NASPO Members Eligible for Mini-Scholarships

NASPO Members Eligible for Mini-Scholarships

Are you in search of an opportunity to enhance your procurement knowledge?  Do you enjoy learning from your peers in other states? Are you looking to challenge yourself while adding valuable insight to your profession?

NASPO is excited to announce a mini-scholarship opportunity for NASPO Members to take BA 235 State & Local Government Procurement at Chemeketa Community College (Salem, Oregon).  The college is one of NASPO’s Academic Partners – a select group of higher educational institutions around the country. This introduction course is offered 100% online.  It will satisfy four college credits in public procurement study for those who successfully complete the course. The online course will run from March 30th-June 13th.

This course covers basic topics and factors that shape the public procurement profession. Topics will include fundamentals of public procurement: competition, impartiality, and openness, effective use of public funds, innovation and flexibility. The latest edition of NASPO’s textbook State & Local Government Procurement: A Practical Guide, is utilized throughout the course to help facilitate the examination of the procurement process.  Students learn and engage with these topics through assignments, projects and discussion.

Victoria Narkon, longtime adjunct faculty at Chemeketa Community College notes,

“It is my pleasure to contribute to the public procurement profession by teaching Procurement for State and Local Government (BA235) Online through Chemeketa Community College. Since NASPO started the mini-scholarship program and students from all over the country and even from Canada have been participating, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the quantity and quality of the weekly discussions. It is interesting to note the similarities and the differences in how procurement is approached by the public organizations they represent. I’ve also noticed an increase in quality information that is included in their course projects; especially interesting is the addition of researching Cronin Awards as an option for research.

The students provide feedback to me through an end of term survey and through comments in their term reflections. So far, it’s been very positive with many students commenting on how relevant the course information is and how they can apply what they are learning immediately. Some students even comment about the course information motivating them to continue their academic journeys. One of the benefits of taking this course is its applicability to national certifications and many students also indicate they are planning to test for those certifications as next steps in their career.”   

In addition to the content provided through the course, students will benefit from the ability to discuss these topics with other public procurement professionals. Check out the comments below from three of the 59 students, representing 25 states, who have completed the course:

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A lot can be said for taking on a new challenge with no expectations.  No prerequisites.  It takes us out of our comfort zone and puts us in a world where we have only two choices…sink or swim.

This was the case for me entering BA 235 Procurement for State and Local Government.  I honestly had no idea what to expect.  I had no idea the course would lead me to question everything I had learned to that point about purchasing.  Well it did…and in the best way possible.

I have learned how to manage contracts, what it means to be a good steward of taxpayers’ money, the right and the wrong way to establish RFPs and so much more.  I learned the intricate methods used to procure Managed Services through my course project….I also learned the differences between public and private procurement. 

Being relatively new to Public Procurement (coming from the private sector), I knew really only rudimentary basic information on how public procurement worked.  This course taught me the building blocks and showed me what to expect and even what to look for when NOT expecting something.

I learned how other states conduct the same tasks that we do in my state and how the processes differ.  I learned that there is a multitude of different ways a process can be accomplished.  I think most of all, I learned that we as Procurement Professionals, are the front line in ensuring public funds are used in a responsible manner.  – Reprint by Permission of William Vivian, Jr., Vermont Office of Purchasing and Contracting.

Other students noted:

Kristen Raley (GA) – “The last week of class is upon us, and it doesn’t feel real. I have worked super hard this semester to take in all of the knowledge possible about procurement to better understand the daily work lives of those around me and how to better serve my state. I am beyond thankful for NASPO allowing me to have this opportunity to take this class. The information I have learned here not only from the book, but fellow classmates is more than I expected to gain, and will help me push forward in my career.”

Gerard McCrossan (TX) – “This has been a great opportunity for me to interact with all…from other states.”  “…continuous learning is key to being a professional.  When we stop learning and trying to learn, we are treading water and the profession gets away from us.”  “I am a professional public servant.  Elections happen.  Elected officials change.  Priorities change.  But the work of government serving taxpayers continues.”

Mini-scholarship details:  If you are interested, please talk to the NASPO Primary member in your state.  Primary members must submit nominations for the scholarships via email to Daniel Kruger with the name and full contact information (name, title, phone number, address, email) of the individual you would like to nominate to take the course (one per state). Scholarship slots will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The deadline to let Daniel know your state’s nominee is Monday, March 2nd, COB.

So whether you are in a new job, seeking national certification or just looking to jazz up your career, a course in procurement can be a rewarding experience.

Take on a new challenge with no expectations – you might be delighted with the results!

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