Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Protecting the nation from attacks means more than securing its borders and transportation systems. Homeland security involves the management of both private and public sectors in their preparation and response to threats. The Homeland Security specialization explores the role of government and nongovernment agencies in providing protection and response during critical incidents. You will evaluate current policies and strategies as they relate to issues such as communication, technology, and terrorism.
This program can be completed in as little as 18 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
The program’s courses are 11 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.
This course introduces students to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students work toward building a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. They assess the relationship of mission and vision to professional goals and develop a program of study and strategies for online success. Students also explore resources used throughout the program, such as the online Walden University Library. Students engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of professional writing, critical-thinking skills, and the promotion of professional and academic excellence.
In consideration of technological innovation, terrorism, and other modern factors, threats to the American public are changing, thus requiring professionals who have the ability to identify, plan for, and mitigate crime and disaster incidents. In this course, students examine foundational public safety concepts and investigate issues faced by public safety agencies and personnel at the local, state, and national levels, including police and sheriff, emergency medical services, fire services, and related organizations. They explore and discuss the ways in which public safety organizations communicate and coordinate, and they learn why effective interaction is vital to emergency management. They also have the opportunity to gain practical experience employing tools used by public safety professionals, such as a public safety constituency matrix through which they assess competing demands on the various agencies. In this course, students work toward gaining the skills necessary to anticipate the needs of various constituents to develop effective public safety initiatives.
Students in this course examine the theories and concepts underpinning contemporary emergency management and how to understand the phenomena of natural and human-caused disasters. Students examine the historical context of emergency management, the general process of risk assessment, the emergency management cycle, communications within emergency management and crisis planning, and the general policy and legal framework surrounding the process of emergency management in the United States with a focus on the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Case studies of major catastrophes are used to explore contemporary and practical hazard management. Students can complete the FEMA Emergency Management Institute courses IS-100.b - Introduction to Incident Command System and either IS-800.b - National Response Framework: An Introduction or IS700.a - National Incident Management System as part of this course. Nationally recognized certificates are awarded for successful completion of FEMA courses.
Public safety leaders are responsible for finding solutions to major issues confronting their community and organizational operating systems through research, analysis, planning, and decision making. In this course, students assess these tools and solutions to learn the intricacies of managing public safety organizations. They engage in written assignments and discussions on a variety of topics, such as systems approaches, environmental analyses, contingency planning, implications for change, coordination, and controls. Students explore ways to apply classic business management techniques and leadership principles to public safety operations. They also apply concepts presented in the course to the development of solutions and alternatives to varied situations confronting public safety managers. Additionally, the course introduces students to concepts of “first-planner” and “first-responder.”
Organizational credibility, community trust, and fundraising are increasingly dependent upon demonstration of program effectiveness and success. This course introduces students to research and evaluation methods in the public and nonprofit sectors to study ways to measure and assess a program’s effectiveness and potential success as well as to address problems or issues in the field. Students examine the strengths, limitations, and threats to validity; models, quantitative metrics, and tools used to evaluate programs and policies; and legal and ethical issues associated with research and evaluation methods. Using these parameters and other concepts presented in the course, students critically evaluate sample research, consider ways to communicate results to an intended audience, and reflect on trends and challenges that could affect future program evaluation.
Risk assessment and mitigation are key components to effective emergency management and all-hazard planning and response. Students in this course focus on the methods and techniques required to assess an organization or government’s risk associated with the protection of human life and capital assets. They study ways to evaluate the social vulnerabilities to disaster and the special needs of at-risk populations, and they explore methods to reduce vulnerabilities and build capacity through structural and nonstructural mitigation. Additionally, students complete the FEMA Emergency Management Institute course IS-393.a: Introduction to Hazard Mitigation as part of this course.
A major concern of disaster response professionals is meeting basic and humanitarian needs of disaster-affected populations. In this course, students explore a range of issues, including evacuation, relocation, and tactical and strategic decisions in the immediate aftermath of an emergency episode. Students study important federal policies related to disaster response and recovery, including the National Response Framework (NRF), and they can gain an understanding of how local, state, and federal policies mesh in response and recovery efforts. Through their exploration, they study how recovery begins once the immediate threat of the emergency wanes and the focus shifts to restoring disaster-affected areas. As part of this course, students complete the FEMA Emergency Management Institute course IS208.a: State Disaster Management.
Since its inception, the Department of Homeland Security has had a profound impact on public policy and administration. This course provides students with an in-depth analysis of homeland security, including history, concepts, policies, and strategies of prevention and response. Students examine and discuss a range of topics, including ethical issues, telecommunications, technology, threat assessment, contingency planning, and risk management. Students hone their critical-thinking and analytic skills through the application of fundamental concepts and principles of homeland security to case studies and current issues.
Strategic leadership and planning are required to prevent, respond to, and recover from critical incidents that threaten homeland security. Students in this course explore the role and importance of leadership and planning in critical incident management and the application of tools, strategies, and systems to specific critical incidents. Through the evaluation of case studies, students examine the impact of critical incidents on individuals and communities as well as roles of government agencies and nongovernment organizations in managing such incidents. Using concepts and theories presented in the course, students develop a critical incident management plan for their community through which they consider new strategies and perspectives in regard to critical incident leadership and planning.
Terrorism continues to be a constant threat to the American public, facilitating the need for accurate information, organized resources, and established approaches to respond to emergencies and keep the public informed. Students in this course examine terrorism and related public policy on a local, national, and international level. They also assess the need and function of systemic approaches for emergency preparedness. Students explore and discuss topical issues, such as terrorism and public health, bioterrorism, biosecurity, cyberterrorism, risk assessment, implications for public health, and components of a systemic preparedness infrastructure. Using analytic skills and tools, students assess recommendations that policy makers use in decisions to prevent or respond to terrorism. They also gain hands-on experience initiating the development and/or analysis of a terrorism-preparedness infrastructure.
In this course, students complete a capstone project through which they apply an action research model that fosters social change in public administration or nonprofit management and leadership. Through this project, students demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired in their master’s degree program. Students also have the opportunity to reflect on how the project and the program have contributed to their personal, scholarly, and professional growth.
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