Project Management Students Get Real World Experience

Recently two groups of students had their nerves tested when they were asked to present their semester long projects to an audience of community leaders, business professionals and college faculty.

At the outset of this Project Management Class at Lone Star College-Kingwood, Professor Larry Hartley assigned the students to random groups and challenged them with the task of finding, organizing and completing a group project for an outside customer.  As part of the college's service learning initiative, the students were encouraged to contact a community group to help.

Professor Hartley says this course is designed to imitate a real world experience.  "The students learn how to track a project, keep a budget and timetable, and answer to a client.  In the end the customer tells them what they have done right or what could be improved."

One team built four raised planters for Regents Care Nursing Home.  The students had to make a building plan, construct the planters, schedule their time and budget.  The students completed the planters, a little behind schedule, and delivered them to the happy seniors at the center.  Team members included Jennifer Baker, Kayla Consalus, Jon Harris and Victoria Rodriguez.

"I appreciate the learning experience.  We learned a lot, especially about scheduling conflicts," says Baker.  "The seniors seemed very happy with the planters and I enjoyed the project."

The second team chose to help St. Martha's Church clean up its park area.  They again had to create a plan, budget, and schedule.  Team members included Justin Allen, Jessica Quiroga, and John Tristan. 

The team approached the church congregation for donations to make basic repairs and beautification.  After the initial park cleanup, they discovered an unsafe slide which needed to be fixed or replaced.  Team member Allen researched purchasing a new slide and discovered it would be cost prohibitive.  The team then approached Steven Davis with Kid Structures, Inc. and the company generously donated a brand new slide which will be installed soon.

"This business course was one of the most beneficial I have taken.  It has even helped me in my current job at Schwan's," says student Justin Allen.

Each team learned valuable lessons of time management, leadership and teamwork.  Professor Hartley gave them this wise advice at the end of their presentations, "It's not what problems you encounter, but how you deal with them that is so important."

The college will offer a project management course in the fall.  To find out more about this class or other business classes offered at LSC-Kingwood, contact Linda Holcomb at 281-312-1489.

Register today for Summer Term I (June 2-July 8), Summer Term II (July 10-Aug. 14) and Fall (August 25-December 14) credit classes online, by telephone and on-site. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. Current students can register by telephone at 281-519-6625. Former and current students can register at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu/registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281-312-1600 or visit our Web site at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu.

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and the Lone Star College-University Center. With 49,250 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.