UConn Offering Postgrad Degree in Homeland Security

STORRS, Conn. -- Two dozen students at the University of Connecticut will be among the first in the nation to study for a masters degree in homeland security, the school has announced.

UConn is working in partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., to offer the program this fall. At least 70 students have applied for the expected class of 25.

"Business and industry are looking for a curriculum that prepares them for the same kinds of things government employees are being trained for," Krista Rodin, dean of UConn's College of Continuing Studies told the Republican-American of Waterbury.

Students will learn how to respond to disasters such as outbreaks of diseases, bank fraud that affects company resources or terrorist attacks that endanger food supplies.

UConn is already involved in the homeland security arena, having developed a course in bioterrorism for state and local public health officials.

"This is an emerging field. We do not have a curriculum like this anywhere in the country," Rodin said.

The 36-credit program would include courses offered by both UConn and the Naval Postgraduate School. In all, students would spend just five weeks of a 20-month program at UConn's main campus in Storrs. The rest of the program would be done online.

The program would be aimed at working adults in both the public and private sector. They would be taught how to develop and oversee comprehensive homeland security systems for their communities and jurisdictions to prevent, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism.

"Our objective is to bring learning to the strategic level and make these people change agents," Neal Olderman, program manager for Continuing Studies said.

Olderman said the students are likely to be Connecticut residents who already have established careers as mid- to upper-level managers.