UH West Oʻahu will be expanding its Facilities Management offerings for the fall 2017 semester to address a growing need for professionals who are knowledgeable about various systems employed in today’s increasingly complex buildings and infrastructure.
The Bachelor of Applied Sciences (BAS) with a concentration in Facilities Management provides students with a foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) principles, which are applied to solve real-world interdisciplinary problems within the facilities management profession. This new concentration will begin accepting students in the Fall 2017 semester.
Nationally, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation has accredited only nine bachelor degrees in Facilities Management at higher-education institutions. Associate professor Jeffrey Rogers said the BAS degree concentration is being developed with the expectation that it will be submitted for accreditation, when appropriate.
The IFMA foundation forecasts demand for facility management professionals to grow significantly because more than half of the practitioners are expected to retire in the next 15 years. A 2011 IFMA survey found that facility managers who obtain the Certified Facility Manager credential earned more than $100,000 annually.
The new BAS degree concentration along with the previously approved Facilities Management concentration within the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA) are the only degree concentrations of their type offered in Hawaiʻi. UH West Oʻahu developed both degree concentrations in response to rising demand for university graduates with interdisciplinary education to sustainably manage smart or intelligent buildings and infrastructures in Hawaiʻi.
The new BAS degree concentration differs from the BABA degree concentration in that BAS students receive a foundation in STEM-oriented coursework while BABA students receive a foundation in business-oriented coursework, according to Dr. Rogers, who has designed both curriculums.
Dr. Rogers said the students in the new BAS degree concentration will receive introductory coursework in the sustainable management of an organization’s physical assets throughout the entire life-cycle, i.e. architecture, engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, renovations, decommissioning, and disposal of the major building/infrastructure systems. That compares to the BABA degree concentration, which takes a more business-oriented approach to prepare students to sustainably manage an organization’s physical assets.
Rogers said graduates from the BAS degree concentration are likely find jobs requiring STEM problem solving skills to sustainably manage more technically complex facilities such as military installations, critical infrastructures, and manufacturing plants. Graduates from the BABA degree concentration are likely to find jobs requiring managerial problem solving skills to sustainably manage more service-oriented facilities such as resorts, commercial, residential, and retail.
During development both degree concentrations received significant support from partners. Notably, the U.S. Office of Naval Research provided a $245,000 grant that was used in part to develop the new BAS degree concentration. Other notable partners include the Ingersoll Rand Charitable Foundation ($25,000), Hawaiʻi Energy, and the Hawaiʻi IFMA Chapter.
Ultimately, both degree concentrations will provide students with the academic foundation for achieving the IFMA professional credentials for Facility Management Professional (FMP), Sustainable Facility Professional (SFP) and Certified Facility Manager (CFM) certifications.