Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Project Management Program Prepares Students for Multifaceted Role

The tasks of a Project Manager are extensive. This person is responsible for planning, staffing, implementing, controlling and evaluating project. Each stage comes with its own set of responsibilities that, according to the HR Council include: creating a detailed work plan that identifies and sequences the activities needed to successfully complete the project; determining the resources (time, money, equipment, etc) required to complete the project; developing a schedule for project completion that effectively allocates the resources to the activities; managing project staff and/or volunteers according to the established policies and practices of the organization; contracting qualified consultants to work on the project as appropriate; monitoring the progress of the project and making adjustments as necessary to ensure the successful completion of the project; writing reports on the project for management and for funders; managing all project funds according to established accounting policies and procedures; ensuring that the project deliverables are on time, within budget and at the required level of quality; and evaluating the outcomes of the project as established during the planning phase.

Through the Project Management courses at Centennial College students lean the skills they need to successfully complete the above tasks and not only work as Project Managers in areas such as health, engineering, computer, new media, advertising, marketing, financial, education, transportation and construction, but also to launch careers as project leaders, process development analysts and global project managers.

This three-semester program employs a curriculum that is based on A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fourth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc. 2008. The training ensures that students are equipped with standards the industry expects while gaining the skills and strategic business techniques to manage projects in their discipline. Use leading-edge project management tools, technologies and best practices, students complete courses that include: Project Leadership, Project Planning and Scheduling, Project Management Tools and Applications, Procurement and Contract Management, International Project Management and Professional Responsibilities and more.

While each course in the program has elements of practicality that see students apply what they are learning in realistic scenarios, the entire final semester is devoted to a field placement experience. During this time, students head into the industry where they experience the Canadian work environment and to apply the range of skills learned in the first and second semesters of the program. Taking their interests into consideration, faculty members assign students to an external host organization, which essentially functions as the students’ employer for the duration of the internship. To ensure that students are getting the most out of their placement, faculty members monitor them while facilitating the sharing of experiences during the internship in a safe and encouraging environment. The placement also serves to help students structure their experience into a portfolio.  

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