CHDS Holds Second Annual Education Summit
On March 18-19, CHDS, along with the Homeland Security and Defense Education Consortium, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the University of Maryland held the Second Annual Homeland Defense and Security Education Summit in College Park, Md. It was the largest gathering of homeland security educators to date with nearly 200 participants from over 100 colleges, universities, and government agencies across the nation.
Homeland security has quickly grown to become the nation’s fastest growing academic discipline, over 250 community colleges, four-year universities, and postgraduate institutions now offer degree programs and certificates. As this trend continues, colleges and universities must maintain continuous communication as they develop their own homeland security programs. The Summit was created as a forum where participants are able to network, collaborate, leverage resources, and learn about the latest developments in this very dynamic field.
The event featured 50 presentations on its theme “Innovation in Homeland Defense and Security Education.” Participants attended breakout sessions focusing on a range of topics from specific homeland security courses, to negotiating through university administrations to develop courses, to advances in learning technology. The attendees also collectively addressed the critical issue regarding the future of the discipline; what does homeland security education encompass and where is it headed. “This discourse will continue as the discipline evolves, and the annual Summits will play a significant role in shaping the future,” said Dr. Stan Supinski, the CHDS Director of Partnership Programs and lead organizer for the event.
The newly established Homeland Security/Defense Education Consortium Association (HSDECA) made its debut during the event. The HSDECA will be the accreditation association for homeland security education. The organization was originally founded as the HSDEC by Dr. Supinski in December 2003 as part of an effort to educate the workforce required to staff the newly formed United States Northern Command. The Consortium grew to over 200 members in 2007. These associations included most of the academic institutions in the U.S. offering homeland security programs, as well as several in foreign countries. The Association was incorporated in November 2007, and will formally begin accreditation functions once approved by the Department of Education. It will play a significant role in the cohesion and regulation of homeland security studies across the nation.
The event was lauded as a great success by attendees. “The continued development of homeland security as a formal area of academic study will continue to evolve for sometime,” says David O’Keeffe, CHDS CEO and Summit participant. “The discussion, debate and sharing of ideas and experiences that occurs at the Summit facilitates the maturing process and strengthens the growing national network of homeland security education programs.” The event has already become the premier conference in the discipline and will continue to be held annually in the National Capital Region.