The program is the only accredited facilities management degree program in the state of Florida and historically black college or university.
The Facilities Management degree program had an accreditation cite visit from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation. This new major has been created, planned and developed with the School of Business and Industry (SBI), the School of Architecture (SOA) and IFMA.
“Facilities Management covers an extended range of core competencies,” said Steve Lockwood, the director of Academic Affairs for IFMA. “This is one of the first programs that we’ve had accredited that’s in the School of Business and Industry, predominantly from a management side, that crosses over into the School of Architecture.”
In addition to the visit, the FAMU Facility Management Academic Advisory Council members signed its charter. The advisory council consists of 12 volunteered professionals committed to sharing expertise and advice partnering with the university president, provost and deans of SBI and SOA to advance and expand FAMU’s inaugural Facilities Management Academic Program.
“There is a need to have a combination of technical business and leadership skills that can be effectively applied to ensure the experience within built space is enjoyable, economical and sustainable,” said Facility Management Academic Advisory Council Chair Thomas Mitchell Jr.
Typically it takes a program two to four years to earn its accreditation. SBI and SOA are wasting no time. So far, the curriculum has met nine out of the 11 core competencies in order to gain accreditation. Full accreditation in half the time generally expected is anticipated .
During the site visit, there was an overview session of facilities management hosted in SOA. The session was split in two parts featuring three student presentations and a panel of FAMU SOA alumni working in the capacity of facilities management.
According to Mitchell, the merger between the two schools is a perfect example of how facilities management encloses multiple disciplines together. SBI and SOA faculty see where their knowledge and skills are intricate components to ensuring the functionality of the built environment.
“What the program does is create a pipe line for people that are specifically educated in multiple discipline areas,” said David Castro, of Jones Lang Lasalle.
Modeled after Ferris State University in Michigan, Roscoe Hightower of SBI and Professor Ronald Lumpkin of SOA crafted the undergraduate curriculum. Both schools have worked profusely to create opportunities to give emerging leaders the skills needed to have a direct influence on ensuring the functionality of the work environment. Students can enter the program as freshman or transfer into the program.
“To leverage FAMU’s many strengths, this model will hopefully be focused across campus to deliver a cross-discipline program so other curriculums can be generated and implemented during these economic times,” said Hightower.