UAPI Influences Curriculum Nationwide
The annual Center for Homeland Defense and Security University and Agency Partnership Initiative Faculty Development Workshop continues to influence curriculum across the country, according to partners who attended the event June 8-12.
The workshop drew 29 participants teaching homeland security at the agency, college and, this year, high school levels. The UAPI was created to share the gold-standard curriculum of CHDS with universities and schools across the nation, free of charge, to multiply the impact of homeland security education. The annual workshop updates instructors and administrators on trends in curriculum.
“It was a huge success,” UAPI Co-Director Stan Supinski said. “We got the evaluations back and every single one said they’re going to change their program or courses based on the workshop.”
The workshop illustrated the spread of homeland security beyond traditional college courses. Jean Akers, Deputy Director of Consular Training Division at the State Department, was the first representative from that agency to attend the event. Akers said the week opened options to consider educational opportunities for the Foreign Service Institute from both the CHDS curriculum as well as the Executive Leaders Program.
“Our connection to the homeland security topic is that we are training Foreign Service officers in visa adjudication and passport adjudication,” Akers said. “There is a very clear relationship between our students who go into the field adjudicating visas and looking for security concerns.”
Akers also cited discussions on how education was delivered. “It was useful for me to learn how many of the universities here, including CHDS, are using blended and online learning. It was helpful to hear what works, and what is effective,” Akers said.
Al Sligh attended in a dual role – as a professor at Concordia University in Portland and as chairman of an advisory board that oversees a high school level homeland security program. The high school program includes the basic components of homeland security education, touching on terrorism, intelligence, criminal justice and emergency management.
“We’re just completing our first year and have learned a lot of lessons and I wanted to be here to see what I could glean from all the other educators,” Sigh said. “I wanted to see what I could adapt from the college level down to the high school level and to see if anybody else has their hand in the high school arena. There are a lot of resources I can tap to enhance our particular program. I’m walking away with some case studies from the other students that I can adapt.”
University education remains at the forefront of UAPI’s mission, which currently numbers 430 member institutions. Mike Wallace of Tulane University is building an online master’s degree program and was interested both in content and how course are delivered in class, online or through a blended approach.
“This has probably been one of the most profitable weeks that I have spent during my time at Tulane,” Wallace said. “I’m not one that wants to reinvent the wheel, but I also want to avoid the pitfalls that other people have gotten into. This is the perfect environment to hear what other people are doing.”
The 2015 conference included three CHDS master’s degree graduates who have gone on to teach in the field – Chris Cleary, Tom Davis and William Pilkington.
“I will most certainly apply the principles and tools learned at this year’s UAPI Workshop to my own instruction,” said Davis, who teaches security studies at Colorado Technical University. “This value-added resource is yet another example of the excellent partnership between CHDS and universities throughout the country. Homeland security, as an academic discipline, is very well served by the excellent partnership afforded to universities through this important initiative.”
With another workshop completed, the next event for UAPI will be the 9th Annual Homeland Defense/Security Education Summit. This year’s event will be September 25-26 in Orlando, Florida, with the theme “Evolving Homeland Security to Meet Future Threats/Hazards.”
UAPI has recently revamped its web site to be more sleek and mobile friendly. Details of the September summit may be viewed at the remodeled site, www.uapi.us.