Va. Tech to teach project oversight

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will offer project management certification classes, and at flexible times so more federal employees can attend.

Courses for the eight-week program at the school's campus in Falls Church, Va., will be held Saturdays, when most government employees have a day off. The classes begin in early September.

Virginia Tech officials decided to offer weekend courses after doing a trial run of the program.

"What we started realizing was that a lot of the federal employees were going to need project management training to keep their jobs," said Allison Fernandez, senior program administrator for Virginia Tech's Outreach Program at the northern Virginia campus.

The course prepares students for the Project Management Institute's certification exam, and costs about $2,500.

Topics covered during the course include:

* Building a cohesive team.

* Evaluating a project's financial merits.

* Creating a Work Breakdown Structure to list assignments for each team member.

* Establishing budget and schedule milestones.

* Handling changes.

* Overseeing purchases.

* Ethics and responsibilities.

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