OCU adds government contracting certificate

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OKLAHOMA CITY – With an expansion into government contract management, Oklahoma City University’s Meinders School of Business continues to increase its certificate programs.

Starting in September, the 10-week certificate program will teach students about contract acquisition and management on a local, state and federal level. The certificate is designed for people interested in starting a business, obtaining a contract to work with the federal government, transitioning to a different industry and more, said Melissa Cory, director of the program.

The program consists of five courses: fundamentals of government contracting; government contract law; principles of federal acquisition regulation and acquisition management system financial analysis; federal acquisition planning and strategy; and small and minority-owned businesses and government contracting.

There are three instructors teaching the course, including Sonja Watts, who has more than 20 years of government work experience and is employed by the Federal Aviation Administration Logistics Center.

Even with many rules and regulations, Watts said, she has always loved government contracting and one of her focuses will be to help small businesses.

“I know that navigating the government arena is big and scary for a lot of small businesses since there is a lot of rules and regulations to understand,” Watts said.

After receiving her master’s degree, Watts said, she still had an abundance to learn once she entered government contracting.

“For a student to walk out knowing what we’ve taught them, there is no doubt they will be hired,” Watts said.

The two other instructors are attorney Phil Busey, CEO of the Busey Group of Companies and Delaware Resource Group, and Ann Long, an employee at Devon Energy and a former employee at the Federal Aviation Administration Logistics Center.

This summer, the business school also announced that it would offer a master certificate program in financial fraud and forensic accounting in the fall. Cory said certificate programs fill talent gaps in niche markets and better fit adult schedules.

“We are always looking to grow our certificate programs and to meet the needs that businesses and industries are looking for,” Cory said.

Tuition, including books, is $1,000.

Jack Vesper