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Angela Hopp
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Project Management Program RecognizedCollege of Technology Effort Gains Global Accreditation from PMI

July 13, 2009 - Houston - The Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (PMI GAC) has formally recognized the University of Houston College of Technology's graduate program in project management.

"This is great for our students and great for the region," said Michael Gibson, who heads up the college's department of information and logistics technology. "There's only one other institution with PMI GAC accredited programs in the state -- the University of Texas-Dallas. There are only 24 institutions with GAC accredited programs worldwide."

PMI's Global Accreditation Center for Project Management assures the quality of project-management degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Accredited programs meet rigorous standards, including assessments of objectives and outcomes, faculty members and students, and onsite and online resources. They also must complete annual self-evaluations and demonstrate continuous improvement.

GAC board chairman John Cable said "achieving accreditation is a real mark of distinction that indicates a program has met or exceeded rigorous international standards."

UH's College of Technology began its project management program in 2002. Today, it offers three Master of Science degrees. The first focuses on information systems security; the second specializes in supply chain and logistics; and the third provides courses and specializations in many other disciplines.

"Right now we have more than 90 students with the expectation that we're going to double that number in the next couple of years, mainly because project management is so cross-disciplinary," Gibson said. "In 2006, we had 19 majors. In 2007, we had 40. In 2008, we had 85 majors - and now it's over 90."

The UH program has nine full-time faculty members and four adjunct professors. Many of its courses are delivered online, Gibson said, and blogs and chat tools are used to establish a modern, virtual classroom experience.

For alumni like Danny Nguyen, the designation is cause for celebration, because it underscores what they knew all along.

"This validates what we students already knew going through the curriculum - this innovative and premiere college provides future leaders with the skills, knowledge and fortitude to take on the challenges of tomorrow," said Nguyen, who graduated from the program in 2009.  "More than ever, businesses today need people who can make an immediate impact to the organization with the understanding of how myriad constraints from operational and tactical planning need to cohesively align with the overall strategic vision."

For companies locally and globally, having another accredited institution opens up a whole new talent pool.

"Companies need employees with strong business, technical or engineering knowledge combined with project-management skills. Together, these skills provide a winning proposition," said Ron Hopkins, global business systems manager for the Shell supply chain and chairman of the UH program's advisory board.

College of Technology Dean William Fitzgibbon underscores this point.

"There is a critical, global need for project management professionals in industry and commerce, and this accreditation puts UH in an elite group of institutions aiming to meet that need," he said. "For example, the oil and gas industry, particularly, is facing a shortage of project management professionals. Carefully selected courses in conjunction with other colleges at UH will allow energy professionals to construct programs specific to their career needs."

Project management touches all disciplines, Gibson said.

"For everything that deals with change - there's a project and someone managing that project," Gibson explained. "This accreditation provides external validation for the college's three different project management offerings. We're delivering the type of quality that PMI -- the premier organization for project management -- feels is appropriate for project managers."

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About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities.  UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students. 

About the College of Technology
The College of Technology educates leaders in innovation and global industry. With nearly 2,000 students, the college offers accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees in construction management technology, consumer science and merchandising, computer engineering technology, electrical power technology, logistics technology, network communications, human resources development and technology project management. It also offers specialized programs in biotechnology, surveying and mapping and digital media.

About PMI
The world's leading project management organization, PMI shares knowledge with nearly 500,000 members and credential holders in 185 countries. Since its founding 40 years ago, PMI has impacted more than one million practitioners, businesses, governments, students and training organizations. Today, PMI's products and services range from world-class standards for project, program and portfolio management to five professional credentials, including the gold standard Project Management Professional (PMP)®. PMI's exclusive Global Corporate Council and European Corporate Networking Group engage large multinationals and government organizations in endorsing the value of project management. The only project management association with an established academic research program, PMI has invested more than US$14 million in support of dozens of research projects since 1997. Learn more at PMI.org.

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