Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Reggie Jeter, Construction Engineering Technology Professor, Louisiana Tech University, Louisiana, U.S.
Louisiana Tech University is a public university located in Ruston, northern Louisiana, with an enrollment of 9,215 undergraduates and 1,799 graduate students. Founded in 1894 with the mission of teaching ‘the practical industries of the age,’ Louisiana Tech has a rich engineering heritage, with a focus on integrating advanced technology into teaching and learning.
The Bachelor’s degree in Construction Engineering Technology (CET) aims to prepare graduates for converting the plans and specifications prepared by engineers and architects into construction projects.
Reginald (Reggie) Jeter is CET Program Chair and Professional in Residence. He teaches the all-important scheduling part of the program in a course named Construction Contracts, Planning and Specifications. His classes are based on the use of Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (P6) software provided free by Oracle Academy.
Oracle Academy: Why did you select Primavera P6 for your course?
Reggie Jeter: I was in the highway heavy construction business for 28 years, and used Primavera for project management the whole time. It is the Cadillac of scheduling software in my opinion. When I was invited to join Louisiana Tech in 2015, I contacted Oracle Academy for a P6 license so that my students could benefit from using the most widely used scheduling program hands-on.
Oracle Academy: How do you use the software in your classes?
Reggie Jeter: I wanted to teach students what it means to plan and schedule construction projects, specifically using the critical path method. P6 contains everything we need. We go through the program, work on case studies, and prepare for the real world.
Oracle Academy: Could you give us an example of a real-life project?
Reggie Jeter: Drawing on my consulting work with local construction companies, I show how projects are organized and the number of activities involved, and teach them how to update a schedule and factor in the necessary resources. For instance, we worked on a runway extension at Shreveport Regional Airport. I supplied students with the actual P6 file for this project. We walked through the schedule updates step-by-step, and then generated reports, exactly as is done in real life. In this way they learn critical path scheduling, a technique that calculates the minimum completion time for a project along with the possible start and finish times for the work involved.
Oracle Academy: What work opportunities does knowledge of Primavera P6 lead to?
Reggie Jeter: There’s a multitude of jobs to be had. P6 opens doors to positions in construction companies such as estimator, scheduler, or planner. From there they can work their way up to be a project manager or project superintendent – even a VP or the owner of a company.
Oracle Academy: In what way does Louisiana Tech help students find employment?
Reggie Jeter: To start with, I encourage my students to work in construction during the summer break. It doesn’t matter in what capacity: laborer, driving a truck or in the office. It’s important to have some form of construction experience on their resumé. Equally important is to put P6 on the resumé. A couple of years back a student of mine was making cold calls, and during one of them the owner noted P6 on his resumé. He was hired on the spot!
Oracle Academy: Has Primavera P6 benefitted your students in their career path?
Reggie Jeter: Yes, many of our students become Primavera ambassadors. When they leave Louisiana Tech, they take P6 with them. Sometimes a company with no scheduling software will ask the graduate in Construction Engineering Technology for a recommendation. Well, despite competitors on the market, they advise P6 because they know it inside and out and have gotten their degrees thanks to that software.
Oracle Academy: Are you the only professor teaching P6?
Reggie Jeter: There is one other in the faculty. Between us we teach a cohort of 35-40 students in two groups, giving them roughly four hours a week of P6 instruction over a ten-week semester.
Oracle Academy: Thank you for being the guest speaker on Oracle Academy’s recent knowledge builder session. You’re a wonderful Primavera ambassador.
Reggie Jeter: It was my pleasure! I take my hat off to Oracle Academy and Oracle for providing the resources free of charge and allowing me to pass on information about what for me is, and I repeat, the Cadillac of scheduling software!
Watch Jeter talk about teaching Primavera P6 in a virtual environment in this webcast.
Learn more about Oracle Academy Project Management Curriculum.
Thank you, Reggie Jeter, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.