A group of Grove City College business students secured a critical professional certification that will give them “a leg up” on the competition thanks to a grant intended to prepare graduates for the workforce.
The students, who majored in either Supply Chain Management or Finance, were able to attain Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) certification this spring while they worked on their undergraduate degrees.
The industry standard ASCM credential is a valuable commodity to those hiring in new and expanding fields and a sign that those holding it demonstrate a commitment to professional development, according to David M. Butler, associate professor of Management. “It’s a differentiator that makes a student more marketable … It really does give them a leg up,” he said.
Supply chain management professionals with ASCM and other certifications make on average 21 percent more than their uncertified peers, according to ASCM.
Becoming ASCM certified is not easy or inexpensive. Students must take 25 hours of online instruction before attempting the exam and the nearly $500 cost is beyond many student budgets. The grant from Clark Associates, a central Pennsylvania food service industry supplier, allows Grove City College to cover 80 percent of a student’s expenses.
Subsidized certification is an added value for students in the College’s School of Business, which aspires to connect classroom content with business context across majors in Accounting & Finance, Management & Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Economics.
Grant funding is focused on students in the upper-level Supply Chain Management course and three areas of ASCM certification are offered: planning, procurement, and warehousing. Recent graduates Morgan Smith ’23 and Aidan White ’23 benefitted from the program, as did rising seniors Blake Branch ’24, Alexander Heisey ’24, Ryan Heckathorn ’24, Aidan Kramer ’24, and Riley Ruch ’24.
Clark provided the grant in 2022 as part of a longstanding corporate effort to provide students across the Keystone State with career-development opportunities. Three students who attained certification have accepted full-time or internship roles at the company.
Clark grant funding also supports Career Services Office initiatives, including incentives to get students more involved in planning out their professional paths.