Homeland Security debuts as new degree program at Thomas University

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This fall Thomas University will begin offering an online bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security. While many think of the discipline as efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, Homeland Security actually includes far more.

“When we were putting the classes together, we looked at all the aspects that make up Homeland Security,” said Crawford “Chip” Battle, Program Director for Criminal Justice. “When we think of Homeland Security, we’re mainly thinking of TSA, CIA or federal law enforcement agencies, but there are also a lot of for-profit and non-profit organizations that are hiring in the field. There’s a broad range of issues that make up Homeland Security.”

TU’s Homeland Security degree concentrates on developing skills in national security, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence analysis and risk management.

When it comes to risk management, or emergency management, the classes focus on identifying critical assets in a community, how to protect those assets and what to do if they are attacked or damaged by natural hazards. Such natural hazards could include floods, tornadoes or hurricanes. Those assets could include hospitals, military bases or power plants.

“That really is a big emphasis of emergency management in how your infrastructure assets can be affected by natural disasters, especially with how much our population has moved to the coastline where there’s a real good chance they could get hit by hurricanes,” Battle said. “What could be affected if a hurricane did hit our area, and how can we protect that? If our area is hit and affected, how can we mitigate that problem?” 

Thomas University’s Homeland Security program is a participant in the Naval Post Graduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense Security University & Agency Partnership Program, which provides numerous resources for students studying Homeland Security including its digital library. TU is also associated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute and is a partner of the National Fraternal Order of Police University Consortium.

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