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KNOXVILLE — Students in the Aerospace & Defense MBA program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, now will be able to earn their Lean-Sigma Green Belt certification while earning their MBA degree without additional cost.

“This opportunity increases the value of our custom-designed program for the aerospace and defense industry,” said Andy White, Aerospace & Defense MBA program director.

“We always have included operations excellence and six sigma content in our curriculum to meet the needs of this industry,” White said. “We reviewed our curriculum and found that our students already were completing almost all the requirements for a Green Belt. With minor modifications to our curriculum, we now can offer our students and their sponsors a ‘two-for-one’ opportunity.”

Students who pursue their Green Belt certification will participate in several additional class sessions, involving only minimal additional effort and no additional time away from work.

“Every year, we find that a significant portion of our students work in operations. We want to provide them and their sponsoring organizations as much value as we can for their professional development dollars. This initiative just makes our value proposition that much stronger,” White said.

The next Aerospace & Defense MBA class begins January 2010; the program is still accepting applications (

Students who are more ambitious can pursue a Lean-Sigma Black Belt certification in combination with their MBA degree. The Black Belt certification requires completing the Green Belt coursework available during the one-year program plus the completion of several process improvement projects following graduation. There is a small additional cost for the Black Belt certification to cover faculty members’ travel to observe and assess student projects.

Since its 2004 inception, the Aerospace & Defense MBA has attracted 125 students from 25 states and 36 different employers. The program appeals to students from the military as well as from the private sector servicing aerospace and defense. Students’ careers have included engineering, maintenance, program management, supply chain management and logistics, financial management, contracting, marketing and business development.

The Center for Executive Education in the University of Tennessee’s College of Business Administration offers a comprehensive portfolio of education, training and research programs in support of the aerospace and defense industry. These include the Aerospace & Defense MBA, as well as non-degree “short courses” and certification programs in lean, supply chain management and performance-based logistics.

The center also is home to the National Defense Business Institute, an organization supporting good government. The mission of the institute is to inspire business innovation that supports government and defense.

C O N T A C T :

Cindy Raines, (865-974-4359,