First cohort with LSSBB certification set to graduate this fall

The first cohort at Point University to complete the master’s in business administration (MBA) with the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB) certification will walk at graduation this December.

The Black Belt certification is part of Lean Six Sigma, a problem-solving methodology that utilizes a data-driven approach to improving process performance to create a culture of continuous improvement, said Tom Javarinis, MBA coordinator and associate professor, who taught the course this semester.

“We decided that it was important that our MBA have a strong Six Sigma component because we felt like that was the direction that business was going, and that certification was going to be a valuable skillset for our graduates to have to make them competitive in the workplace,” said Alan Kemper, professor of business and pracademics program director.

Kemper served on the team that brought the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB), which integrated into the undergraduate business degree in 2015, and the LSSBB certifications to Point. He now serves as the liaison between Point and the Board of Professional Development and Pracademics, which certifies each graduate of Point’s LSSGB and LSSBB programs.

“I think a big part of who we are trying to be is that we are trying to be recognized as an institution that understands education must be practical. It can’t be all theory,” said Kemper. “There has to be application to the learning, so as much as we can, at our graduate and undergraduate levels, we want to create programs that are practical—that allow people to apply what they are learning directly to whatever field they hope to work in, whether that is business or ministry. We think that’s a distinctive for us. I think we work really hard to make that true both in the way we design our programs and the way we deliver them.”

The first cohort to graduate with LSSBB consisted of nine students including Philip Ivey, global strategic sustainability leader for Milliken’s floor covering division. Ivey earned an LSSBB from Milliken 10 years ago and has now been certified with another LSSBB through this program at Point.

“What I found in getting my MBA at Point University, even having been at Milliken for 30 years, every class I took, I was able to use it in real time with my career and the projects I was working on,” said Ivey. “So, it has been very beneficial for me to be able to do that over the two years’ time frame.”

Javarinis said this course was designed to be a fulfillment of the university’s mission within the business context by equipping graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to assume a LSSBB role in an organization and preparing them to be leaders within their fields.

“Supporting students and our community is Point’s top priority. We understand the importance of offering courses which prepares students for the real-world immediately,” said Javarinis. “This course not only is a brand-new category in our growth of courses and programs. It is highly sought after and a requirement for all organizations local and globally.”