12:04 PM

Student Earns Black Belt While Pursuing MSOP

Jason King was anxious to tie that black belt around his waist.

When he went looking for someone to help him attain his goal, he returned to a place that had helped him before. So, 20 years after earning his bachelor’s degree in Management of Human Resources, King finds himself back at Bellevue University in pursuit of his Master of Science in Organizational Performance (MSOP) and the Six Sigma Black Belt certification that the newly redesigned MSOP program facilitates.

Jason is just a few classes into the MSOP program, but has already accomplished the goal of earning the aforementioned certification. Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement that seeks to improve the quality of the output of a process by identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.

“The black belt certification was something I have wanted since I got my green belt certification in 2008, while I was working with General Electric,” said Jason, who’s now a Regional Continuous Improvement Leader for agribusiness giant Bunge in Huntsville, Alabama.

Jason expects to be able to immediately leverage his new certification as the leader of a new training course for process engineers at Bunge. In his current role at Bunge, King travels to nine different plants to help find ways to improve processes.

“I enjoy teaching people and I enjoy being able to move around and not being tied to one place,” Jason said.

The recently redesigned MSOP program was enhanced in early 2019 to further align the curriculum with highly recognized industry certifications, such as Six Sigma, and gives students the opportunity to study for the certification exams throughout the program. The MSOP program now has six core courses focused on essential knowledge and skills as defined by employers, and each core course runs concurrently with a one credit hour applied project course.

“The content of the course lines up perfectly with my work experience over the last 10 years. It makes the classes a lot easier to understand since I have so much experience working with it,” King said. “The online format has changed a lot since I got my bachelor’s degree in 1997. With all of the new technology it makes it possible to truly get the equivalent of an in-class experience while having the flexibility to complete assignments remotely.”

Jason, originally from Southern California, first learned about Bellevue University while stationed at Offutt Air Force Base just down the road from the school.

“The school was so close to the base. It made it really easy. Plus, it was geared toward adult students, which really suited my needs,” he said.

Jason has received a lot of support for his educational and career goals from both his family and his employers -- the Air Force, Lozier, General Electric, and Kellogg, as well as Bunge, have always promoted continuing education.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Jason said. “The employer gets the benefit of the knowledge the employee has acquired and the employee is able to advance with that new knowledge.”