A First-of-its-Kind Graduate-Level Certificate Program for Performance Excellence


Dallas (SMU) – July 2, 2009 – How do working professionals advance in a technology-driven, fast-paced global market? SMU Lyle School of Engineering’s new credit-bearing certificate in Global Systems and Sustainable Organizations, considered by many to be the first of its kind in the U.S. enhanced by the Baldrige Criteria, was designed for performance-driven professionals in manufacturing, government, healthcare, education, and service-related industries who want to further develop leadership skills, learn how corporations operate globally, and understand organizational perspectives and strategies to attain a “culture of sustainability.”

“It’s a new era for business and industry, one in which understanding customer-driven excellence, core values, systems’ perspectives, business agility, organizational learning, innovation, and ethical behavior can’t be an afterthought,” says Donald C. Price, Ph.D., P.E., Director of Professional Degree Programs for Lyle’s Mechanical Engineering Department. “Forward-thinking individuals can invest in what can be accomplished in just nine hours of study to gain essential knowledge and a competitive edge in the pursuit of personal and organizational success.”

Adjunct professors from local industry, with specialized qualifications and expertise, will lead the courses comprising the certificate. “SMU Lyle’s new program couldn’t come at a more critical time, given our market and environmental challenges. I’m pleased to be affiliated with a collaboration of industry and academia that strives to reinvent business as usual and prepares those at the vanguard to think and act globally,” remarks Dr. Britt Berrett, President and CEO of Medical City Dallas and future guest presenter for the program.

The three courses required to complete the certificate include: Organizational Leadership; Organizational Perspectives: A Systems Approach; and Organizational Strategies: Processes that Drive Results. Developed in conjunction with the Quality Texas Foundation, the new success-advancing program incorporates a global perspective in a certificate designed specifically for working professionals who can engage, enrich, and improve organizational performance.
Upon completion, graduates can expect to have developed an expertise in deploying strategies that underpin process effectiveness, knowledge management, customer-focused results, and financial and market sustainability both for present and future challenges.

Because demand exists in every U.S. state and internationally, it was essential that SMU Lyle deliver this graduate certificate program in a unique hybrid executive format, making course materials available through distance-learning, with virtual lectures delivered over the Internet for students in Texas, across the nation, and around the world. The executive sessions will be attended on-campus by students in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and accessed remotely by web-conferencing participants.
Potential students interested in the logistics of distance learning can access SMU’s printed and online guides for using the Internet as the primary medium for downloading lectures, participating in “live” class discussions and web conferences, and accessing instructors via email, text-based chats, and other techniques. To accommodate the unique requirements of other constituencies and enterprises, corporate classes on location are also available.

“At SMU Lyle, we impart a broad range of knowledge and skills, teaching professionals to transform organizations, to think critically, plan strategically, communicate effectively, and be adaptable in a globally competitive environment,” says Patrick Hicks, Sr. Director, Business Development. “This new offering aligns with our goals and prepares participants to leave the program internationally versed and attuned to customer expectations and service with the metrics for problem solving along the journey to excellence.”

The Global Systems and Sustainable Organizations certificate coursework begins Fall 2009. Qualified candidates will possess an undergraduate degree in engineering or science or five years of directly relevant professional experience. For more information on admission requirements, courses, costs, and detailed schedules, contact executive@smu.edu or call 214-768-2002.

About the Lyle School of Engineering

SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers 8 undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including both master’s and doctorate levels.

A private university located in the heart of Dallas, SMU is building on the vision of its founders, who imagined a distinguished center for learning emerging from the spirit of the city. Today, 11,000 students benefit from the national opportunities and international reach afforded by the quality of SMU’s seven degree-granting schools.