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Addressing The Career Development Needs Of Experienced Project Professionals

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Developing Programs for Adult Learners

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.181.1 - 12.181.16



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Paper Authors

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James†Keit Plemmons, PE, Ph.D.
Dr. Plemmons is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Citadel in 1980, M.S. from Clemson University in 1991, and earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Clemson University in 1995 with a focus in Construction Management. He is a registered Professional Engineer in South Carolina, with over 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. His experience includes major design and construction projects in Japan and the United States. Dr. Plemmons is also a Project Management Professional as certified by the Project Management Institute.

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Ray Jones The Citadel

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Dr. Jones is the Associate Dean of The Citadel College of Graduate and Professional Studies and Visiting Professor in The Citadel School of Business. He obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Murray State, M.Ed. in Psychology from Georgia State University, and earned his Ed.D. in Human Resource Development from George Washington University in 2001 with a focus in Organizational Psychology. He has over 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors in training, management, and organizational development. Unique experiences include serving in the U. S. Army Special Forces in Asia and in the Reagan White House as a policy special assistant. Dr. Jones research interests include adult learning in work and educational systems, social systems effects on leadership, and adult moral development.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Addressing the Career and Professional Development Needs of Experienced Project Professionals


This paper presents a new non-degree graduate program in technical project management (TPM) that employs innovative teaching strategies to meet the needs of adult learners. As a result of constituent involvement and input from industry professionals, the TPM program consists of four graduate courses that address the professional and career development challenges of experienced project and program managers. This interdisciplinary program provides a professional learning environment for adult students (with and without technical backgrounds) to acquire advanced project management knowledge, skills, and abilities. Innovative learning strategies include student-selected capstone projects, course content supplemented by subject matter expert (SME) presentations, as well as advanced assignments and site visits to projects that provide material for case studies. Collectively, the TPM program provides a unique, flexible, and self-directed learning experience to its students.


As organizations increasingly adopt project management as a formal career path, the need for both fundamental and advanced project management training and education will continue to rise proportionally. A recent report cites the explosive growth of project management and estimates the number of project managers in the world to be 16.5 million1. As a result of this demand, colleges and universities around the world are responding by offering a wide variety of project management-related programs.

The Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (GAC) reports a significant growth of project management degree programs over the past twelve years2 3. The GAC report found only two bachelor and nine master-level project management degrees in 1994, whereas by 2006, more than 284 degree programs at 235 worldwide institutions existed. The GAC states that the “programs have broadened to be part of degree offerings in business, management, construction, engineering, and architecture.” This interdisciplinary focus is a core element of many programs.

Thinking globally, but acting locally, The Citadel School of Engineering listened to constituent input concerning the need for graduate level education programs in the Charleston, SC area and established a graduate certificate program in Technical Project Management (TPM). The objectives of this program 1) delivered a knowledge and performance-based curriculum focused on the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to manage and deliver technical projects, 2) provided advanced professional development education and training opportunities for experienced professionals, and 3) supported other academic graduate programs in the education and training of their students.

Many actions were taken to develop and deliver the TPM graduate certificate program in The Citadel School of Engineering and innovative teaching strategies were designed to meet the needs of experienced adult learners. The Citadel School of Engineering received administrative

Plemmons, K., & Jones, R. (2007, June), Addressing The Career Development Needs Of Experienced Project Professionals Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2200

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