There are four public schools in West Virginia with programs that provide students with the educational background for positions with the Department of Homeland Security. Each school offers an associate's program, and one school provides a certificate program as well. All of the following programs include at least a core of general education classes in addition to major coursework. Some credit may be given to those who have professional experience in law enforcement or another field related to homeland security. Read on for more information about the schools in West Virginia to offer programs related to homeland security, as well as the programs themselves.
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg offers a 30-credit Homeland Security certificate program and a 60-credit criminal justice associate's program that includes a Homeland Security track option. The certificate program provides a criminal justice core along with general education courses. This program's criminal justice curriculum covers topics like terrorism, Homeland Security and the American federal government. The degree program's Homeland Security option provides courses on bioterrorism and weapons of mass destruction, the American federal government, immigration law, terrorism and computer forensics in addition to an introductory course on Homeland Security. Students also complete general education and criminal justice courses to obtain the degree.
New River Community and Technical College
New River Community and Technical College in Beckley offers an associate's degree program that prepares students for positions in Homeland Security and emergency management. The curriculum includes criminal justice, emergency management, technical writing and geography. This program is designed for those who have received training or experience in emergency management services. A meeting with the Emergency Management Program Coordinator is required to determine eligibility for admission to this program. Students receive credit for on-the-job training in emergency management services as well as Federal Emergency Management Agency training received from the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services. Students must earn 64 credits to receive this degree.
Pierpont Community and Technical College
Located in Fairmont, Pierpont Community and Technical College offers an associate's degree in Homeland Security. This program offers students the choice of three tracks pertaining to Homeland Security operations: aviation, criminal justice and emergency medical services. The aviation track provides courses on airport planning and development, transport security, airline operations, aviation security and aviation law, to name a few. The criminal justice track curriculum includes courses on firearms, criminal investigation, emergency response to terrorism, disaster preparedness and terrorism, while students in the emergency medical services track learn about hazardous materials response, emergency medical services operations and complete several Homeland Security practicums. Students in each track must complete 60 credits of coursework to receive the associate's degree.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
Mount Gay's Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Service. The curriculum includes a history of terrorism, integrated incident command systems, intelligence research, counterterrorism techniques and command operations, planning and logistics. Students enrolled in this program must choose one of the following four options: criminal justice, education, health care and mine management. All students in this program, regardless of their chosen option, must earn 60 credits to obtain the degree.
Education isn't the only requirement for employment with Homeland Security; applicants for most positions must be United States citizens and pass a drug test and criminal background check. A Secret security clearance is also required for some jobs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Programs/Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Blue Ridge Community and Technical College||2-year, public; rural fringe||Certificate in Homeland Security,
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice with Homeland Security Track
|$3,696 in-state; $6,672 out-of-state*|
|New River Community and Technical College||2-year, public; small suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Management||$3,706 in-state; $4,834 out-of-state*|
|Pierpont Community and Technical College||2-year, public; distant town||Associate of Applied Science in Homeland Security||$4,460 in-state; $10,574 out-of-state*|
|Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College||2-year, public; distant town||Associate in Applied Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Service||$3,412 in-state; $5,078 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.