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'Master'ing homeland security students can now get a master's in homeland security.

Realizing the need for better homeland security preparedness, Penn State College of Medicine will be the first to offer a master's degree in homeland security. With a focus on public health preparedness, this master's program, which will be administered strictly online, will debut in the spring of 2006.

"There is truly a need for more people with advanced training, knowledge and skirts in how to prepare for disasters and bio terrorism emergencies," says Robert Cherry, academic chair of the program and medical director at Penn State Shock Trauma Center. Cherry expects to see great interest in the program. "There is an enormous market out there. Last year we conducted extensive market analysis by World Campus and it became quite clear that a number of people--both professionals already working in the industry and those with an interest in the subject--are thinking about a career in this field," he says.

While Cherry sees the program expanding in the future, he expects to enroll 24 to 32 students initially to maintain a faculty to student ratio of 4:1. Cherry hopes that more IHEs will start to recognize the importance of offering these programs.

"After September 11, it was clear that there were a number of deficiencies as to how we responded. We Learned that we weren't as prepared as we thought we were," Cherry says. Some program courses will include an introduction on public health preparedness and disaster, disaster psychology, agricultural biosecurity, public health evaluation of disasters, and critical infrastructure.
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Title Annotation:UPDATE
Publication:University Business
Date:May 1, 2005
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