” The term Project Management refers to the systematic approach to oversee this temporary endeavor. The Project Management Institute has defined this type of management as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements” ( www.pmi.org , 2019).

Quality: Achievement of a defined level of success criteria for a project, product or service. Quality is measured according to customer, legal or other requirements to meet or exceed identified standards.

Certified Performance Technologist: This term is also identified by the acronym “CPT.” The individual who earns the designation has illustrated application of ISPI (International Society for Performance Improvement) standards across projects. The application is peer-reviewed, using a double-blind process and requires attestation from leaders/managers and/or others who verify that the principles have been used to successfully complete a project (Van Tiem, Moseley, Dessinger, 2012 AU31: The in-text citation "Van Tiem, Moseley, Dessinger, 2012" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ; www.ispi.org 2019).

Performance Improvement: This term may also be identified as the acronym “PI.” It is synonymous with the term “human performance technology.” There is always a human factor in the process and performance (achieving results) in the process. The term “technology” refers to the science and application of the process. According to the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), there are ten standards that are applied when following the process ( www.ispi.org ).

Accreditation: The process of reviewing and evaluating products, programs, services or functionality, measuring with defined standards. This includes acknowledgement from a third party that the project submitted has met or exceeded these standards (www.association trends.com, 2016; halecenter.org, 2019).

Human Performance Technology: This term may also be identified as the acronym “HPT.” It is synonymous with the term “performance improvement/technology.” There is always a human factor in the process and performance (achieving results) in the process. The term “technology” refers to the science and application of the process. According to the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), there are ten standards that are applied when following the process: ( www.ispi.org ).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset