MED hosts USACE Learning Center course

Published Jan. 21, 2010

Mike Graham discusses material with Laura Dickson and Som Bhattacharyya at the USACE Learning Center course. Photo by Kristin Hoelen.
WINCHESTER, Va. -- The Middle East District hosted a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Learning Center (ULC) course titled “Scheduling Basics for Projects” at the Holiday Inn Historic Gateway in Winchester, Va., Oct. 27-29.


The course is usually held at the ULC in Huntsville, Ala., but there were enough employees at MED in need of the training to justify hosting the course locally. The considerable cost savings and having two MED employees who are qualified instructors for the course made the decision and logistics much easier.

Caryl Hickel, section chief in the Business Management Branch, queried MED employees regarding interest in the Proponent Sponsored Engineer Corps Training (PROSPECT) course in June. The District’s training coordinator, Ami Mitchell, also searched employees’ Individual Development Plans to see how many had the course listed as recommended or required training. Other district’s training coordinators began communicating an interest in sending personnel as well. Finally, 24 Corps employees – 15 from MED – registered for and attended the course.

The District’s instructors, Hickel and Mike Graham, chief of the Contract Administration Branch, worked with the ULC to arrange the dates and location for training. Graham has been teaching the course since 2008 and Hickel since 1986.

According to Hickel, participants begin with basics, such as learning why a schedule is important, and end up working with Network Analysis Systems. While the three-day course is directed mainly toward project managers, it is open to anyone on a project delivery team.

The course emphasizes interaction with participants working in groups during workshops and activities, said Hickel. They will take on scenarios that must be resolved using scheduling techniques from start to finish, dealing with unexpected problems and troubleshooting those issues. Scenarios included scheduling to build a tree house and planning a change of command ceremony.

“This course was very successful,” said Hickel. “The participants were very motivated and productive.”

Hickel added that this class obtained the highest scores of any group that she and Graham have taught.

Kristin Hoelen

Release no. 13-048