The American Council of Engineering Cos. of Colorado has created a new business-education certificate called Business Essentials, in partnership with Denver-based Jones International University (JIU), a provider of online education. The certificate is intended to bridge the gap between technical expertise and leadership education.

The Business Essentials Certificate prepares consulting engineering professionals for leadership positions and to enter entrepreneurial roles as they start up their own firms or advance into management positions. The curriculum includes four master’s-degree-level courses—ethics, economics, accounting and financial management.

Each course is offered every month, has statewide access and accommodates varied work schedules. The design of the certificate also enables professionals to work toward their master’s degree, since all credits are fully transferrable to master’s level or higher education programs nationally.

“As we pursued development of this certificate, it was important that we not only partner with an education expert, but ensure that the advanced curriculum offered was relevant to the needs of our industry professionals,” said Peter Monroe, ACEC Colorado president. “One of our roles as consulting engineers is to solve critical infrastructure issues, and a big part of that effort is creating sources of revenue, connecting partners and creating consortiums to achieve specific goals.

“Best practices training and education ensures the public that they can be confident their communities are safe, and that public- and private-sector clients have access to solutions that are technically advanced and economically responsible.  It’s all about the business of engineering,” Monroe said.

JIU was the first, 100% online, regionally accredited university by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

“JIU constantly seeks to provide innovative, quality, accredited programs that meet the needs of its constituents,” said Dr. William Loendorf, dean of the JIU School of Business. “The Business Essentials Certificate is a program that is designed to develop leaders and enhance their business skill set. We look forward to partnering with adult learners who are dedicated to improving their business skills to gain an edge in today’s competitive working environment,” he added.

Educations is a core initiative of ACEC Colorado, which actively maintains relationships with Colorado colleges of engineering, providing resources and consultation to ensure students are prepared for successful work-force entry. Offering internships, scholarships and a job board are among the council’s higher-education initiatives and development of the new certificate now provides another educational opportunity that specifically enhances engineering industry leadership.