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APSU gets TBR approval for concentration in Homeland Security

Motivated by the terror attacks of 9/11, colleges have rushed to create counterterrorism and homeland security courses, and thousands of students … are pursuing degrees in this area, making disaster one of the fastest growing fields in academia, said reporter Claire Hoffman in The New York Times (Sept. 1, 2004).

Austin Peay is among the universities responding to the escalating market demand for studies in this new area. APSUs proposal grew out of an urgent needin and around Fort Campbellfor personnel educated in this highly specialized field.
“Motivated by the terror attacks of 9/11, colleges have rushed to create counterterrorism and homeland security courses, and thousands of students … are pursuing degrees in this area, making disaster one of the fastest growing fields in academia,” said reporter Claire Hoffman in The New York Times (Sept. 1, 2004).

Austin Peay is among the universities responding to the escalating market demand for studies in this new area. APSU's proposal grew out of an urgent needin and around Fort Campbellfor personnel educated in this highly specialized field.

At its September 2004 meeting, the Tennessee Board of Regents approved a new Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in homeland security at APSU. All that remains prior to launching the program is approval by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The proposed degree is part of a proposal by Austin Peay to implement an Institute of Global Security Studies.

Currently, at the APSU Center @ Fort Campbell, APSU offers an Associate of Applied Science in Police Administration, which is directed toward basic law enforcement education, as opposed to the new four-year degree, which would focus on homeland security and terrorism.

Gerald Beavers, executive director of the APSU Center @ Fort Campbell, predicts the new program will be well received.

Beavers says, “It's my belief that the demand for the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with its concentration in homeland security will be so great that the need for our Associate of Applied Science in Police Administration will diminish greatly and, within a couple of years, will no longer be a viable program for us.”

According to the Sept. 1 New York Times article, the study of terrorism and emergency management has grown out of traditional disaster studies, primarily offered at community colleges and focused largely on “first responders.”

Hoffman writes in her article that the aim of these programs “is not to train the next generation of C.I.A terrorism analysts,” but to educate local officials and corporate managers who have been tasked with mitigating disasters.

Hoffman quotes David McEntire, head of the nation's oldest terrorism and emergency management program, located at the University of North Texas at Denton: “The federal government is pumping billions into the Department of Homeland Security, and the students are seeing that and saying ‘Hey, there are jobs here.'”

Beavers and other APSU official agree. In fact, the critical need for graduates of the program has prompted APSU officials to ask THEC for an expedited review at its next meeting.

If APSU's new Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with its concentration in homeland security is approved by THEC at its November meeting, students will be able to enroll in the program in January 2005.
—Dennie Burke