"Coursework that is fresh
Homeland Security Defense
By: Stephenie Slahor
Homeland Security Defense Coalition (HSDC) through coursework in
counter-terrorism is offering a new slant on homeland security education. The
HSDC began in October 2001, just after 9/11.
development and continuing education courses are offered to help law
enforcement, emergency management, and public safety personnel learn the practices
applicable in the core areas of Computer Terrorism, Domestic Terrorism,
Infrastructure Protection, Intelligence Studies, Medical (aspects), Operational
Risk Management, and Violence Prevention.
stresses that its courses are not watered down or revamped versions of criminal
justice courses. Rather, they are specifically designed for homeland security
and counter-terrorism, and the emphasis is on current problems and solutions.
Computer Terrorism and Security section includes the courses “Terror on the
Internet,” and “Internet Security: Hacking, Counter-hacking, and Society.” The
Domestic Terrorism section has courses that include history, sources and
vulnerabilities related to domestic terrorism. The school’s Homegrown Violent
Extremists course studies the motivations, categorization and activities of
Infrastructure Protection program offers a course in which students learn risk,
vulnerability, threat, and risk assessment methodologies related to the
National Infrastructure Protection Plan partnership model, resource sectors,
and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives hazards and
course focuses on physical, rather than cyber, threats to landmarks,
manufacturing, power plants, food and agriculture, transportation networks and
hubs, government facilities, commercial locations, and other physical campuses
Studies introduce concepts in information gathering and use of intelligence to
avert risk. The Medical section teaches integrated medical management of
chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear casualties. The course develops
skills in a working knowledge of the devices causing such effects, and the
injuries and illnesses resulting. The
course also covers best practices to manage the medical conditions
Risk Management includes both an introductory and an advanced course in
principles and practices. Instruction is online and self-paced, requiring eight
hours of study for the introductory course, and 16 hours of study for the
advanced course. Work includes reading, discussions, exercises and practical
variety of courses in Terrorism are offered by HSDC including an introductory
course about terrorism; suicide terrorism; counter-terrorism for first
responders; and the future of terrorism (projected and anticipated future
causes, where terrorism may originate in the near future, funding of
counter-terrorism efforts, risk and threat assessment, and political implications).
included is a course that explores types and levels of threats, management of
methods for counter-terrorism, psychological operations, risk and threat
assessment, and reaction methodologies. The current coursework in Violence
Prevention is a workplace violence course in the nature of such violence,
strategies for thwarting it, and awareness of potential threats.
addition to these core areas, HSDC also offers coursework in the psychology of
terrorism, public utility security against terrorism, border security,
monitoring of terrorist computer activity, surveillance, maritime security,
rail transit security, school violence, and houses of worship violence.
are, at present, offered only on a contractual basis with a public-service governmental
agency or a commercial enterprise, but HSDC plans to offer programs both online
and at multiple campuses in the U.S. and elsewhere that are being built or
planned. Both non-credit and credit
certificate and diploma programs are, or will be, included as educational
regulatory compliance is met at each of the campus locations.
call for offering graduate-level degree programs. HSDC places its emphasis on
coursework specific to homeland security, counter-terrorism, modern public safety,
and disaster management. The courses are taught by practitioners in homeland
security, or those who are recently retired from such work. HSDC feels that
keeps the coursework fresh and “real world.”
further information on enrollment, or hosting a seminar or course, go to their
website. The website also lists professional development and continuing
education public safety programs that will be open for enrollment.
Stephenie Slahor, Ph.D., J.D.,
writes in the fields of law enforcement and security. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.