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In less than 2 years, Homeland Security Program gaining success

When Oxana Schwartz decided to seek a bachelors degree from Austin Peay State University, she was undecided about her major.

Schwartz remained classified as undeclared for a long while until she enrolled in a criminology course, through happenstance.

When I went to register, there was only a criminology course left open, Schwartz said. I picked it, and I loved it.
When Oxana Schwartz decided to seek a bachelor's degree from Austin Peay State University, she was undecided about her major.

Schwartz remained classified as undeclared for a long while until she enrolled in a criminology course, through happenstance.

“When I went to register, there was only a criminology course left open,” Schwartz said. “I picked it, and I loved it.”

In less than two weeks, Schwartz will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in homeland security, one of the more recently developed programs at APSU.

Approved in late 2004, the concentration began accepting students in January 2005, was designed to help meet the urgent need — in and around Fort Campbell — for personnel educated in homeland security.

For Schwartz, a 27-year-old native of Russia, the education she gained in APSU's homeland security program helped her obtain employment with the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security, Nashville. Initially, she began working there as an intern. Now, she is a full-time intelligence analyst within the agency's critical infrastructure division.

“The degree itself helped me define what I wanted to do,” she said. “It prepared me for what I do today.”

Coursework in the Homeland Security Program is administered at the APSU Center @ Fort Campbell. The four-year degree focuses on homeland security and terrorism. APSU also offers an Associate of Applied Science in Police Administration, which is directed toward basic law enforcement education.

For more information about APSU's homeland security concentration, contact Dr. Thomas O'Connor, assistant professor and program manager of criminal justice and homeland security, by telephone at (931) 221-1477 or by e-mail at oconnort@apsu.edu. -- Melony Leazer