Stanford-Strategic Decisions Group Education Partnership Celebrates 100th Graduate

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Global sourcing manager, working entirely online, is the 100th person to complete a six-course program and earn a certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management through the Stanford Center for Professional Development.

Courses in the Strategic Decision and Risk Management certificate program are held at Stanford University.

With the flattening of organizations, more authority has been delegated to the front lines, and rapid decision cycles are required to remain competitive. These skills are clearly in demand, and we are pleased to mark the milestone of our 100th graduate from this decision-skills program.

Strategic Decisions Group and the Stanford Center for Professional Development announced today that 100 people have now graduated from its Strategic Decision and Risk Management certificate program.

The 100th graduate, Puneet Chandhok, is a global sourcing manager for a US-based manufacturing company who learned of the program while searching online for courses on risk management.

''I was originally looking for one to two courses, but this exceeded my expectations: it offered a certificate,'' he said. Mr. Chandhok, a resident of Charlotte, NC, completed the entire six-course certificate program online.

''It requires a lot of commitment to come to campus for one week, and then you can only take two courses,'' he said. ''The online program allowed me to go at my own pace. There was a recording of the complete class, including the students asking questions. I found often that if I had a question, it was answered right then. I had one or two other questions, and I was able to use the 'Ask the Professor' link, and they were very responsive.''

''All the tools, especially those in the Decision Quality in Organizations course, are practical,'' he said.

The Strategic Decision and Risk Management certificate program, targeted to mid-career executives and managers with responsibility for evaluating and making strategic decisions, started in April 2006 as a partnership that integrates Stanford's deep academic foundation in the decision sciences with management consulting firm Strategic Decisions Group's rich set of industry and business experience. Students may enroll in individual 2½ day courses on a variety of topics; those who take two required and four elective courses are eligible to receive a certificate.

"Today's organizations require that more people have greater decision-making skills," said Paul Marca, deputy director of the Stanford Center for Professional Development, which has been providing continuing professional education to industry for more than 35 years. "With the flattening of organizations, more authority has been delegated to the front lines, and rapid decision cycles are required to remain competitive. These skills are clearly in demand, and we are pleased to mark the milestone of our 100th graduate from this decision-skills program."

Carl Spetzler, chief executive officer of Strategic Decisions Group and curriculum director for the Strategic Decision and Risk Management program, sees online availability as a major step forward. "This makes strategic decision and risk management skills accessible to many organizations and the future leaders of businesses," he said. "During an economic downturn, people are always looking for ways to advance their professional development while holding down travel expenses. With this program, you can do both. Many participants like to take two or three courses online, then come on campus to complete the program for the full interactive, classroom experience."

Since 2006, more than 750 people have taken courses in the Strategic Decision and Risk Management program. Participating companies include Boeing, Chevron, Cisco Systems, Genentech, Google, Hewlett-Packard, PG&E, the Department of Homeland Security, and Visa.

For more information and a description of the complete curriculum, costs, and course availability, visit strategicdecisions.stanford.edu or call Patricia Harris, the program's customer relationship manager, toll free at 1.866.234.3380 (outside the US, telephone +1 501.857.4396).

About the Stanford Center for Professional Development
The Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) was established to meet the career-long education needs of professionals, managers, and executives in a variety of disciplines. Academic programs include masters degree programs, credit courses, certificate programs, and course auditing. SCPD's professional education efforts include short courses in specific subject areas, customized educational programs that are often developed in conjunction with specific companies, and course licensing. Today, courses are offered on campus, online, on site at corporations, and via video link.

About Strategic Decisions Group
Strategic Decisions Group (SDG), founded in 1981, is a management consulting firm renowned for its expertise in strategic decision-making, risk management, and shareholder value creation. The firm has assisted client organizations in building their decision competencies since 1987, when it established its executive education practice. SDG offers courses in executive decision skills, decision analysis, and facilitation and leadership, as well as tailored courses. SDG has more than 25 years of experience consulting to Global 2000 companies on strategy development and implementation, risk management, and shareholder value. SDG has offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and India.

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