Management Degree

The Eastern Lackawanna County Agricultural and Technical University 
Division of Continuing Education 
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Associate of Science Degree in Railroad Operations for Managers 

None of these courses has a prerequisite other than completing the first semester of a two semester course before starting the second semester. These courses, when combined with other required courses of study, are all applicable toward the Associate of Science Degree in Railroad Operations for Managers. Each course lasts approximately 16 weeks. Courses with two numbers require two semesters to complete. At $61.50 per credit hour, a 3 credit course will cost $184.50, plus books. 


Course Number: RR11, Fall Semester 
The history of railroads in America
Course Description:
    An overview of the growth and development of railroads in America from the first steam engine to the present day. This course combines lectures and discussions to provide students with an understanding of the history and traditions of railroading and the industry's role in North American economic development. Course is mandatory even though the knowledge of railroad history has nothing to do with managing a modern rail transportation system. Topics include:

  • The invention of the flanged wheel and how to use this invention to increase profits.
  • The transition from steam to diesel. . .so what?
  • Why there are engines and cars with colors different than those of the company you work for.
  • What is cargo and how it gets into the rail cars.
  • Why more freight cars are better than less freight cars.
  • The Robber Barons and the inspiration they provide to the aspiring railroad executive.

Instructor: Dr. Donald Baldini, Professor of American History, ELCA&TU College of Liberal Arts.
Texy: The History of railroads in America, Dr. D. Baldini

Course Number RR12, Spring Semester
Landing that great paying job on the railroad

The most important first step in starting your new railroad career is landing that  first high paying job. To do this the applicant must get past the "Human Resources Interview". Topics learned will include:

  • Dressing for the interview
  • Wearing class rings and ties to impress the interviewer
  • Why short skirts are never out of fashion in the Human Resources Department
  • Using sex, nepotism, and blackmail to acquire and keep a good paying railroad job
  • Name dropping as a key to the executive washroom
  • Using background checks and covert surveillance to prepare for the interview

Instructor: Gabrielle Botchalewsky, Director of Human Resources, Lackawanna Terminal Railway and Professor Emeritus, ELCA&TU School of Business.
Texts: Job Seeking for the Neophyte, Sex and the Successful Interview, and What They Really Look For, A primer for the Job Hunter, By Gabrielle Botchalewsky.

Course Number: RR13, Fall Semester, RR14, Spring Semester
The railroad: what it is, what it does, how to take credit for it

Course Description:

This two semester course introduces the degree candidate to the basics of railroad management. It covers topics most likely not encountered by middle level railroad managers in the course of their daily activities. The department staff feels, however, that upper and middle level railroad managers should know what a train and it's components look like should they have a chance encounter with one at some time in their career.

Topics covered include:

  • What is a locomotive and why is it so noisy?
  • What is a freight car and why do they come in different shapes?
  • What is a train and how does it affect me as a manager?
  • What are those two long shiny things the train sits on and where do they go?
  • What holds those two long shiny things together?
  • If I can't see what's in a freight car, how do I know there is anything in there?
  • Where does the train go when it disappears?
  • What do railroad employees do and why are they always hanging around and bothering me with stupid questions and demands for safer working conditions?
  • How to fake your way through a meeting with people who know what they are talking about

Instructor: Dr. Phyllis Blotnick, Professor of History, ELCA&TU College of Liberal Arts.
Text: The Railroad in Modern America, Dr. Phyllis Blotnick

Course Number: RR15, Fall Semester, RR 16, Spring Semester
Labor relations and the railroad manager

Course Description:

This course takes the degree candidate into the unseemly side of railroading to understand why the company has to put up with all those whiny, dirty, unsavory characters known to the industry as railroad workers. Topics covered include:

  • What railroad employees do and how to make them do more for less.
  • Intimidation and employee termination as a tool for successful managers.
  • Manipulating subordinates for your own gain.
  • Working with smoke and mirrors and the management disappearing act.
  • Paying off union leaders.
  • "Rats" and how to nurture and use them to your advantage.
  • Drugs and Alcohol in the workplace and how to use them to further your career
  • The "Do as I Say, Not As I do" Policy on rules and safety
  • Why the rule book only applies to labor and not management
  • Gucci loafers and high heels as safety wearing apparel
  • The secretarial pool: selecting fruit from the Garden of Eden
  • Downsizing without increasing your workload.
  • The layoff notice as personal therapy.
  • Why employees like to be treated as scum.

Instructor: Professor Henry Effington, ELCA&TU School Of Business.
Texts: Unionism/Communism, Labor's Attempt at Worldwide Domination  by Dr. H Effington, Negotiations, Getting the Upper Hand over Labor by Dr H. Effington, and Stopping the Labor Movement Cold, by Dr. H Effington.

Course Number RR18, Spring Semester
The railroad and the government

This course teaches the modern railroad manager the intricacies of working in  a business environment tightly controlled by government bureaucracy and how to manipulate that bureaucracy through gifts, favors, and blatant payoffs. In addition, techniques for influencing pro-business and anti-labor legislation are taught and practical applications are demonstrated through class interaction with state and federal legislators as well as faculty acting as government regulators. Topics include:

  • When in trouble with the government how to "kickback" and relax.
  • Limiting liability through legislation.
  • What to do when your legislator calls on you.
  • The bureaucrats: what they REALLY want.
  • The payoff, how much is enough.

