Pittsburg State University students pursuing an education in residential construction will benefit from significant program improvements thanks to a grant of nearly $100,000 from the National Association of Homebuilders. The HELP (Homebuilder Education and Leadership Program) grant was officially awarded to Pitt State's department of construction management and construction engineering technologies (CMCET) at the International Builders Show Awards Ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 14. The department received notification last fall that they'd been awarded the grant after competing with 24 other schools. After NAH representatives visited with schools and saw their facilities and programs, they awarded the grant to two universities - PSU and Penn State. "It's pretty exciting when you have that kind of competition from other schools," said Justin Honey, the CMCET professor responsible for acquiring the grant. "This is a large amount of money given this economy, and the changes it will bring to our program are monumental." Over the course of the next four years, the department will receive disbursements of the grant, which it will use to strengthen its residential construction management emphasis within the BST construction management program. The residential emphasis is one of four emphases (residential, safety, field and company) from which CMCET students can choose. Within the residential emphasis, current courses will be revamped and new courses created. Nationally recognized designations and certifications such as Certified Green Professional (CGP), Residential Construction Superintendent (RCS) and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) will also be incorporated. Students will also have the opportunity to be certified home inspectors upon graduation. "When the housing market fell it became apparent to us that the curriculum needed improvement," Honey said. "These curriculum improvements and certifications will set our students apart and will give them an edge to get those jobs." Training will also be provided by the department to industry professionals through partnerships with local homebuilding chapters - a potentially profitable venture that will make the curriculum improvements sustainable.For more information, contact Honey at 620-235-6194.
Published in the The Morning Sun, January 22, 2011.Copyright 2011, The Morning Sun, All Rights Reserved.