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Course Descriptions

Certificate Program in Procurement and Contract Management

The thirty semester-hour certificate in Procurement and Contract Management addresses the expanding needs of private industry and local, state, and federal agencies for professionally-trained procurement/contracting officers, contracts administrators, and negotiators. Several of the courses are approved by the Defense Acquisition University as equivalencies. The program is offered at the Northern Virginia center. Contact the center for admission, transfer, and certificate completion information.

Required Courses (6): PC 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, and 407.

Electives (4): PC 406, 409, 411, 412, 413, 415, 416, 417, 419, 420, 422, 423, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 502, 503, 504, 506, 507, 508, 510, 511, 512, or 513.

Course Descriptions


PC 401 - (3)
Procurement and Contracting
An introduction to the procurement and contracting processes, exploring fundamental principles and techniques in detail. Emphasis is upon government procurement, but the student is also provided with an understanding of procurement methods and subcontracting in the private sector. Uses the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) as a text.

PC 402 - (3)
Contract Administration
Prerequisite: PC 401 or equivalent experience.
Covers the technical and fundamental procedures basic to contract administration. Examines both theory and practice, emphasizing enforcement of contract terms and conditions, cost overruns, change orders, disputes and appeals, financial analysis, contract authority and interpretation, production surveillance, quality assurances, and audit.

PC 403 - (3)
Cost and Price Analysis
Prerequisite: PC 401.
Covers the basic concepts in the analysis of contract-price by cost-price analysis techniques, learning curve, weighted guidelines, profit objectives, and analysis of the ADP systems environment.

PC 404 - (3)
Government Contract Law
Prerequisite: PC 401.
Introduces government contract law, contract clauses and provisions, legal aspects associated with contracting, and administering contracts.

PC 405 - (3)
Negotiation of Contracts and Modifications
Prerequisite: PC 403.
Covers the techniques of negotiation. Focuses on the organization and operation of the procurement team, preparation and conduct of negotiations of contracts, and contract modifications by the team concept. Mock negotiations are conducted in class using case studies.

PC 406 - (3)
Management Principles for Procurement and Contracting
A review of management theory and recent developments in management practices, focusing on the four modern schools of management theory: management process, quantitative, behavioral, and unified.

PC 407 - (3)
Seminar in Procurement and Contracts Management
Prerequisite: Completion of all required courses.
A capstone course for advanced students in acquisition management designed to meld the content of individual procurement courses into a fuller understanding of policies, practices, and procedures. Includes current research and advances and offers opportunities to develop skills in the critical evaluation of theories and their application in solving problems.

PC 409 - (3)
Contracting for Information Resources
Prerequisite: PC 402.
Illustrates how to structure and negotiate hardware and software contracts and clearly underlines the responsibilities of both the buyer and seller. Key contracting problems emphasized are reliability standards, acceptance testing, performance and measurement, quality control, maintenance, progress reports, and payments.

PC 411 - (3)
Cost Analysis for Decision-Making
Prerequisite: PC 403.
An application of current methodologies used in the development of cost analysis studies. Emphasizes selection of techniques to be employed, analysis and refinement of data, development of cost models, the use of the models as predictors of life cycle cost elements, operating and support costing, economic analysis, design-to-cost, and life cycle costing.

PC 412 - (3)
International Purchasing and Business Transactions
Prerequisite: PC 401.
Analyzes the basic regulations and principles of international procurement, organizational structure, financing, cooperative programs, supply-support arrangements, co-production, agreements, consortiums, research and development agreements, distribution systems, and analysis of current problems and trends.

PC 413 - (3)
Purchasing and Materials Management
Surveys the principles of industrial purchasing and management of inventories, including determinations of requirements, pricing, source selection, inventory policy, and professional ethics.

PC 415 - (3)
Grants: Federal, State, and Local
Provides a foundation for understanding the administration of grants. The course is primarily concerned with grants by the federal government; the means by which it provides financial assistance to state and local units of government and the private (nonprofit) community; and the purposes for which such assistance are covered, including revenue sharing, concerns over federal interests in non-federal functions, impact upon intergovernmental relations, and others.

PC 416 - (3)
Application for and Management of Federal Grants
Furthers an understanding of the mechanics of applying for federal grants, the review process, and the administrative problems facing recipients of grants. Covers the specific application procedures of selected federal agencies and several grant programs. Reviews the pre-application process, requirements for state plans, coordinating requirements among planning units of governments, and environmental impact statements.

PC 417 - (3)
International Business Negotiations
Prerequisite: PC 402.
Covers the differences between international and domestic business negotiations, including language, customs, religion, and political and legal systems, and other cultural consideration. Discusses the various strategies and tactics used in negotiations, and uses extensive role-playing with these techniques to develop recognition and countering skills.

PC 419 - (3)
Government Contract Computer Law
Prerequisite: PC 402.
Covers the law applying to the government’s use of computers, software, and computer- related services. Includes intellectual property rights; government contract computer law issues; how the government purchases ADP; patent rights in technical data and computer software; FOIA; relevant waste, fraud, and abuse rules; and exporting data.

PC 420 - (3)
Advanced Major ADP Systems Acquisition
Prerequisite: PC 402, 409.
Covers the basics of systems acquisition; general policy; the major systems process; DSARC information requirements; integrated DSARC and PPBS process; fundamental management principles; concerns with the acquisition process; controlled decentralization and participatory management principles; acquisition/life cycle management; and software systems acquisition process.

