SRU Trustees send three programs to BOG for approval


homeland security

Sept. 4, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's Council of Trustees gave the green light yesterday for three programs to move forward to the State System's Board of Governors for approval.

The three programs, a bachelor of science in homeland security, a bachelor of science in corporate security and a master of public health, will be presented for action at the BOG's Oct.7-8 meeting.

The BSHS will focus on identifying and analyzing external and internal domestic security threats, along with completing risk analyses and establishing strategic plans to prevent those threats.

"Historically, our graduates in criminology and criminal justice entered a world where customary policing skills dealt with conventional crimes against people and property. After 9/11 and subsequent man-made disasters, all that changed," said David Champion, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice. "Policing now incorporates the security protection of people, key assets and criminal infrastructures."

"The program will prepare students to develop expertise in the prevention, detection, investigation and remediation of threats to the United States," Champion said.

The program will require 120 credits with 60 major credits and is designed to attract full and part-time students through various delivery modalities including traditional, online and blended classes. SRU's BSHS will be the first dedicated 60-credit-hour bachelor's degree offered by any State System university, or any commonwealth university.

Graduates should expect good employment opportunities, Champion said. "The commonwealth's Department of Labor and Industry projects that the investigation and security services industry is expected to grow by 20.9 percent between 2010 and 2020 in Western Pa., with private sector policing as a specific high-priority occupation."

The BSCS will provide students "with the knowledge, skills and abilities to prevent, detect, investigate and correct organizational security breaches due to man-made and natural disasters that threaten organizational infrastructure, key resources and business continuity," Susan Lubinski, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, said.

The program will require 120 credits with 60 credits in the major and will focus on two tracks: Organizational Security and Fraud, Lubinski said.

Two unique features of this program, Lubinski said, are that it will be the first corporate security degree in the State System, and it will be the only system program designed to achieve the professional Certified Fraud Examiner certification. With the requisite work experience, graduates will also be prepared to obtain certifications from the American Society of Industrial Security International, the National Association of Legal Investigators, or a myriad of private security firms that offer the Facility Security Officer certificate.

"The U.S. security industry is a growing market," Lubinski said. As the corporate security industry grows in complexity and sophistication, certifying specific skill sets will continue to be of value to employers and industry professionals.

Like the BSHS, the BSCS will incorporate traditional face-to-face, online and blended courses.

If approved by the BOG, both the bachelor of science in homeland security and corporate security will begin Fall 2016.

The MPH has the goal of increasing the knowledge, skills and abilities of students in the discipline of public health. "SRU's degree will have an emphasis on health and wellness promotion," said Joseph Robare, associate professor of public health and social work. "This is of growing importance as health care increasingly emphasizes disease prevention over treatment."

In addition to health and wellness promotion, students may select a track in environmental and occupational health.

The MPH will require 42 credits and can be completed in less than two years. "This program should appeal to working professionals as well as students coming directly from a bachelor's program," Robare said. To accommodate a variety of learners, classes will involve face-to-face teaching and online learning. Classes will be conducted at the Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry Township.

"A unique aspect of the program is that it is practitioner focused; students will be required to complete a culminating experience that demonstrates evidence of knowledge and skill-related competencies," Robare said.

Graduates of the MPH will be well prepared for entry into or advancement within many of the hottest occupations, including community health workers, health educators, epidemiologists, medical scientists and environmental scientists.

"According to Economic Modeling Specialists International data, collectively these five occupations are expected to grow by 14 percent regionally and 16 nationally," Robare said.

Students earning the MPH degree will be prepared to take the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing's Certified Health Education Specialist examination, the Master Certified Health Education Specialist examination or the National Board of Public Health Examiner's Certified Public Health examination.

If approved by the BOG, the program will begin fall 2016.

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