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Project Management Program Helps Graduate Prepare for National Exam and Land New Job

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Surry Community College graduate Kristi Fell successfully passed the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam in May and has landed a new job. She credits SCC’s Project Management Technology program for preparing her to successfully take the nationally recognized CAPM exam. She completed a Project Technology Workforce Certificate at SCC.

“The Project Management Technology program at Surry is incredible,” Fell said. “The instructors are fantastic. It’s all online, so it’s flexible if you are working a full-time job. I was thrilled with my score of ‘above target’ on the CAPM exam. I was almost in tears because I was so excited.”

Fell of Pilot Mountain said she just ended up in project management roles as her career blossomed. She began her career as a graphic artist and freelance writer. She has an associate degree in Graphic Design from Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“When I was a special sections director for Heartland, now Civitas Media, I had to coordinate all the special sections across six states. I oversaw schedules for editorial, graphics, pre-press, and pressroom calendars,” she said. “I was basically a project manager even though those terms were not in my job title. I also did project management for MVP Group International.”

It wasn’t until Fell started working for Allen Industries in Greensboro when her job title became project manager. She was also a project manager for Apple Rock Displays in Greensboro where she worked several years. She now has a job as operations program manager at Noregon where she manages customer support operations for a slate of clients. Noregon is an IoT (Internet of Things) company specializing in connected vehicle solutions.

By the end of 2022, Fell hopes to successfully pass the Project Management Professional exam to earn the PMP, the highest designation for project management. PMI’s website states that around 2.2 million project-oriented jobs will be created each year through 2027, so the industry is ripe for new project managers.

“The CAPM and the PMP are like taking bar exams for project managers,” Fell explained. “I had the experience in project management, but I wanted the CAPM credential to back it up, and eventually, I hope to achieve the PMP level as well.”

Many of the job openings Fell saw in her line of work listed the CAPM or PMP credentials to even be considered.

“The certification certainly has opened a lot of doors in the level of responsibility and salary,” she said. “The Project Management Technology program at SCC taught me how to handle more projects more efficiently than ever before. The program focuses on time management and communication and how to manage multiple projects, each with their own moving parts.”

The Project Management Technology Certificate is a great add-on credential for current students, as well as graduates.

“The program is a minimal cost, and you learn about project management and how to do work daily. It’s not just doing homework to take a test,” Fell said. “It gives you the tools to do well in project management that applies across all industries.”

Upon completion of the Project Management Technology Certificate program at SCC, students have sufficient credits for the Project Management Institute's Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Exam. These classes can also be used for Professional Development Units (PDUs) or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for acquiring or maintaining a CAPM/PMP certification.

The five-month Project Management Certificate is designed to introduce students to processes of initiating, planning/executing, monitoring/controlling, and closing projects, while providing CAPM certification understanding.

Only five classes are required to earn the certificate: PMT-110 - Introduction to Project Management, PMT-111 - Project Management Assessing Risk, PMT-210 - Project Management Issues, PMT-215 - Project Management Leadership, and PMT-220 - Project Management Capstone.

Fall classes start Aug. 16. If you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. Kathryn Moland, PMP, SCC’s Director of Computer Technologies, at (336) 386-3306 or molandk@surry.edu.

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