Six Sigma

Define. Measure. Analyze. Improve. Control.

Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defective products. The fundamental objective of Six Sigma is to enable world-class quality and continuous improvement to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction.

To reach Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. According to the Six Sigma Academy, Black Belts save companies approximately $230,000 per project and can complete four to six projects per year.

The Six Sigma methodology is a project-focused approach consisting of five phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC). The DMAIC phases are used to characterize and optimize business and industrial processes. Each project must complete the phases in order:

  • Define: state customer needs and identify the processes and products to be improved.
  • Measure: determine target performance and baselines. Define input/output variables and validate the measurement system.
  • Analyze: identify and investigate potential causes, and use data to establish the key process inputs.
  • Improve: develop a strategy and link the solution to the cause.
  • Control: document gains made by the process improvements, monitor and assign accountability.

Benefits of attending

  • Become an expert in the DMAIC process and Six Sigma tools
  • Complete a real project in class to attain immediate return on investment
  • Gain the ability to lead Six Sigma projects to improve quality of product or service as perceived by the customer 
  • Gain a status that is recognized world-wide

Six Sigma Certificate Courses

Green Belt Certificate

Green Belts typically use the Six Sigma methodology to work on projects within their own work areas. They play a vital role within a Six Sigma initiative by building on Black Belts' efforts of data collection, analysis, process mapping and design of experiments. 

Avoid the drudgery of manual calculations and save time with Minitab, a powerful software package for performing statistical analysis - and highly recommended for Six Sigma use.  Minitab will be used in class and must be loaded on your laptop.  If you do not have a laptop with Minitab software, one will be provided for your use in class.  If you prefer, you may purchase a one-year Minitab license, just let us know! 

Spring Dates: February 20-May 16, 2023

Week 1: February 20, 21; Week 2: March 13, 14; Week 3: April 17, 18; Week 4: May 15, 16, 2023

Class meets: Monday and Tuesday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., 8 sessions
CEU: 5.60
Cost: $3,100
Location: The University of Akron Main Campus 

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Black Belt Certificate

Black Belts are experts in the use of Six Sigma methodology and tools. They lead more complex projects and may also provide training and coaching to others. Black Belts may work on projects in their own areas or anywhere within the organization.

Spring Dates: February 20-May 18, 2023

Week 1: February 20-23; Week 2: March 13-16; Week 3: April 17-20; Week 4: May 15-18, 2023

Class meets: Monday and Tuesday: 8:30a - 4:30p; Wednesday & Thursday: 8:30a - 12:30p, 16 sessions
CEU: 8.8
Cost: $4,100
Location: The University of Akron Main Campus 

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Yellow Belt Certificate

Six Sigma Yellow Belts gather data, participate in problem-solving projects, and add their personal experiences to the continual improvement process. Yellow Belts gain the understanding necessary to define, measure, analyze, improve, and control their own processes, as well as the ability to assist Green Belts and Black Belts who are working on larger projects.

Class meets: January 25; Wednesday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
CEU: .6
Cost: $325
Location: The University of Akron Main Campus 

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Six Sigma Champion

This one day training program is targeted toward executives and organization leadership. It focuses on the basic skills, tools, and techniques to become an effective Champion of continual/continuous improvement projects. Understand the various aspects of improvement approaches, and how the tools and techniques fit together. Learn how to identify and select improvement projects to improve quality, safety, security, and reduce non-value-added activities in both manufacturing and business processes. Gain an overall understanding of the basic quality engineering tools and DMAIC method of Six Sigma, along with the PDCA methods of lean that identify waste and constraints to efficient processes. Understand and avoid the pitfalls of improvement initiatives. Understand the power of culture, and how to build an improvement conscious culture. Learn how to write an improvement project business case, and leave the training with an actual business case for your organization. 

Dates: TBD

  • Overview of organizational excellence continual/continuous improvement
  •  Overview of approaches and tools
  •  Continual improvement deployment
    • difference between continual and continuous improvement
    • roles and responsibilities
    • planning
    • resources
  • Relationship of quality, production, safety, and security
  • To develop a project hopper to categorize prioritize and select projects
  • Organizational culture and leadership
  • How to build high performance teams
  • How to write an improvement business case (exercise) - attendees should come with a list of chronic problems within your organization
  • Pitfalls and how to avoid them


Continuing and Professional Education
Polsky Building
255 South Main St.
Akron, OH 44325-4104
Office: 330-972-7577
Fax: 330-972-7598

Fall/Spring Hours
8:00 am–5:00 pm 

Summer Hours
8:00 am–4:30 pm

Facilitator, Instructor: Dan Sommers

Dan Sommers has 22 years of service with General Electric Lighting. During these years, he has been a Design for Six Sigma Master Black Belt in Lighting Technology, a Six Sigma Black Belt in a high-volume lamp manufacturing plant, a product-line quality manager, a product-line quality project leader, a quality manager and a quality engineer. He has a M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, a M.S. in Statistics and a B.S. in Actuarial Science.