Bachelor of Arts in Construction Management
|NEW Union Plus NLC Building Trades President's Awards are scholarships for building trades union members who enroll in SPS degree completion programs. Scholarships of $915 (3 credit course cost) each are available. Current dues-paying members of building trades unions offering Union Plus programs are eligible to apply: BAC, Boilermakers, IBEW, IBT, Insulators, Ironworkers, IUEC, IUPAT, LIUNA, OPCMIA, Roofers, SMWIA, and UA. Download Flyer (PDF)
The National Labor College (NLC) offers the only bachelor's degree in Construction Management with required courses that explore the labor movement’s preeminent role in the construction industry and positive contributions to American society and economy.
Career Opportunities for Building & Construction Trades Members
Interested in combining your experience and apprenticeships in the building trades industry with the knowledge required to become an effective construction manager?
The NLC is the choice for you! The BA in Construction Management will help you develop the insights needed to be an effective leader.
At the NLC, students will learn to:
- Supplement construction experience with the managerial skills required to propose, plan, and implement a range of construction projects.
- Develop competence in integrating safe and ethical practices efficiently and profitably.
- Communicate effectively with construction team and community members.
- Implement successful project management strategies and techniques.
- Analyze current issues in collective bargaining and labor-management relations in the construction industry.
- Manage construction projects with appropriate scheduling software.
- Estimate quantity take-offs and costs with computer aided methods.
- Master issues related to construction law and project management.
- Understand materials and methods listed in the Construction Specification Institute's Master Format.
- Improve jobsite safety and health.
Classes are taught in an accelerated, interactive, online, 7-week format. Weekly assignments allow students to structure their course time around busy working family schedules.
The NLC offers affordable tuition rates:
- $270.00 per credit hour for AFL-CIO affiliated union members, their family, and members of Working America, the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate.
- $325.00 per credit hour for non AFL-CIO affiliated union members and their family.
Construction Management Requirements
The Construction Management program requires students to complete 36 credits – 12 required courses offered sequentially over two years.
Prerequisite course requirements, credit load, and/or course availability may affect a student’s individual progress. Consult an NLC Admissions Counselor at 888-427-8100 for individual program planning.
- College and/or apprenticeship credits
- Union membership or sponsorship by a building trades union or building trades council
- Construction experience
Required Core Courses (3 credits each)
Additional Required Courses
- For graduation, the total number of credits required, including general education = 120 credits.
Recommended Electives (if necessary)
- Effective Leadership
- Leadership Theory
- Computer Skills for Trade Unionists
- Ethics in Decision Making
- History of Labor and the Law
- Foundations of Safety and Health
- Industrial Hygiene
Core Course Descriptions
Digital Learning for the 21st Century
Technological development has resulted in widespread change in the way information is acquired, manipulated, and analyzed. Every college and university in the world now relies on digital systems to meet the needs of their students and other stakeholders. Against this background, this course answers some of the fundamental questions about the nature of online education and covers critical competencies that constitute successful learning, including research and writing skills. This course also provides useful information about the National Labor College and its organizational resources.
Labor and Work in the United States
This class is designed to provide students with an understanding of issues related to the evolution of work, worker organizations, and labor management relations in the United States. The course also examines practical aspects of collective bargaining and contract administration in a unionized workplace and related legal and policy debates.
Labor and Work in the Global Economy
This class is designed to provide students with an understanding of global labor issues and how they affect the U.S. and world economies. The course will include an overview of international labor rights and standards and an introduction to comparative labor movements.
Fundamentals of the Construction Industry I
Provides a general overview of the planning, administration, management, and cost of construction projects and an introduction to the methodology used in executing specific designs. Emphasis is placed on the organization of construction firms, use and types of primary construction equipment, estimating and quantity take-offs, contractual and management systems, scheduling, project administration, and inspection of construction operations.
Fundamentals of the Construction Industry II
Introduces the design process and development of construction documents. Covers the standard design phases: programming, conceptual design, schematic design, design development, construction documents and construction administration, and the format and utilization of project manuals including contract specifications, the interpretation and analysis of engineering plans and specifications, and new technologies being used in design including Building Informational Modeling (BIM) and sustainable (green) practices. Also, the course explores the various common project delivery methods.
Project Building Systems
Description and identification of the equipment and materials used in mechanical systems for heating, ventilating and air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, piping, gas, lighting, water and waste water, conveyance, life safety systems, environmental, security, audio/visual, and building system controls. Also provides an introduction to building structural and envelope systems.
Provides exposure to and use of various types of project control systems for project efficiency and documentation. In this course, students will learn how the submittal process operates and is monitored. They will also be shown a variety of tools used in tracking project documentation, and essential elements related to contract law and administration.
Construction Cost Accounting, Estimating and Finance (Construction Research Methods)
Introduction to various costs of construction including direct and indirect project costs, comparison of hard and soft costs, job cost analysis and forecasting of cost-to-completion, labor, material and equipment expenses, cash flow, overhead, profitability, and general conditions costs. Students will learn research techniques used to create accurate estimating and bidding procedures.
Construction Project Planning and Scheduling
Students will learn procedures used in project planning and scheduling that employ float methods of scheduling logic. They will examine the critical path series of activities to project completion, including the use of computer software applications for problem solving, and related tools, spreadsheets, and information management. Also covered are work breakdown structures, activity durations, status reports, resource allocation, re-planning, monitoring and updating of projects. Students will develop project site logistics plans.
Industrial Relations in the Construction Industry
This course examines various perspectives (union, management, government) on the collective bargaining system in place in the construction industry. Topics include the legal and regulatory environment, problem solving, and the roles of labor and business.
Advanced Leadership and Business Communication
This course is designed to teach students to become more effective leaders and communicators in the construction industry. Drawing on various case studies, students will examine ethical business practices in the industry. They will define and role play effective communications strategies that simulate situations they may encounter within the industry such as general to subcontractor relations, corporate and labor relations. Students in this course will also examine principles of negotiation and dispute resolution in the construction industry.
Construction Industry Capstone Project
In the capstone course students will build on what they have learned in the major, integrating the theory and knowledge that they’ve gained in the classroom with the practical experience in the construction industry. Capstone projects will be developed through a series of project meetings between the student and program faculty.