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Ohio University has added a new bachelor of science program in technical operations management (BSTOM) to begin in fall 2014. Applications will be accepted starting in May.
Offered by the Russ College of Engineering and Technology in partnership with eLearning, the online completion program enables students holding an associate’s degree to complete their studies toward a bachelor’s degree, virtually. It is the first such program in the state of Ohio and the only one in the nation for technical operations management.
“Online programs in engineering technology are rare, and when they exist, are subject to criticism from the profession because of the inability to provide quality lab experiences. Our new program doesn’t require significant lab work because admitted students already have an associate’s degree in a technical area,” said Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin.
Technical operations management is focused on designing, controlling and managing the technical process and transformation methods of an organization while continuously improving the organization’s operations to be the most efficient and effective in meeting customer requirements. It encompasses a wide range of technical fields and career options, including manufacturing and service-related businesses.
The program is designed for students who have completed a selected two-year technical degree program (90 or more quarter hours or 60 or more semester hours) in programs like automotive engineering technology, communications technology, computer engineering technology, or mechanical engineering technology from an accredited community college, regional campus or technical college.
In addition to core courses, students will take a range of engineering technology and management courses offered by the Department of Engineering and Technology, and business courses to earn a minor in business administration.
Todd Myers, incoming chair of the Department of Engineering and Technology (ETM), initiated the program in 2012. “Over my years of teaching in ETM, I’ve met many individuals with technical associate’s degrees who are looking for programs that offer the flexibility of completing a degree program while working full time. Some are also balancing work with raising families. All are seeking completion of a bachelor’s degree as a way to learn new skills and advance their careers in technical tracks or supervision,” Myers said. “The inspiration for this program came from this growing demand and from my background of teaching operations management.”
According to the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, Ohio community colleges graduate 67 percent more students with engineering technology degrees than the national average, and ohiocommunitycollege.org has stated that the expected community college attendance growth rate is 18 percent over the next 10 years.
“We think our program is unique in that it addresses the educational needs of a large number of employees, technologists and supervisors who don’t have the option of physically attending a four-year college, primarily because of employment location. We look forward to students joining us virtually to create for good,” Irwin said.