2-Year Emergency Management Programs, Part I: Proving the Value

This post contains excerpts from the “Planning Resource for Developing a Two-Year Emergency Management Academic Program” (March 2019) and reflects the collective contribution of the time and expertise of several individuals sharing their dedication to preparing the next generation of emergency management professionals.

Join the national community of two-year emergency management program discussion!

Did you know that the FEMA Higher Education Program includes Special Interest Groups (SIG) to inform the emergency management profession through education and to promote and connect our nation’s academic community members?  This effort includes a SIG entitled Collaboration, Connection, and Commitment of 2-Year Emergency Management Programs.  The next few weeks of the blog will focus on planning resources for two-year programs. This week, let’s look at the value of two-year programs.

Value of Two-Year Programs

The Association of American Colleges and Universities conducted a study among business executives and hiring agents. The report reinforced that both “business executives and hiring managers agree on the value of college: they believe that it is both important and worth the time and money involved” (Hart Research Associates, July 2018). Two-year institutions, specifically, offer a unique blend of academic opportunities and often an immediate business and student return on investment.

As local centers of inclusion and opportunity, community colleges provide available, affordable, and quality academic experiences. This includes formal education, training, professional development, and community preparedness services to further promote a national culture of preparedness. Community colleges establish strong relationships, focus on cooperation within the industry, and provide varied opportunities. In fact, the American Association of Community Colleges reports that half of all undergraduates in the U.S. are enrolled in community colleges.

The audience for community college education and training products is broad and supports those seeking entry level job skills as well as those seeking retraining, a career change, or innovative content throughout their career-specific lifespan. The emergency management program attracts a wide range of students from high school graduates with little to no life experience to seasoned professionals with graduate degrees and beyond with vast experience in a complementary discipline.

Two-year program curricula are designed to produce graduates with consistent knowledge, skills, and abilities for entry level employment within the discipline, while allowing for flexibility and adaptability to the ever-changing policies, regulations, processes, technology, and expectations of the industry. Acknowledging the varied student audience, the application of the credential and its value may be different for each program and each graduate. The curricula guidance provides a consistent baseline knowledge to be layered upon existing professional degrees, experiences, and contributions for a wide range of outcomes nationwide.

Join us next week as we “Establish the Foundation” for an Emergency Management Academic Program. In the meantime, please enjoy our one-pager that we created.  It’s designed to help programs get started using the resource we’re discussing! Promote2YearCritInfluencers

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