ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md- Twenty employees from the Army's Communications-Electronics Command and Army Test and Evaluation Command graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology's Business Management graduate certificate program at a recognition ceremony at Mallette Hall on the C4ISR campus August 14.

The eleven-month program is targeted at personnel in the resource management and engineering field who aspire to obtain leadership positions in their selected career paths. The program is designed to foster critical thinking and decision making skill sets and to prepare students for managerial roles.

Employees applied and were selected for the program on a competitive basis. The curriculum included courses on project management, corporate finance, management information systems and management theory. The program is a hybrid mixture of both resident and online sections. Students attended class twice a week over the eleven- month period and completed challenging projects that included extensive group work and a final portfolio to showcase pieces assigned from throughout the program. The program culminated in a graduate certificate in Business Management.

Part of the recognition ceremony included testimonials from students discussing how the program positively impacted their leadership abilities. Deborah Bloom, a supervisor and chief financial officer from the CECOM Logistics and Readiness Center, reflected on how the program molds future leaders.

"Anyone can be a boss. That does not automatically make you a leader. Leaders need to think critically and strategically and must communicate proficiently," said Bloom. "They need to motivate people to stand behind them and follow them. The FIT program develops that in students."

Maria Layton, chief of the CECOM G1, Directorate of Personnel and Training, was a major proponent for the effort to establish, design and execute the program, in coordination with Gary Martin, deputy to the commanding general of CECOM.

Martin presided over the ceremony and provided the closing remarks. Martin, an avid supporter of continuing education and workforce development, touched on how providing the workforce with opportunities for professional development is essential to enable them to successfully navigate the challenges that lie ahead.

"You can't expect things will change without putting in place an opportunity for change. We want to give you the tools to take on obstacles and to get the job done," Martin said. "Change will happen in every cubicle."
Martin explained how the command will strive to offer additional courses in the future to advance the certificate program to a master's degree in Business Management.