MHEC Grant Enables the Development of Supply Chain Management Graduate Program

Students take advantage of a fine day outside Stephens Hall
Students take advantage of a fine day outside Stephens Hall

Towson, Md. (February 23, 2011): In response to identified needs brought about by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process in Maryland, Towson University has developed a Master of Science and an associated Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program in supply chain management. Classes will be offered at the HEAT Center in Harford County, providing a convenient location for military and civilian personnel at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

This integrated program is applied, as are all programs of the College of Business and Economics. Instead of a thesis, students will complete a capstone supply chain management project. Since the program is designed for working adults in supply chain and related fields, it can be completed part time in the evenings, with students taking two courses per semester. Because the program is integrated and does not focus only on one aspect of supply chain management, such as transportation or procurement, program graduates will be prepared to move into positions in many fields vital to military bases, including supply chain, purchasing, procurement, and logistics manager positions. 

The development of the program is partially funded by an $85,728 grant from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), made through its BRAC Higher Education Investment Fund. This program funds high-impact projects meeting the needs of the individuals and communities affected by BRAC.   The consulting firm of Beacon Associates looked at the needs of those affected by BRAC in the state of Maryland and, in a report commissioned by Harford and Cecil Community colleges and the Community College of Baltimore County, noted that there is a great need for supply chain management professionals, and for a program to prepare them for their job responsibilities. Although the University of Maryland University College offers a certificate program in supply chain management, Towson’s program is the first such M.S. program in the state. 

Sharma Pillutla, associate professor and chairperson of the Department of e-Business and Technology Management, led the team preparing the funding proposal to MHEC. “The MHEC funding is helping to ease the burden as we develop a high-quality program that’s driven totally by the work force needs of the state of Maryland, “ he says. “Through this grant, we’re able to create a cutting-edge technological infrastructure for providing high quality education to those affected by BRAC.  We are looking forward to enrolling our first students.” 

The program will be launched in fall 2011.

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