The third class of the depot's Leadership and Management Program graduated Nov. 16 at Jacksonville State University's Merrill Hall.

Anniston Army Depot has partnered with JSU to provide depot leaders with a strategic overview of the key functional, analytical and managerial elements required for effective leadership, said Thyris Banks, chief of depot operations.

The first class of depot participants began in December 2006, and the contract with JSU has been renewed for the following year. A total of 23 depot employees have graduated from the program.

Through the program, participants are provided a new perspective on best business practices and processes, said Mary Mullen, who works in the depot's training office and coordinates the leadership program.

Students are in a temporary duty status during this management training, which consists of 40 hours provided by the depot's upper management, a 40-hour internship with the private sector, and 160 hours of instruction taught by JSU faculty.

"It's a very successful partnership," said Banks. "We know JSU is committed to providing top quality instruction, as evidenced by the positive evaluations."

Banks said the courses are continually modified based on course evaluations and feedback from the depot.

Twelve JSU instructors are assigned to the depot's program, teaching about 15 topics, to include Six Sigma, project management, and human resource management.

The course is intended to better equip participants to lead organizational changes and business process improvements that are necessary to meet current and future missions.

"Becoming a supervisor is very challenging, and I would recommend this class to any supervisor on depot," said Martha Corby, who supervises 10 employees in the Directorate of Public Works' planning and resource office.

Before the coursework at JSU, students in the program are briefed by each depot director, who provides the students insight into his or her leadership styles and challenges. Students are in class Monday through Friday, so they are away from their regular depot jobs during the program.

Nomination packages are evaluated by a panel, and students for the program are selected based on their education level, the average of their last three performance appraisals, leadership training, and demonstrated leadership ability.

The fourth class of the Depot Leadership and Management Program is scheduled to begin Feb. 4, 2008.

The following is a full list of courses taught in the depot's program by JSU faculty: Six Sigma, project management, human resource management, production planning, supply chain management, materials management, safety management, business communications, change management, lean manufacturing, government/industry partnership, business strategy, financial management, and organizational behavior.