— Volume IX (2013) —

Homeland Security Education: A Way Forward


Kyle Barrington February 06, 2013 06:58
There is no doubt that there is confusion associated with academic institutions and “homeland security” studies. There is a disconnect as to what constitutes “homeland security”. There are too many major fingers of Homeland Security studies. The major wings have been emergency management and
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William V. Pelfrey Sr.

William V. Pelfrey, Sr., of Pelfrey and Associates LLC, has engaged in academic curriculum development, instruction, and training for thirty years, holding faculty and administrative positions in seven major universities before retiring in 2005. He has authored articles in Evaluation Review: A Journal of the Institute for Law and Public Policy, Homeland Security Review, The Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Criminology, Criminal Justice Review, Journal of Criminal Justice Education, other journals, and law reviews, as well as book chapters and books. He is coauthor of the WMD Training Strategy 2002 and ODP Prevention and Deterrence Guidelines. His research has been in the areas of homeland security, curriculum development, crime analysis and assessment, criminological theory, trends and patterns in violent crime, policing, and victimology. He holds the PhD in Criminology from Florida State University.

William D. Kelley Jr.

William D. Kelley, Jr. has a distinguished record of service in operations, administration, teaching, and research concentrating on public safety and domestic preparedness. Mr. Kelley is currently senior advisor/consultant for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) at The Naval Postgraduate School(NPS). Prior to 2010, he was a consultant to the US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Preparedness Directorate (NPD) in Washington, DC. His work has focused on research and strategic planning regarding prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery relative to incidents and acts of terrorism with special emphasis on evidence based education and training strategies and programs for executive level personnel. His experience has included similar consecutive positions beginning in 1998 contiguous with the creation of a key DHS predecessor agency at the US Department of Justice. Mr. Kelley has been directly involved in supporting the management of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) since its inception in 2002.

While there is nothing particularly wrong with proceeding forward into the uncertain future of homeland security education, much of the movement has been without directional evidence and debates as to direction have generated more heat than light. We conducted research to help us determine trajectory based on evidence. This research produced findings informed by three groups of homeland security professionals. One group, consisting of 382 respondents, represented homeland security leaders and administrators graduating from the master of arts program at the Naval Postgraduate School. The second group consisted of faculty teaching in that graduate program. The third group was a subject matter expert panel of national leaders in homeland security. Surveys were conducted across these groups, asking that they score the importance of objectives and capabilities associated with the multitude of disciplines comprising homeland security. We found that strategic collaboration, critical thinking and decision-making, foundations of homeland security, and analytical capabilities are the most important attributes of a graduate program dedicated to homeland security. Cognate or specific knowledge, the category frequently argued about in the literature, was scored as the least important category for graduate education. These capabilities and attributes represent a “way forward” that is research- and evidence-based, but questions remain.

Read full article.

Pelfrey, William V., and William D. Kelley. “Homeland Security Education: A Way Forward.” Homeland Security Affairs 9, Article 3 (February 2013)