May 21, 2008

Technical Resource Management program expands

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The general public can now benefit from a program launched last year by Southern Illinois University Carbondale in partnership with Continental Tire of North America. It's the opportunity to earn credit toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Resource Management without coming to the SIUC campus for classes.

The Technical Resource Management (TRM) degree is beneficial to technicians, enhancing their career advancement potential for management and supervisory roles. The program, from SIUC's School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies within the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, complements an associate degree or other formal technical education. Most students can complete the degree requirements in as few as 60 semester hours.

Initially, students could participate in the off-campus TRM courses only at the Continental Tire of North America Mount Vernon location. Starting this fall, SIUC will also offer the courses to the general public at the Rend Lake MarketPlace in Mount Vernon, according to Lisa Lindhorst, field representative and academic adviser for the TRM program. Lindhorst works with students to help them coordinate completion of degree requirements, including the University Core Curriculum and/or technical/career electives as needed.

Continental Tire employees have been able to earn an associate degree through Rend Lake College by taking courses at the Continental plant for the past two years. In July 2007, the company joined with SIUC and Rend Lake College to announce the Continental University partnership. This allows employees to continue their education to earn credit toward the TRM degree. A number of Continental Tire employees have enhanced their educations through the option.

Beginning this fall, students can participate in TRM courses on-site at the MarketPlace and online. The program includes three major core courses each semester over a four-semester sequence. SIUC's Department of Continuing Education offers additional degree requirements. The on-site TRM courses utilize an accelerated seven-week format, with lectures one afternoon each week reinforced with Web-based materials, said Will Devenport, director of the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies.

Planned to accommodate work schedules and busy lives, the TRM program's format may be a good fit for many. Classroom time is minimal, as students only need to travel to the Mount Vernon campus once a week. Students can complete the remaining coursework at a time that fits their personal schedules. There's also easy access to instructors via e-mail or telephone. Among the course offerings are quality management, data interpretation, labor-management relations and technology and international trade.

To find out more about TRM or to apply, contact Lindhorst at, by calling 618/453-7281, or visit the Web site at