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MET offers classes at Hanscom Air Force Base

Course in military acquisitions expands to a degree program

Teaching professionals how to buy goods and services for the military has long been the focus of the Department of Defense’s Defense Acquisition University (DAU). Now students who want more from the DAU curriculum can add BU to their list.

Metropolitan College is now offering courses on site at Hanscom Air Force Base, in Bedford, Mass. The program began last summer in collaboration with the DAU, which serves the 135,000 acquisitions professionals responsible for buying goods and services for the military. Courses are open to military personnel and their dependents, civilian government employees, and defense contractors at the base.

Two programs are currently offered on base by MET, a master of science in business administration (MSBA) and a graduate certificate for acquisition managers. The four-course certificate is applicable toward the MSBA and includes courses on program and project management, negotiation, and leadership, as well as a financial component. Both programs are directly applicable to the work of acquisitions professionals.

BU and the DAU solidified their partnership in a signing ceremony October 4 attended by Rich Stillman, DAU regional director; DAU Capital and Northeast Region Dean Tim Shannon; MET Dean Jay Halfond; MET Assistant Dean Judith Marley; and Joseph Solivan, director of education and training at Hanscom.

Marley, who spearheaded the effort for BU, says the program encourages students to pursue the qualifications the DoD is looking for through the DAU, and it also provides a bridge to the academic degree program.

“It’s nice because you have all of the things you’d expect in a graduate degree program, but you’re also providing that bridge to very specific competencies which the military needs,” she says.

One of Metropolitan College’s strengths is to connect theory with practice in a participatory learning environment, Marley says, and faculty members are adept at incorporating case studies and simulation exercises specific to different target audiences.

Halfond hopes to build upon the relationship. “We’re looking at this initially at Hanscom AFB,” he says, “but it really applies to anybody nationally who’s taking any courses through the DAU, and the thing is that they can then segue into our online programs.”

J. Gerard Keegan, a MET assistant professor and on-base advisor for the program, says he’s been impressed with the students, whom he characterizes as bright and highly motivated.

“They participate, they’re active, they’re positive — it’s a pleasure to be a faculty in that kind of environment,” he says.

The Division of Extended Education’s Corporate Education Center is also offering a leadership certificate at the base focusing on succession planning for the military.