Professional Development

We can help build your knowledge and skills at any point on your professional journey. We offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. We also offer noncredit Lean Six Sigma training to help you optimize your company's efficiency.  

NIU Continuing and Professional Education provides additional noncredit options for advancing your career, including programs in project and facility management and occupational health and safety. 

Noncredit programs are held in the Chicago suburbs, Rockford and online. We can also bring the program to your facility.  

Lean Six Sigma Certification 

Join us to eliminate inefficiency from your workplace and advance your career. If you're a professional in health care, manufacturing or a service industry, a Lean Six Sigma certification enables you to increase profitability, prevent project variation and boost customer satisfaction. You'll learn from our expert faculty members, who hold Black Belt certificates.  

Cost (includes training materials, lunch and refreshments): 

  • Yellow and Green Belt certificates package: $1,800 per person  
  • Black Belt certificate: $3,500 per person 

For more information, contact Purushothaman Damodaran, Ph.D., at 815-753-5660 or pdamodaran@niu.edu 

Yellow Belt Certificate 

This one-day course focuses on: Lean VSM, 5S, Mistake-proofing, Pull Systems, Little's Law, SMED, Takt Time, PDCA, Fishbone, Scatter Plots, Process Maps, Kaizen Events, Measurements, Continuous Improvement. 

Green Belt Certificate 

You must complete your Yellow Belt certificate before taking this four-day course.  

Topics include: 

  • Define: Origins of Six Sigma, SMART Problem/Goal Statement, CTQ Tree, SIPOC, Pareto Analysis, Stakeholder Analysis, COPQ, Project Charter 
  • Measure: Process Maps, Cause and Effect Diagrams, Measures and Metrics (DPU, FPY, DPMO), KPI Trees, Location and Spread, Sampling, MSA, MSA Drill Down, Gage R&R, Cp, Cpk, IMR and Run Charts 
  • Analyze: Source of Variation, ANOVA, Hypothesis Testing, p-Value, Simple Linear Regression, DoE 
  • Improve: Affinity Diagrams, FMEA, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Solution Storming and Selection, Solution Validation, Benchmarking 
  • Control: Project Management, Change Management, Control Plans, Poka - Yoke, Control Charts, Dashboard Tracking, Documentation 

You must complete a small project and present it to a panel of judges to get your Green Belt certificate. Depending on your availability and the organizational support you receive, it could take three to four months to complete the project. 

Black Belt Certificate 

You must have an approved Green Belt certificate to enroll in this five-day course. To verify eligibility, contact Purushothaman Damodaran, Ph.D., at 815-753-5660 or pdamodaran@niu.edu 

Topics include: 

  • Day one: Project Selection, Benchmarking, Change Management, FMEA - Design FMEA, Software FMEA, Reverse FMEA, FTA 
  • Day two: Probability Distributions, Confidence Intervals, Operational Definitions, Data Transformations, DMAIV vs. DMADV, Regression, Contingency Tables 
  • Day three: Multivariate Analysis, Transfer Functions, DOE - Randomization, Blocking, Replications, Factorial Design, Non-Parametric Tests 
  • Day four: DFSS, QFD, Kansei Engineering, Factor Analysis, Knao Model, TRIZ, Pugh Matrix, RSM 
  • Day five: Building Functional Teams, Facilitating Team Events, Executive Level Presentations 

You must complete a small project and present your findings to a panel of judges to get your Black Belt certificate. Depending on your availability and the organizational support you receive, it could take four to six months to complete the project. 

 


Upcoming Classes

Yellow and Green Belt

Yellow Belt and Green Belt courses are combined for packaged registration and payment.

Black Belt


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