College Introduces New Homeland Security Concentration, Certificate of Completion

by Diane VanDyke

Although the attacks happened almost a decade ago, world events and failed attempts have kept the tragic events of 9/11 fresh in the minds of public and private organizations as they develop and update their security and emergency plans.

To prepare students for employment in the growing career field of Homeland Security, Montgomery County Community College is now including a Homeland Security Concentration as part of its Criminal Justice and Emergency Management & Planning Associate in Applied Science degree programs. The College is also offering a new 12-credit Certificate of Completion in Homeland Security aimed primarily at non-majors and past graduates.

In both the Criminal Justice and the Emergency Management & Planning (EMP) programs, the Homeland Security Concentration includes the courses of Terrorism & Counterterrorism, Introduction to Homeland Security, Intelligence Analysis & Security Management, and Transportation & Border Security.

In the Criminal Justice concentration, students will also be required to take Organized Crime as a general elective.

“The faculty who teach these courses have specialized backgrounds and experience,” said Program Director Benn Prybutok. “They include retired senior FBI and customs agents, homeland security experts, and individuals with extensive investigative research and intelligence backgrounds.”

Students who complete the Homeland Security Concentration may transfer to a baccalaureate degree in Homeland Security Studies, or obtain employment in numerous areas, including emergency management, transportation and border security, immigration and customs enforcement, criminal and homeland security intelligence collection and analysis, and homeland security investigation.

Students not enrolled in the Criminal Justice Studies or Emergency Management & Planning majors, or who have already completed their degrees but wish to attain an additional specialized certification, may pursue the Certificate of Completion in Homeland Security by completing courses in Terrorism & Counterterrorism, Introduction to Homeland Security, Intelligence Analysis & Security Management, and Transportation & Border Security.

The Certificate of Completion is “stackable,” allowing students to continue on in the AAS degree programs if they later decide to do so.

In addition to offering the Homeland Security Concentrations and Certificate of Completion program at the Central Campus in Blue Bell, the College has been delivering three of these courses since September 2010 to select employees and officers of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at TSA’s regional headquarters adjacent to the Philadelphia International Airport.

Originally facilitated through the College’s division of Workforce Development and Continuing Education, the courses themselves are academic three-credit courses delivered through the College’s Criminal Justice Studies program and the Social Sciences Division. They will be fully applicable toward either the Criminal Justice Studies program or the Emergency Management & Planning program, if the employees elect to continue the coursework.

The College is presently one of 32 institutions across the country selected by TSA to provide this training. The College is a member of the Global Corporate College, which is contracted to work with the TSA Educational Programs and Partnerships Office to Deliver the TSA Associates Program.

For more information about the Homeland Security Concentration, the Certificate of Completion in Homeland Security, or the Criminal Justice Studies or Emergency Management & Planning degree programs, visit mc3.edu, or contact the director of the programs at 215 641-6428 or at: bprybuto@mc3.edu.

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