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Focus on Construction Management

Mural in EKU's Construction Management suite

Students interested in receiving a construction management degree at the highest quality institution should look no further than Eastern Kentucky University’s Construction Management (CM) program.  In addition to a state-of-the art facility, jobs galore, and a range of opportunities post-graduation, the CM program boasts four highly qualified, involved, passionate faculty members - Dr. Scott Arias, Dr. Charlie Zhang, Dr. Bryan Dyer, and Mr. Matt Ellis.    

With over two decades of combined teaching experience at EKU, these four faculty have earned impressive qualifications and certifications. They are Quality Control Managers, Environmentally Compliant, Project Management Professionals, Safety Training Supervisors, OSHA certified, as well as many other substantial certifications. 

In addition to their work as professors, CM faculty are heavily involved in the private sector as presidents of consulting companies, civil engineers, VP of Operations for consulting companies, professional engineers, and presidents of design firms. This involvement in a rapidly changing external environment keeps them up-to-date, and their ability to network with outside firms is one of the greatest rewards of being a part of the program.

All of this knowledge and experience has a positive impact on their students. EKU's CM faculty have close connections with the majority of the construction companies in the area creating an abundance of internships and potential jobs EKU graduates. 

Program coordinator Scott Arias guaranteed that the competitive landscape is extremely promising for CM graduates.  “Ten semesters in a row, 100 percent of students were placed in jobs immediately upon their graduation, with an average starting salary of over $60,000. There are many other CM programs out there, but nobody holds a candle to EKU’s CM program. There are more jobs and opportunities available for graduating students, than there are actual graduating students in the program. We have companies that travel from all over the U.S. just to interview our CM students.” Many of EKU’s CM students are employed with Gray, a 1.2 billion dollar company, along with other large construction companies such as Messer, Garney, Clark-Turner, Whiting-Turner, Cooper Steel, Bechtel, and Kiewit. 

The faculty agreed that CM is a challenging, exciting, and rewarding field with tangible rewards that produce a great sense of motivation. Matt Ellis went on to say, “You get to see an entire project come to fruition. It’s all worth it to see the pay-off at the end of the project, knowing you had such a big hand in its construction. That structure is going to be there for 100 years or more, and every time you drive by it, you’ll know had a part in it; and there’s a certain amount of pride that comes with that.”

Arias went on to say, “To me, it’s less about construction and more about what it does for people. I’m really passionate about the fact that you can take someone like me, who came from nothing, and they can become someone who makes an impact and gives back. Nineteen people that graduated from this program are now CEOs of companies. They are changing people’s lives every day with what they’re doing. That’s huge. We have an alumnus that owns a $100 million drywall company. This alumnus did not come from a wealthy family, and now his life has been completely changed, and he’s able to change the lives of so many others as well.” 

Moreover, CM boasts one of the largest, most active student organizations on campus. Various construction professionals present at every meeting to keep students updated on the field and their companies. Through this organization, students have the opportunity to network with fellow students and contractors and expand their knowledge of the construction industry. 

For more information about EKU Construction Management, visit

Published on October 25, 2017

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