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New Supply Chain Management Program off to Strong Start

April 19, 2021

Supply Chain Management (SCM), a program that Schoolcraft College debuted for the Winter 2021 semester, is off to such a successful start that upper-level classes will be offered in Spring 2021.

All courses are taught by instructors who combine excellence in the classroom with years of business and industry experience. This real-world component is vitally important because SCM encompasses a diverse range of skills and jobs, including planning, strategic procurement, logistics management, inventory control and more.

“I am very pleased with the progress so far and also pleased that there is enough interest to allow us to offer another SCM100 course in the spring and pull ahead the SCM220 (Supply Chain Purchasing)  course to the spring semester,” said Steve Donovan, Instructor and Supply Chain Management Program Consultant. 

Donovan said 19 students enrolled in the program.

“Several students in the class had expressed interest to keep going with the program and did not want to wait until fall or winter to start taking the upper-level courses,” he said. “This is why we are offering the SCM220 course in the Spring 2021 term.”

Schoolcraft’s SCM program offers pathways to a Skills Certificate, Certificate, and Associate of Applied Science Degree. Each credential is “stackable,” meaning completed coursework from the Skills Certificate flows directly to the Certificate, and then Certificate to the AAS. This allows students to efficiently advance their learning and potentially advance in their career path.

Donovan said the first cohort features a wide spectrum of students, from a dual-enrolled high school student to professionals with over 30 years of experience as well as many in between, plus others pursuing SCM as a new career.

“Some students did not even realize that they were already working in a Supply Chain Management field until they read the information about the program on the Schoolcraft College website,” Donovan said. “For those students, it is a great fit as this program can directly impact their current situation.”

One student’s story

The story of student Holly Evans can serve as an example and inspiration to others considering further education or a career in Supply Chain Management.

Her journey began as a part-time student at Schoolcraft College in the fall of 1983 while working part time for a printing company. She was promoted to a full-time position the following year and discontinued her education. In the mid-’90s, she returned to Schoolcraft and earned a Computer Graphics Certificate in 1998, which furthered her career.

Evans served with some other departments, then was “right-sized” in 2012 after 31 years of service.

“I was writing a resume for the first time in my life,” she said. “I actually used Schoolcraft College to help in my resume writing.” (View more information about Schoolcraft College Career Services, which are free and available throughout the year.)

Evans next found work with a couple of other printing companies, then began a new career in the fall of 2016 in automotive seating.

“My current company offers tuition reimbursement, so in the fall of 2019 I decided to finish my Associate Degree, which I obtained in May 2020 from Schoolcraft College,” she said.

Evans was intrigued about the new Supply Chain Management program. She ended up joining the class late, but has been able to catch up and is on track.

“There is definitely excitement in taking a class that relates to my everyday activities at work,” she said. “I am currently a Buyer at my place of employment but would like to recommend a change to Sourcing Strategist after learning about this in class.

“My current goal is to obtain the SCM Skills Certificate. I like to achieve my goals in small steps, but there is a good chance I will continue for the SCM Certificate.”

Real-world examples

As Evans attests, the material taught is relatable to what happens in this fast-moving industry. The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, for example, offers a real-world example of the complexities that Supply Chain Management professionals must solve.

“The students had group assignments to assess the current distribution situation in the U.S., discuss things gone right/things gone wrong as well as what their thoughts were for improvements,” Donovan said. “They also had an assignment to review the distribution situation in a few select countries as a benchmark discussion.”

As the semester winds down, Donovan has invited guest speakers within the industry to contribute real-world flavor to the discussions.

“We also plan on using an online SCM simulation tool where the students will work in groups and assume various executive roles in a fictional company to help improve the company's current financial situation,” Donovan said. 

View more information about the Supply Chain Management program at Schoolcraft College.