What courses have previously been offered?

The following list of courses is an example of classes that have been available over the last three years in the SSU Construction Management Certificate program:

California Labor & Employment Law

Course will familiarize you with all phases of both federal and state employment law through interactive and dynamic seminars.  Fundamental enough for novice employers, of immense value to seasoned employers as well.  Course covers wage and hour law, hiring techniques and the law, how to avoid a wrongful termination lawsuit, immigration and the law, discrimination and harassment issues, and much more. 

Instructor:  Larry Levy

California Construction Law

The course review areas of California construction law relevant to general contractors, subcontractors, owners and design professionals, legal requirements pertaining to the construction industry, and how to identify and manage legal risks.  Topics include: Contactor license laws; Mechanic’s liens and stop notices; Contractor liabilities; Safety Laws, Stop-notices and payment bonds; Insurance and indemnity; Labor and employment; Liabilities and building codes; Arbitration and mediation.

Instructor:  Bryan Varner

Construction Management Safety and Beyond

The course provides participants with the training and resources to develop, implement, and maintain an effective injury and illness prevention program.  This in-depth, 10-week course covers all required regulatory elements with respect to the philosophy of safety, documentation, incentive programs, workers compensation, and training.  Attendees participate in hands-on classroom and field trip exercises that include the use of personal protection equipment, fall protection, confined spaces, trenching/shoring, and heavy equipment operations

Instructor:  Eric Peterson

Construction Project Management

Construction Project Management focuses on the various stages of a construction project and introduces techniques for managing the project effectively.  It begins with pre-construction considerations and includes an overview of: contract documents, subcontracts and purchase orders, safety, scheduling, submittals, documentation; managing labor, quality control, change order management, job cost control, punch list, project close-out, and post construction.  The class is designed for students of construction, trade professionals, small business owners, and others in the construction industry.     

Instructor:  Gregory Nelson

Building Construction Technology

Buildings are complex constructs containing materials, components, and assemblies.  Construction managers must have a basic understanding of these building construction technologies to be effective in constructing a building.  The class explores the various kinds of building systems and assemblies that are used in building projects from residential to high-rise.  Students will be able to recognize basic building structural systems, building operating systems, and related building assemblies.

Instructor:  Matthew Cardle

Risk Management for the Residential Remodeler

Residential remodeling contractors are subject to a higher degree of risk than most.  It is no wonder that the failure rate in the construction industry is highest in this, the largest market segment of the industry which is populated with a high proportion of small businesses.  Students will learn to understand the risks across the full scope of the residential remodeler’s business and provide strategies and tools to manage those risks.  Topics include:  Characteristics of risk in the residential remodeling industry; Client Risk – Understanding the biggest variable; Financial Risk – You are the bank; Internal Risk; and much more.

Instructor:  Peter Daly

Effective Design & Construction Team Leadership

The purpose of the course is to help reduce and eliminate the adversarial positioning between owner, architect, and construction team.  Students will learn to evaluate and develop an understanding of effective team dynamics and establishing and developing clear and effective communications through high-quality conversations.  The exploration of relational dynamics and the development of mutual respect will also be discussed.  Effective team leadership encourages synergy and an interdependence that amplifies team performance exponentially.  Project managers are frequently the design and construction team leaders that must be the facilitator.  Learn the skills you will need to be an effective team leader on your project or in your company.

Instructor:  William Mark Parry, AIA, CSI

Introduction to Construction Drawings

The ability to read, understand, and analyze construction drawings is a critical skill set for construction managers.  This course will help you understand drawing organization, drawing elements and relationships, drawing conventions, details, line types, notes, symbols, building systems, and relationship to specifications.  Class examples include both residential and commercial building types.  Upon completion, students will be able to interpret basic drawings, visualize basic building elements, and analyze simple building systems shown on construction drawings.

Instructor:  Matthew Cardle, AIA, CSI

Introduction to Engineering Construction

This class is an overview of general engineering construction.  It introduces the unique aspects of site work, including: typical organizational structures, plan and specification review, competitive bidding techniques, field and office management, job site safety, heavy equipment utilization, applicable soil mechanics, and typical contract requirements.  Emphasis is on understanding the process of building and engineering project and retaining a working vocabulary of technical terminology.  Local professionals with expertise in specific areas present some class topics.

Instructor:  John D. Hamilton

Finance & Operations in Construction 

The Finance & Operations course will dive deeper into construction management and the details you need to know from basic operations, human resources and finances.  The course will allow you to manage a construction project more effectively and efficiently as you learn new methodologies in managing small to large projects.  Whether you are a beginner in the field of construction management, or a seasoned professional, you will take away useful ideas and methods to help you grow as a person, a professional, and as a company. 

Instructor:  Greg Nelson

Construction Project Planning & Scheduling

The course presents the classic and widely accepted Critical Path Method system (CPM) for construction, which remains the superior planning and scheduling tool in use today.  Topics include:  the difference between planning and scheduling, network analysis, activities, milestones and critical sequence, time scaling, and calendar dating.  There is also an element of quantity surveying and cost estimating required to achieve a competent end result.  Use of Microsoft Project 2016 software will be demonstrated as part of the CPM instruction. 

Residential Estimating

Sound estimating practices are the key to successful project management. Students will learn the fundamental techniques and strategies for developing estimates for residential remodels and new homes. The class explores the relationship between estimating, scheduling and project management and looks at ways to use estimates to control risk.

Profitable Construction Business

The course presents the skills and understanding required to create and operate a profitable construction business.  Students will complete work designed to increase understanding of profit and will examine and analyze profitable construction business models.  Participants will explore how to choose best suited jobs and customers, develop and assess successful marketing strategies, learn accuracy and organization in estimating and pricing jobs, learn to create solid job contracts, and organize and run profitable job sites.

Instructor:  Marc Durand

Construction Contracts

This course will provide students with an in-depth knowledge of and appreciation for contracts. Every business transaction begins with a contract. The better the contract is, the better the prospect will be that the parties will avoid disputes and realize their goals.

Topics include:

  • Identify normal site and environmental issues for a building project
  • Identify typical structural systems and building envelopes used for construction
  • Explore various building systems for mechanical, fire, plumbing, electrical, and communications
  • Review typical materials, assemblies, components, equipment, and special construction.


  • Offer and acceptance
  • Consideration
  • Statute of frauds
  • Modification of contracts
  • Capacity of parties; Third party beneficiaries
  • Assignment of contracts; joint and several contracts
  • Conditions
  • Breach of contracts
  • Remedies for breach

Note:  Course offerings may vary from year to year depending on instructor availability.  Normally, three course offerings are offered during the fall and spring semesters.

  • Construction Organization & Management
  • Principles of Construction Accounting
  • Project Scheduling
  • Construction Contracts
  • Plan Review and Approval
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • The Successful Construction Project Superintendent<
  • Computerized Estimating
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Financial Management & Cash Flow
  • Computer Applications
  • Advanced Blueprint Reading
  • Construction Law & Contracts
  • Construction Marketing and Sales
  • Computerized Construction Accounting
  • Computerized Project Scheduling
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