“We are pleased to receive approval of this degree program which will be a great asset to the state of Louisiana,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “The master’s in homeland security is a unique program to the state and few, if any, programs nationally have this type of focus. We expect this program to give Northwestern State national prominence in the field of homeland security.”
According to Joe Morris, head of the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences, the new graduate degree is designed to provide an analysis and understanding of the emerging challenges of globalization and our new world order, transnational security issues that present global implications and informed theories regarding the causes and control of international terrorism.
“We began developing this program in response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,” said Morris. “As we began researching programs around the country, we could not find a degree program with the type of focus this one will have.”
Northwestern State has a master’s program in adult education with a concentration in homeland security. The homeland security program will have an additional 18 hours of courses in the field.
Courses will cover international terrorism, transnational organized crime and covert operations; venue and event security; domestic terrorism prevention and analysis; constitutional issues and global security; cyberterrorism, counter-terrorism, advanced cyberforensics and cyberwarfare issues and more.
“We expect enrollment to be strong,” said Morris. “This semester we have 30 students in the concentration. The undergraduate criminal justice and unified public safety administration programs at NSU will provide us students. There are also people in law enforcement at every agency on the federal, state, parish or county and city level that have responsibility for homeland security. This program will provide them with the knowledge to carry out their duties more effectively.”
Faculty in the program have experience in the military, the fields of intelligence, law, criminal justice, corrections, political science and history.
“Our faculty is one of the program’s strong points,” said Morris. “They have been in the field dealing with many of the issues they will discuss in the classroom. That real world experience adds an extra dimension.”
The Master of Science in Homeland Security will be available completely online. Those in the program are eligible for a fee exemption for commissioned full-time law enforcement or public safety officers.
In order to qualify individuals must have employment verified by the officers’ law enforcement or public safety agency and submitted to the NSU scholarship office each semester. Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 average and can enroll in up to six hours. Any additional credit hours are assessed at the standard tuition rate.
The fee exemption will be $250 for one to three hours, $500 for four to six hours and $750 for seven to nine hours. The exemption, which reduces registration fees by approximately 30 percent, does not cover other required board, university assessed or student-assessed fees.
“Northwestern State’s graduate program in homeland security will have a direct impact on Louisiana,” said Morris. “The professionalism of the officers who acquire a graduate degree will enhance the image of criminal justice agencies throughout the state. The graduates will be able to influence in a positive manner the employees of their agency that in turn will provide better service and will impact all citizens of the state in a positive manner.”