PC 422 - (3)
Federal Government Contracting: A Contractor’s Perspective
Covers marketing and sales, pre-RFP work, RFP analysis, technical proposal preparation, management and cost proposal preparation, government site visits, audits, negotiations, contract start-up, performance, and contract shut-down.

PC 423 - (3)
Project-Team Management for Contract Managers
Introduces the fundamentals of project-team management, emphasizing the management of large-scale, technically complex projects. Covers the entire project life cycle, from selection and initiation to termination and close-out.

PC 424 - (3)
Subcontract Management
Surveys government policies and regulations addressing subcontracting and subcontract management. Intended for employees of companies that subcontract with government prime contractors and for government officials who seek a better understanding of subcontracting procedures under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

PC 425 - (2)
Acquisition Strategies
Focuses on understanding the government and public sector acquisition environment, developing strategies, proposals, and evaluation plans/factors for the acquisition of products and services.

PC 426 - (3)
Source Selection
Provides a comprehensive overview of the government policies and regulations that address the major procurement technique used by the government for purchases above the simplified acquisition threshold. The intent of the course is to discuss all phases of the source selection process from the inception of the requirement to the award of the contract and notification and debriefing of unsuccessful offers.

PC 427 - (1)
Commercial Items Acquisition
Students will explore the history of commercial item acquisition and the impact this type of acquisition has on the federal marketplace. Instruction explores commercial item initiatives by both civilian and DoD agencies, and addresses the impact to companies pursuing business with the federal government.

PC 428 - (2)
Terms and Conditions
This course will review the practical applications of basic contract formation, types of contracts, and the law surrounding enforcement of contracts. A significant amount of time will be spent reviewing terms and conditions applicable to both prime contracts and subcontracts in the federal and commercial marketplaces. Also covered will be contract modifications, representations and certifications, and FAR provisions.

PC 501 - (3)
Procurement and Contracting Principles and Administration
Prerequisite: PC 401 and 402, or equivalent education or experience.
Covers advanced contract administration topics and some basics necessary for contracts and acquisition personnel. Fast-paced course combining elements of PC 401 and 402.

PC 502 - (3)
Advanced Cost and Price Analysis
Prerequisite: PC 403.
Covers basic contract types and how to determine the costs for each. Includes how a business functions financially and how pricing decisions are made for a specific commodity; market versus cost-based pricing decisions; methodologies used in the development of cost analysis studies; and life cycle costing.

PC 503 - (3)
Project Management
Provides the necessary knowledge to manage large scale and complex projects. Covers the entire life cycle of the project.

PC 504 - (3)
Advanced Contract Formation and Administration
Prerequisite: PC 402 or 501.
Covers the major topics in contract administration and the laws regarding the formation of government contracts. Also includes subcontract administration and acquisition strategies.

PC 505 - (3)
Seminar for Acquisition Personnel
Prerequisite: Completion of all required coursework.
Examines the overall principles of effective management and supervision, team building, strategic planning, and communications necessary for managerial success.

PC 506 - (3)
Federal Acquisition Case Studies
Prerequisite: PC 402 or 501.
Provides a basic understanding of the laws and principles of law that affect government contracting; various case scenarios dealing with ethical considerations; and an understanding of the changes as brought forth in FASA, FARA, and ITMRA.

PC 507 - (3)
Services Contracting
Prerequisite: PC 401 or 501.
Explains the laws, regulations, and procedures of all stages of government-services contracting, including planning, solicitation, proposal development, evaluation, and contract administration.

PC 508 - (3)
FAR Standards for Actions and Decisions
Prerequisite: PC 401 or 501.
Explains, reviews, and analyzes many of the FAR standards and tests applied in making legally sufficient and business-successful contracting decisions. These standards apply to both government-buying and industry-selling business decisions.

PC 510 - (3)
FAR Standards for Actions and Decisions
Prerequisite: PC 401 or 501.
Explains contracting by the negotiation method, as outlined in the current Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 15. This course also provides an intensive review of policy and procedures in the negotiation method, using exercises, case studies, simulations, and team building.

PC 511 - (3)
Construction Contracting
Prerequisites: PC 501.
Provides students with the fundamentals of contracts for construction, architect-engineering services, and two-phase design-build projects. The course will offer in-depth treatment of the relevant provisions of the FAR and the prevalent issues in construction-related litigation. Specific topics relate to the formation and administration of construction-related contracts and include: the Brooks Architect-Engineering Act; surety and insurance issues; environmental and safety issues; labor laws; evaluation of construction contractor performance; differing site conditions; performance delays and acceleration; and claims, disputes, remedies and liquidated damages.

PC 512 - (3)
Electronic Commerce in Federal Acquisition
Builds a foundation for the challenges facing the contracting professional during conversion to electronic commerce in the Federal Procurement system. The course includes definitions; the engineering aspects of converting from a paper-driven system; productivity and re-engineering; authorizing statutes and regulations; surveys of currently available systems; FAR coverage; computer security; and the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the future.

PC 513 - (3)
Advanced Services Contracting
Prerequisite: PC 507 or instructor permission.
Provides the opportunity for intensive review and workshop experience in the current predominant policies and procedures of services contracting. Laws, regulations, policies, and procedures that are currently superior in influence and that are drawn from all stages of the services contracting acquisition cycle will be covered


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