Designing an Academic Project Management Program: A Collaboration between a University and a PMI Chapter
The demand for project management skills in industry is increasing resulting in a higher demand for project management educational programs. Universities are addressing industry demand by developing project management courses, degree offerings and certificate programs that focus on both technical and general project management skills. While teaching project management skills has been widely covered in the literature, little focus has been given to close collaboration with industry in developing university project management programs that reflect industry demands and provide opportunities to work with project management professionals and with "real world" projects. As a case study, we report a collaborative effort between one university and a local chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI) that results in the development and implementation of an undergraduate project management minor program. We describe the evolution and process of developing a program in which project management professionals from the PMI are actively engaged in student learning by serving a variety of roles in the classroom. We describe the lessons learned over the evolution of the program, as well as refinements to the courses, conducted in order to enhance the grounding of formal education with practical industry experience resulting in an academically rigorous and practical education.