New Programs and Initiatives
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In 2003 Dr. Dennis Fallon became the first Dean of the newly formed Citadel School of Engineering (SOE). Along with other actions, the SOE brought the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) together into a single school. In his first month as Dean, Dr. Fallon was visited by three community groups. Each group stressed the need for a Master’s degree program based in the School of Engineering to provide Charleston area working professionals the opportunity for continued education and professional advancement. Previously both CEE and ECE Departments had attempted to develop Master’s Degree programs, but these efforts were unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. Dean Fallon asked Dr. Keith Plemmons ’80, a CEE faculty member, to consider turning his Project Management Professional (PMP) workshops for industry professionals into graduate courses. The challenge was to develop a course of study that would help students advance in their technical and professional careers. Anchored by their initial meeting, The Citadel now has in place a solidly established, well-respected, and rapidly growing Master’s Degree program in Project Management.
Initially Dr. Plemmons developed a four-course, 12 credit hour, graduate certificate program in Technical Project Management (TPM). The TPM was approved by The Citadel Graduate College in Spring 2006, and the first course began in August, 2006. Since Dr. Plemmons was the only faculty member available to teach the TPM courses, only one course was offered per semester for the next two years. The first TPM cohort graduated in May of 2008 with 4 students.
Classes and student growth continued, but progress was limited due to Dr. Plemmons’ primary teaching duties in CEE. In August 2008, Dr. Charles Skipper ‘71 joined the program as Adjunct Faculty. The additional manpower enabled the four TPM classes to be offered in one academic year; two courses in the fall and two courses in the spring. This approach was very successful and continued to generate momentum and students. Based on the steady growth and positive feedback from both students and employers, approval was sought from The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) to establish a Masters of Science Degree in Project Management. The 10-course, interdisciplinary program was approved, and activated in January 2010 to provide “the management knowledge and performance competencies which can be used by graduates from all disciplines involved in managing technical projects”.
In January, 2011 the program took a significant step forward. Dr. Plemmons was assigned as the first Director of Graduate and Professional Studies in the SOE. Dr. Skipper also joined the faculty full time in January as the Visiting Professor of Engineering Leadership. Students continued to enroll and in May 2011, the first 10 students graduated with their Master’s Degree. Approval was also obtained during this academic year for additional courses to be offered. Starting in August 2011, all four TPM courses were offered each semester, some with multiple sections. Additional courses in Project Manager Leadership Development and Systems Engineering Management were also offered.
In January 2012 Dr. Plemmons stepped down as Director of Graduate and Professional Studies, and Dr. Skipper assumed the duties of marketing, recruiting, and development. In Academic Year 2011-2012, the program reached 180 course enrollments. Students and employers continue to find great value in this program, and enrollment is anticipated to continue robust growth. Plans are underway to add additional full time faculty, and offer courses in Program Management. The vision of Dr. Fallon and the dedicated efforts of Dr. Plemmons have been essential in the establishment and growth of this very unique program; the only Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) in the State of South Carolina. Information is available on the Project Management website: http://www.citadel.edu/pmgt/
A Supplemental Instruction (SI) program has been developed in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The program is designed to involve upperclass students in assisting in the instruction of those students who are enrolled in classes that traditionally have been challenging to learners. Upperclass student Ray Nix and Civil Engineering instructor Kaitlin Marley were instrumental in establishing the program, and several other have participated over the past year. The Citadel Academic Support Center has given strong support in establishing and maintaining the SI program in Civil Engineering. The Citadel Academic Support Center was the recipient of the 2011 Frank L. Christ Outstanding Learning Center Award from the National Learning Center Association.