Les Guice: Louisiana Tech unveils ‘Lean Six’

Dr. Les Guice

Each new academic year brings uncertainty and change, but perhaps not as much change as we’ve experienced in 2020. Our campuses have responded to a global pandemic, and social and political unrest, and we’ve worked to keep our communities safe and healthy while helping our students continue to make progress toward their academic goals.

This fall, Louisiana Tech University introduces five special undergraduate certificates designed to increase job opportunities for current and prospective students and provide companies and organizations with talented employees for the future.

Each of the certificates can be added to a student’s current academic program. New Louisiana Tech students as well as students at other universities can pursue them as well. Many of the classes involved can be taken online, and students can still complete them even while staying close to home.

Undergraduate certificates will be offered in Audiology, Criminal Psychology, Geographic Information Science, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management, and Lean Six Sigma. 

These certificates address skill areas that are in high demand and provide depth and perspective to other academic programs. Offering these topics and skills as a cohesive and intentional focus provides motivation to new, continuing, and returning students to achieve meaningful progress toward their academic goals and future careers. 

The certificate in Audiology provides undergraduates who are considering applying to graduate programs in audiology (AuD or PhD) specialized courses to help them prepare for future study. The Louisiana Board of Examiners in Speech Pathology and Audiology is currently forming rules and regulations for the licensing of audiology assistants, and the certificate program will help prepare students to complete the licensing process when it is approved. This 20-hour certificate can be completed in nine months. 

The undergraduate certificate in Criminal Psychology is designed for students who are interested in the intersection of psychology and criminal justice principles. The program allows students in any major to complete targeted coursework in sociology and psychology so they are better prepared for work in the field of law enforcement. In addition to serving as a stand-alone offering, the certificate can be added to the curriculum for a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies – with minors in criminal justice and psychology – to prepare students to pursue careers in law enforcement. Most courses in the nine-month-long program are available online and are also offered in Ruston and at Tech Barksdale.

The Geographic Information Science (GIS) certificate provides a pathway for students to complete significant coursework in spatial technologies. The program allows students to develop skills and document training that can be used in multiple fields of interest, including land assessment and surveying, the management and assessment of natural resources, energy production and transportation, and crime analysis and epidemiology. GIS skills should enhance career opportunities in natural resource management, as well as other spatially-related fields. 

The 18-hour undergraduate certificate in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel in positions in information systems and network security – one of the fastest growing industries in Louisiana. Students will learn to protect systems and information assets, and to detect, report, and resolve cyber security threats. Additionally, coursework will prepare students to perform information systems risk analysis, along with information systems disaster recovery and business continuity.

 The Lean Six Sigma certificate teaches students the skills needed to solve complex problems encountered in their jobs. Lean Six Sigma is a method that relies on a collaborative effort to improve performance by removing waste and reducing variation. Lean Six Sigma not only reduces process defects and waste but also provides a framework for overall organizational culture change. This 18-hour certificate program allows learners from diverse technical backgrounds to prepare for high-demand jobs as Lean Engineers, Lean Six Sigma Process Engineers, Quality Managers, and Operational Excellence Engineers. 

In creating these undergraduate certificates, our academic leaders found ways to combine portions of established and successful programs to benefit current and future Tech students. We look forward to continuing work with our industry partners in order to create programs that will respond to their needs and the needs of our state’s economy. 

In order to enroll in any of these undergraduate certificate programs, new and visiting students should apply for admission to Louisiana Tech. Current students should discuss adding these programs to their course planning with their academic advisors. 

Dr. Les Guide | President, Louisiana Tech University