A "Hands on" Experience Lab will be held every Friday night at the Eastern Lackawanna County Agricultural and Technical University/Lackawanna Terminal Railway joint Conference Center in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Attendance is mandatory.

Instructor: Professor John Keenan, ELCA&TU School of Business,  Department of Government and Law.
Text: Stopping the Government in It's Tracks, The Government's Intrusion into Business of the Railroads by Dr. J Keenan.

Course Number RR19, Spring Semester
Railroad Safety, Quality, and Environmental Awareness

This course combines classroom-based lecture and discussion to provide students with a basic understanding of the importance of quality, safety, personal health and environmental awareness to the railroad industry and basic tools and techniques for improving them on the job. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to define and explain the needs for improved quality, safety, health, and environmental awareness, describe their basic principles, explain the elements of successful programs to improve them, and then ignore them in completing typical tasks on the job.

 Topics discussed include:

  • The release of toxic pollutants into the environment and the best techniques for passing the blame to natural phenomena.
  • The problem of noise pollution and suggested solutions.
  • The removal of locomotive toilets as a cost cutting measure and it's minimal effect on safety.
  • The importance of managerial obsession with rules compliance in disciplining employees.
  • Techniques for getting the trains over the road regardless of crew complaints about safety.

Instructor: Dr. Margaret Larson, Professor of Law and Public Safety, ELCA&TU, Law School.
Text: The Business of Safety, turning a liability into profit by Dr. M. Larson. 

Related courses necessary for completion of an Associate of Science Degree in Railroad Management

Course Number BUS11, Fall Semester 
Creative writing for the office environment

Course Description:
The ability to communicate effectively with your bosses is vital to advancing through the labyrinth of the business environment. This course will teach the student how to properly prepare memos and reports, create graphics and information packages that will attract the bosses attention with positive results without having acquire any knowledge about the subject matter contained therein. Topics include:

  • The word processor and why it doesn't receive Oprah.
  • Using big words for big results.
  • The long and the short of complex sentences.
  • What to do when the boss asks for clarification.
  • Sidestepping the real issues while sounding informative.
  • The memo as an effective weapon in the battle for advancement.
  • The totally deniable correspondence.

Instructor: Dr. Peter Dragon, Professor, ELCA&TU, School Of Business.
Text: Telling Them What They Want to Hear, a study in deceit in the office by Dr. Peter Dragon.

Course Number: BUS101, Fall Semester
Continuing education and the tax deduction

Course Description:

How to make the most of company sponsored continuing education classes and how to take a tax credit even though the company is paying for the courses and they are being taken on company time. Topics learned will include:

  • Use of the company finance department employees to fill out your tax forms for free
  • The best methods for hiding from the IRS kickbacks, payoffs, and profits gained from increased employee productivity bonuses
  • Writing off your kids and pets as a business expense
  • Selling Limited Partnerships from your office during work and writing off the phone, desk, and secretary as business expenses

Instructor: Dr. I.R. Slovinski, Professor of Government Studies, ELCA&TU School of Law.
Text: Taxes and the Successful Corporation, eliminating the burden on business by I.R. Slovinski.

Course Number BUS 104, Spring Semester
Finance for the railroad manager

Course instructors will teach middle and upper level managers how to optimize their benefits and retirement packages. Course topics include:

  • How to negotiate a benefit filled contract with the company that, in effect, allows you to pack your own personal golden parachute
  • How to determine the best time to use the golden parachute to bail out
  • How to get the company to pay for your children's private school education
  • Getting office workers to do your personal chores such as shopping for gifts, taking your clothes to be dry cleaned, gardening around your home, and taking your kids to day care and private school
  • Choosing the right company leased luxury car to enhance your image

Instructor: Dr. Irene Goldstein, Professor of Economics, ELCA&TU School of Business.
Text: What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles

Financial Aid

You may be eligible to apply for Federal financial aid, veterans education benefits, other scholarships or low interest loans to help pay a part of the cost of tuition and fees. Active duty military personnel may be eligible to apply for military tuition assistance if they are able to complete the program while on terminal leave. Application and approval for financial aid often will take up to three months. Financial aid forms should be submitted well ahead of the start date of the program. Call (717) 555-3978 or 3917 if you have questions about applying for financial aid. The Associate of Science Degree in Railroad Operations for Managers is no longer eligible for Title IV funding.

Monetary considerations paid to ELCA&TU employees to enhance the chances for acceptance to any Associate of Science Degree Program are not tax deductible under any IRS code.

Please check the financial section of the Railroad School Home Page for further information concerning financial aid for students.

For more information on these essential courses for in railroad management please contact:

Gabrielle Botchalewsky
Human Resources Director
Lackawanna Terminal Railway
1 Lackawanna Plaza
Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503
Tel: (717) 555-6537

Office of the Dean of AdmissionEastern Lackawanna County Agricultural and Technical University
Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503
Tel: (717) 555-7400, ex. 565

© Steven Kay 2013