Southwest Tennessee Community College

September 8, 2006

For more information, contact: Kimberly Kreider (901) 333-4023

Southwest starts Homeland Security Assessment Program
Written by: Kimberly Kreider


With the consistent threat of global terrorism and the ever present reminder of the September 11 tragedy, Southwest Tennessee Community College (Southwest) has designed a program, the technical certificate for Homeland Security Assessment, that will allow individuals to learn top-to-bottom assessment against “all hazards” for the protection/recovery of all assets, information, and human resources.

“After surveying employers in the Memphis area, Southwest was told there was a strong demand for this vital training for their employees and potential new-hire employees in their security/risk management areas,” said Thurston Shrader, Coordinator for Business Administration. Ninety-three percent of the employers surveyed stated that there was a need for a Homeland Security/Disaster Preparedness program of study.

“Student surveys also indicate a strong interest in this area since Homeland Security jobs rank high in the market,” said Shrader. Support for the program was provided by the Region Eleven Department of Homeland Security Council who has vigorously supported this program. The program will begin in Spring 2007.

The program consists of five courses that will train professionals to look at an organization and tell where its vulnerability lies, whether it’s within the organization itself or extends outwards to its vendors. This will be the only academic program in the nation that will train students in assessment. Currently only large consulting firms are offering this type of assessment to businesses.

The courses that are included in the program are: Introduction to Homeland Security, Legal Aspects of Homeland Security, Survey of Information Security, Organizational Behavior and Homeland Security Risk Assessment. Introduction to Homeland Security will be a class where students will be trained in the policies and procedures for Homeland Security to achieve higher domestic security and protection of economic assets within the public and private sectors against all hazards. Legal Aspects of Homeland Security is designed to acquaint the student with various legal aspects associated with assessment. Students will explore statutes, regulations, constitutional law and common law associated with Homeland Security Assessment.

Organizational Behavior investigates personal and group behavior at work while pursuing the nature of group dynamics and corporate culture. Principles of effective psychological work attitudes are developed using contemporary concepts of organizational behavior authorities. Survey of Information Security is an introduction to network security. It tackles the different terminology, products, services and elements of networking security by looking at how hackers operate, providing an introduction to the threat and then security policies and protocols and prevention response.

The final class is Homeland Security Risk Assessment. This capstone course covers the assessment of an organization’s exposure to all hazards using the Baldridge Criteria. Students will use risk management tools to develop an organizational security assessment from top-to-bottom for protection/recovery planning. Students will be able to complete the certificate in approximately one year.

For more information on the program or on Southwest visit the Web site www.southwest.tn.edu or call
(901) 333-5000.