Certificate in Mining Studies Survey … Key Findings

This article presents the key findings of a program evaluation survey of students that registered for the Certificate in Mining Studies (CMS) Program. The survey was conducted from November 2016 – January 2017. The survey audience was 63 respondents out of more than 300 CMS registrants.

The survey objective was to evaluate the CMS program as a continuing educational approach to develop and enhance skills in the mining industry.

The survey has demonstrated strong support for the program from both companies and professionals. Professionals consistently rate the CMS, its courses, and support services as high quality. The survey indicates that certain improvements to the CMS would be beneficial, as noted below.

Background

The Certificate in Mining Studies (CMS) is a university certificate program, developed by EduMine, the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the Department of Continuing Education at UBC. The CMS continuing education program comprises short courses, live webcasts, and online courses from a dynamic collaborative network between EduMine, mining schools, and approved course providers. Students can take courses online, at the provider’s location, or in a virtual classroom setting to minimize travel time.

Current CMS Mining Schools include the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at UBC, the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources at the University of Arizona (UAz), and the Department of Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Concepción in Chile. Current CMS Course Providers include EduMine, UBC, UAz, the Sauder School of Business at UBC, Imperial College (London), and Simon Fraser University (Vancouver).

Areas of Study and Study Objectives

Mining, Management, and Mineral Processing are the top three areas of study selected by respondents. Most respondents selected 2 or more areas of study.

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Sponsorship and Reasons for Selecting CMS

40% of CMS students are partially or fully sponsored by their employers.

The primary reason (by 85%) for selecting CMS over other study programs in mining is “Flexible schedule.” This allows students to compile their own program of courses, from more than 250 qualifying courses, to suit their career objectives. “No full time commitment” (84%) was the second most important reason, followed by “Wide range of topics” and “Minimal travel requirement” (78%).

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Level of Satisfaction and Meeting of Expectations

Students are most satisfied with “Online convenience,” followed closely by “Sufficient time for completion,” and “Program guidance and support.”

Students agreed most strongly with the career expectation “Counted towards CPD” (62%), followed by “Helped achieve career goals” (44%), and “Recognized by employer” (32%).

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Quality of CMS Courses

82% of respondents who have taken online courses from EduMine/UBC rated the quality as 4 or more out of 5. Online courses are rated highly on all quality assessments.

Short courses and live webcasts achieved similar or better ratings.

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Suggestions for CMS Improvement

66% of respondents selected “Better coverage of current issues” and 54% selected “More topics and providers.” Both of these suggestions can be addressed by judiciously increasing the number of CMS course providers and, by inference, taking on new course authors and presenters.

44% of respondents selected “Structured program streams,” 35% selected “Modular structure,” and 35% selected “More curriculum guidance.” All of which indicate that there is currently too much flexibility in the choice of CMS curriculum and that a more structured approach is required.

43% of respondents selected “Online discussion forum.”

34% of respondents selected “Improved registration process,” which is essentially the responsibility of the CMS mining schools.

13% of respondents selected “Other languages.” Note that EduMine has recently negotiated with a Spanish-speaking university to join the CMS as both a mining school and a course provider (University of Concepción, Chile).

For information on the CMS and details of the registration process, see our Certificate in Mining Studies page. For professional advice on setting up your own personal CMS program to meet your career objectives, contact Simon Houlding or Katja Freitag.

Simon Houlding is Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., responsible for EduMine, the professional development division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry. He is a practicing professional engineer and author.

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