CisternYard News spoke with Kent Gourdin, Professor and Director of the Global Logistics and Transportation Program and Pete Straub, the Director for the Applied Research Center for Supply Chain and Logistics, in order to gain a greater understanding of the new logistics program at the College of Charleston.
“The Applied Research Center for Supply Chain and Logistics will serve as a centralized point of contact for the private-sector to request problem-based research solutions to help make their supply chains more efficient,” Straub explained. This program spans three institutions of higher education in the state of South Carolina, with a presence at the College of Charleston, Clemson, and University of South Carolina. Companies who branch out to this program will benefit by gaining a product for a cheaper than normal price, making the center competitive.
The Applied Research Center for Supply Chain and Logistics also gives students at the College a unique opportunity to gain experience. “This is a workforce development tool whereby students that assist on the various projects alongside their professors are exposed to real-world business models. These opportunities ideally will also blossom into internships for the students as well,” stated Straub. When asked about the future of the program, Straub expressed that he hoped to see the program expand to increase internship opportunities and ultimately help students involved in the program at all three institutions find jobs within companies that have worked with the Center. Currently the Center only has an Executive Director position, but Straub intends to expand the staff base and utilize interns.
When asked about his position, Gourdin informed CYN, “I run the Global Logistics & Transportation (GLAT) Program in the Department of Supply Chain & Information Management here in the School of Business. GLAT is a minor/concentration that is done in conjunction with another major.” The program offers both credit and non-credit courses. Those who wish to continue their education outside of an accredited program can pay an $895 to take a two-hour evening course that offers an executive development certificate. Students in the GLAT program must also take this course but do not have to pay the fee.
During Fall 2015, a new major will be offered at the College. “The Supply Chain Management (SCM) major will be offered beginning this coming Fall. We already have a few students who are working on classes that will apply once they can formally declare it in August. The GLAT minor/concentration remains as is, so students can major in SCM and minor in logistics, which will be a very powerful combination,” Gourdin explained.
As the College of Charleston continues to grow in size and popularity, its programs will as well. It will be interesting to watch over the course of the coming years how such programs help current and prospective students gain professional experience and ultimately help them land a job after graduation.