The 5th Degree: Fall 2015 Update

by Just Juan

Just under 2 years ago, I started this pursuit of the 5th degree. I didn’t know what to expect from the program. All I knew is that I wanted to be a better Facility Manager…especially after what happened 1 ½ years ago. Last week, I officially finished the program. Here is the update for the 5th leg of this journey.

As I laid it out from the beginning, the plan was for 2 classes in Spring 2014 and 3 each in the 2014-2015 term. A wrench was thrown in when I had to take Research Methods and Graduate Writing Strategies but I was able to stay on schedule with the Summer 2015 term coming up clutch.

My lone course in Fall 2015 was Facility Management Graduate Project —FCMG 797 in the RIT course catalog—under the instruction and advisement of Dr. Rogers, the program head. The purpose of the course was to provide me with a solid foundation in integrative problem-solving. I had to prepare a comprehensive paper that demonstrated my understanding of the principles in the course. This included a 2-page proposal, a detailed outline, a peer-reviewed draft, and an oral presentation defending my paper…all ahead of the final deliverable. My comprehensive white paper covered the need for uniformity amongst Federal facility managers. I figured it was an appropriate topic because I could lean on my experience with the U.S. Department of Defense and all that I’ve seen and heard about my counterparts in the other sectors and agencies of the U.S. Government. I was able to get some help from a lot of my colleagues at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as my former colleagues in the Air Force, who conducted peer reviews of my research. A huge thanks goes out to the IFMA Foundation and the Public Sector Council of IFMA for providing me with a scholarship that allowed me to do some needed field research. The paper ended up being a 30-page behemoth but it covered everything I wanted to convey. By the end of the course, I showcased my ability to do all of the following:

  • Identify a problem, issue, or area of investigation
  • Determine resources needed to address a problem, issue, or investigation
  • Collect and verify required data to analyze a problem, issue, or investigation
  • Analyze data and solutions for a problem
  • Apply applicable facility management tools and principles
  • Prepare a written report that can be sufficiently defended

Course Grade: 88.0 (B+)

And just like that, I’m done.

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