The American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL), the premier professional organization for transportation and logistics professionals, has reviewed and selected Saint Leo University's undergraduate business administration degree program with a logistics specialization as a Professional Logistics and Supply Chain Management (PLS) Approved Academic Program.

This selection was accomplished as a result of the efforts of Management Department faculty member, Dr. Chuck Oden, who submitted an application, which entailed a thorough review of Saint Leo's Logistics Program by the ASTL. Saint Leo's Logistics Program met all of ASTL's program requirements.

Offered as a completely online business degree program – as well as on-ground at a number of the university's education centers – Saint Leo's logistics program is one of only nine nationwide to receive this globally recognized credential.

Benefit for students: enhanced marketability

"Becoming a PLS Approved Academic Program is an awesome accomplishment," says Dr. B. Tim Lowder, chair of the Department of Management & Business Administration in Saint Leo's Donald R. Tapia School of Business.

"This certification confirms that Saint Leo logistics students have developed a core competency of knowledge in the field on critical topics that confront logistics and supply chain managers on a global scale. It says that they are prepared for a career in this increasingly competitive and globalized industry."

According to Dr. Charles Oden, assistant professor of management who worked with ASTL to enable Saint Leo's logistics program to become PLS approved, receiving this certification means that Saint Leo graduates automatically qualify for the PLS designation and are not required to take the certification exam.

"Once our students have completed their coursework, rather than going through and paying for training to obtain PLS certification, they just need to apply to ATSL and tell the organization that they're a graduate of Saint Leo's logistics program," says Oden. "Both the $350 fee and the exam are waived."

The PLS certification increases students' marketability with prospective employers when they graduate. In fact, Oden recommends current students list the PLS credential as "in progress" on their resumes to help set them apart from other candidates for internships or entry-level jobs. He also suggests students post their resumes on LinkedIn to network with prospective employers.

"Logistics is an industry-driven degree and profession. There are employers who go to LinkedIn and search for a particular certification to find candidates who hold that designation. The PLS certification is an industry-standard certification that helps set our graduates apart from others," Oden says.

Certification confirms rigorous curriculum

To receive the designation as a PLS Approved Academic Program, Saint Leo submitted logistics program course descriptions to the ASTL. The ASTL Board of Examiners reviewed the curriculum to ensure it met industry standards.

Saint Leo's rigorous logistics curriculum includes courses on topics such as: competitive strategy, customer service, logistics costs and performance, lead-time management, globalization, risk management, integration of supply chain processes, and responsiveness.

About Saint Leo's logistics program and accreditation

In January 2014, Saint Leo welcomed its first students in the online business administration degree program with a specialization in logistics. The online program is designed to meet the needs of today's mobile professionals and active-military students who are seeking to earn a business degree and develop the skills, abilities, and aptitude to be a successful logistician.

In addition to having a PLS Approved Academic Program, Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The business curriculum is also accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Saint Leo University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

About the ASTL

The ASTL has been providing professional certifications for transportation and logistics professional since 1948. ASTL's mission is to advance knowledge and career progression through lifelong learning in the fields of transportation, logistics, and supply chain management.

The organization hosts conferences throughout the year that allow students, professional, and academic scholars to network. In addition to the PLS certification, ASTL offers the Certified in Transportation and Logistics (CTL), Global Logistics Associate (GLA), and Distinguished Logistics Professional (DLP) certifications.

Are you considering a logistics degree?

Image Credit: Nick Saltmarsh on Flickr/Creative Commons

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