BOONEVILLE – Northeast Mississippi Community College and Blue Mountain College have joined forces in a program to train upper management for the construction industry.
The institutions hammered out an agreement last month that allows Northeast graduates to transfer all 64 hours to BMC to pursue a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a minor in construction management.
While Northeast students have worked with other four-year colleges and universities to transfer some credit hours, “Blue Mountain is the first one that actually put it in writing,” said Ray Gaillard, Construction Engineering Technology instructor at Northeast.
“Now we have an articulated agreement with Blue Mountain that pretty much puts it in concrete,” Gaillard said. “This will give the ability for our students to enter upper management in construction.”
Northeast’s CET program is designed to train people for roles such as estimators, material specialists, planners, project managers and layout specialists.
But for higher level jobs, “You need to know more about marketing, where to bid jobs, how to negotiate jobs,” Gaillard said, noting the field is more high-tech – and academic – than most folks realize.
“People think that construction is hammers and nails and shovels and picks,” he said. “We use GPS. We have to know trigonometry, physics and algebra.”
Northeast has a very practical program, said Ron Hiltunen, chair of the business department at BMC.
“It matches up with the philosophy of the business program we have here at Blue Mountain College,” he said. “The combination is going to be very, very strong.”