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NPS Contract Management Program Goes Global

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060118-05
Release Date: 1/18/2006 12:29:00 PM

By Journalist 2nd Class Chad Runge, Naval Postgraduate School Public Affairs

MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- On Dec. 13, 17 students received their degrees for the Master of Science in Contract Management (MSCM) 835 Curriculum at the Navy Postgraduate School (NPS), after completing their required learning from locations other than Monterey, Calif., via video teleconferencing (VTC) technology and online learning.

The 17 students earned their graduate degrees through two-hour class sessions, held using VTC technology. A Web-based portion of the class also allowed the students to keep in constant communication with course professors.

The students, from six different locations in the United States, were ‘recruited’ during an extensive marketing campaign in the spring of 2003, and began their learning shortly after.

Courses delivered in the 27-month, 56 credit hour program cover topics such as economics, financial management, leadership and field contract management.

“This course is designed for military and civilian personnel in the contract management field. Many have full time jobs that simply don’t afford them the time to be away to get their education in residence,” said program manager Cory Yoder. “This program allows us [NPS] to deliver graduate-level education to students while allowing them to continue in their normal jobs. We bring an education to them.”

Challenges arose, however, when one of the students, a Navy Reservist, was called to active duty and deployed to the Middle East. But, thanks to the dedication of NPS’s outstanding staff members, the challenges were met.

“During the month of January 2005, I was notified of a mobilization requirement to Kuwait,” said Master Chief Kathryn Gonzalez. “Duty called – I packed my sea bag, personal belongings, lugged my NPS books, and executed the mobilization orders.”

“Professor Jeff Cuskey seemed very eager to work with his forward deployed student. I mustered in each NPS session during the evening hours in Kuwait, sometimes with my 9MM,” Gonzalez added.

Aside from occasional challenges caused by inclement weather and VTC availability, the courses were delivered without a hitch.

“We definitely hope to continue this program and offer it in the future,” said Yoder. “We’d actually like to expand to larger class sizes as well as open them to other [U.S. military] services.”

The 835 MSCM curriculum was established in 1999 by Dr. David Lamm, a now-retired NPS professor, Tom Colangelo, U.S. Army Acquisition, and Adm. Bill Hauenstien, a Navy Defense Acquisition Career Manager who retired in 2003, in response to service requirements for graduate-level education satisfying unique needs of Department of Defense civilian and military contracting officers.

The curriculum’s goal is to develop innovative business minds, enhance professionalism, and acquire and refine student’s critical thinking skills.

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