How Do College Homeland Security Curricula Prepare Students for the Field?
This study analyzed the policies of colleges in the U.S. as they relate to homeland security curricula. The curricula were developed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and other manmade and natural disasters. Homeland security was ill-defined and there was little consensus about what homeland security actually was. It was difficult to determine how colleges should prepare students for the field. The study surveyed college faculty to determine how colleges developed, categorized, and ensured that their homeland security curricula remained current as homeland security needs changed.
College homeland security curricula were housed in various academic departments, were taught by faculty from various academic disciplines, and bore various academic labels. The vast majority of the curricula were housed, taught, and bore programs names that resembled criminal justice, emergency management, and homeland security per se. The curricula were mostly multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary and contained multiple and varied topics that emphasized terrorism, critical thinking, collaboration, intelligence, strategy, all-hazards, critical infrastructure, emergency management, preparedness, risk management, cyber security, and law. Colleges and academics are beginning to identify themselves, their academic departments, and related homeland security curricula as homeland security. They are beginning to recognize homeland security as an academic discipline. Much more, however, must be done if homeland security is to establish itself as a lasting discipline. Academics must come to a consensus about what homeland security is and the discipline must be seen as a profession.
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Comiskey, J. (2015). How do college homeland security curricula prepare students for the field? Journal of Homeland Security Education, 4, 20-40. http://www.journalhse.org/v4-comiskey.html