KU Professional & Continuing Education certifies hundreds of Lean Six Sigma Green Belts, offers organizations customized online training
As of early spring 2020, more than 450 local professionals received Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from University of Kansas Professional & Continuing Education (KUPCE). Not only is this five-day course available online, KUPCE also tailors the instruction for in-house delivery to requesting employers.
Organizations of all sizes and industries encourage their employees to earn this certification from KU in Overland Park. Local organizations include the following:
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- Children's Mercy Hospital
- Clinical Reference Laboratory
- Crestwood Equity Partners
- Fike Corporation
- Harcros Chemicals
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Oldcastle Infrastructure
- Viega LLC
- USCIS National Benefits Center
Previous in-house deliveries include:
- Assessment Technologies Institute
- Orizon Aero
- Pinsight Media
- University of Kansas Health Systems
Alexandra Erwin, director of talent development and STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Mathematics, Medicine) education for BioKansas, asked KUPCE to deliver a customized Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification program to its member employees who work in the biotechnology industry. She said she wanted to provide the training to their member organizations to help improve project management in the industry and to help employees feel supported in their career growth from both a training and community perspective.
“We surveyed our member companies and discovered that process improvement knowledge was a skillset that was highly valued in employees working in our industry,” Erwin said. “In addition to providing the opportunity to gain the process improvement skillset, we wanted to customize the training to focus on life sciences. We were able to partner with KU while involving our members with expertise in this area to shape the training to have maximum relevance for our member companies.”
Heather McCain, professor of the practice for KU’s graduate project management degree and certificate programs, taught this in-house training course for BioKansas in fall 2019 and works with companies throughout the Kansas City metro area to customize the course for particular industries or occupations.
“Lean Six Sigma is a unique program, focused on customers and on teamwork,” McCain said. “If your company is looking to improve processes, this training provides a great way to scrutinize what you're doing and make it better.
With online sessions available, this training is flexible and accessible.
“It is always important to have employees with more knowledge and skills to help improve your company,” McCain said. “I think this is a good methodology that combines reducing waste and errors as well as removing variation in processes.”
Erich Glave, director of the Bureau of Environmental Field Services in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, completed the program online in spring 2019. He said he knew it would be a challenge with his then new job assignments, but it was beneficial to be able to watch the classes on his own time and rewind if he wanted to repeat a section.
“I’m not the world’s most techy person, but I was able to get my assignments in and learned a lot in the process,” he said. “The quality of the instruction was on par or above the in-person training I received while in industry. With the KU Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, I have been able to model QI concepts better, assist key team members with projects and spark interest among staff who were turned off by ‘another acronym program’ presented by management.”
Participants in KU’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification course can earn 3.5 CEUs (35 Professional Development Hours/Units) which can be used to fulfill requirements for other professional certifications or licenses.
While organizations navigate this period of uncertainty and employees find themselves working remotely, the KU Edwards Campus continues to fulfill its mission to serve the diverse workforce needs of the Kansas City metro area and beyond.