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Six Sigma Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions | Green Belt Questions | Black Belt Questions

General Six Sigma Questions

What industries are using Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is becoming increasingly preferred in financial services, healthcare, education, energy, science, and government, as well as traditional service industries (i.e., retailing, restaurants, etc.)

Is enrollment limited?

Yes. Each Six Sigma class is limited to 18-20 students.

If I complete JMU’s program, when will I need to renew my certification?

Never. James Madison University’s Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt programs offer lifetime certification. Successfully completing either program with JMU results in both a certificate and lifetime certification.

Will I ever have to travel to your campus?

No. Our Six Sigma Lean program is 100% online. You will never have to travel to our campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia or any other location to earn your certification with JMU.

What’s the difference between Lean and Six Sigma?

Lean is an improvement approach with an emphasis on waste and streamlining operations for maximum throughput. Six Sigma is broader. It is a customer-focused (internal and external) problem-solving methodology that strives for delivering high performance reliability and value by improving processes while reducing defects and variation.

Should I fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to pay for the course?

No. The FAFSA is used for degree programs, and not non-credit certificate programs like Six Sigma.

You may consider a private loan with your banking institution or local credit union. As an alternative, you may apply for a Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan or a Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan. When using private lending, you must be registered at least one month before the course start date.

To qualify/apply for a Sallie Mae or Wells Fargo loan
:
1. The requested loan amount cannot exceed the course fee.
2. You must be registered in the course prior to JMU Outreach certifying the loan. Complete and submit our registration form first.
3. Apply online with Sallie Mae or Wells Fargo.

They will evaluate your credit score and may recommend a co-borrower based on your credit history. NOTE: Please use the following James Madison University Continuing Education account when applying: 003721-98.

My credit rating is not the greatest. Should I still try to get a loan? 

Many lenders will be happy to loan you the money if you have a co-borrower who will sign your loan agreement. Be aware that the interest rate will vary according to your credit rating.

My company offers continuing education funding. Do you accept employer pay?

Yes, we are happy to accept employer pay. Please complete and submit the registration form with your company’s information where indicated. We will contact your employer for arrangements. When using employer pay, you must be registered at least one month before the course start date.

Green Belt Questions

Why become a Six Sigma Green Belt?

A Six Sigma Green Belt can impact an organization’s bottom line through employment of statistically based tools that are taught in Six Sigma Green Belt training. A Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate from JMU demonstrates to an employer or potential employer that you have been trained in basic problem solving skills and the statistical tools needed to work effectively on process improvement under supervision of a Black Belt.

What are the prerequisites for JMU’s Six Sigma Green Belt Program?

To ensure our graduates are qualified for employment after earning a six sigma certificate and prepared for the challenging education in this program we require:

A four-year undergraduate degree OR the equivalent of four years of professional work experience

  • An understanding of basic mathematical functions
  • General proficiency in using computer software
  • Access to a computer with Internet Explorer version 6+, screen resolution of at least 1280×1024 pixels, Flash version 9 or above, session cookies enabled, and JavaScript enabled
  • We recommend non-native English speakers have a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 250 on the computer-based exam, or 100 on the internet-based exam. These scores are recommended, but not required.

What are the graduation requirements to become a Green Belt?

You must:

  • Pass the final exam with a 70% or higher
  • Not miss more than one of the live lectures

What type of work experience do you need for the Green Belt?

There is no specific work experience or number of years required to take the Green Belt Program.

Is the focus of the Green Belt Certificate Program technical in nature or more management-based?

JMU’s Six Sigma Green Belt Program is unique in that it combines the technical aspects of Six Sigma with sound management practices. For example, we use the Case Study approach for assignments based on real business world issues. Participants will often work in teams on the scenarios and activities. This gives participants an opportunity to work in collaborative, team environments.

What type of projects will I be able to lead as a Green Belt?

Green Belts are capable of leading projects that are smaller in scope (i.e., 90-120 days) and well-defined to focus on a specific issue.

How many online modules are in the certificate program, and how long does it take to complete the online modules?

There are a total of 12 required online modules. How fast you are able to complete the online modules will depend largely on your background and comfort with the topics.  Students should expect to spend anywhere from 20-30 hours total completing the online modules.  Individual modules range in length from 20-90 minutes.

Black Belt Questions

Why become a Six Sigma Black Belt?

A Six Sigma Black Belt can impact an organization’s bottom line through employment of statistically based tools that are taught in Six Sigma Black Belt training. A Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate from JMU demonstrates to an employer or potential employer that you have been trained in advanced problem solving skills and the statistical tools needed to effectively lead process improvement projects.

What are the prerequisites for the Black Belt program?

To participate in JMU’s Black Belt Certificate program, you will need to complete JMU’s Green Belt program or an offering of similar depth and educational rigor.

What are the graduation requirements to become a Black Belt?

You must:

  • Pass the final exam with a 70% or higher
  • Complete and pass the Black Belt project
  • Not miss more than one of the live lectures

What type of work experience do you need for the Black Belt?

There is no specific work experience or number of years required to take the Black Belt Certificate Program.