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Associates Degree in Homeland Security

Associate in Homeland Security is for those who are interested in security related careers in federal, private sector and non-profit organizations. Working for the US Department of Homeland Security may be an obvious preference for many students enrolled in this program.

Who would go for this degree?

Students who are either working or hoping to work in the following may benefit from this degree:

  • Law enforcement
  • Public health
  • Emergency medical services
  • Fire services

Types of associate degrees in Homeland Security

The degree is offered in two formats; Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in Homeland Security and Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Homeland Security. The difference between the two is not stark, since the duration to complete them is the same; two years.

In the Associate of Arts the general emphasis is on social science/humanities courses while Associate of Science focuses on math/science courses.

Who offers this degree?

The Naval Postgraduate School & the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security published a comprehensive list of all the institutes and schools offering degree and non-degree programs in Homeland Security. To summarize, there are many schools, community colleges and universities offering associate degrees in Homeland Security.

Admission requirements

The admission requirements usually depend upon the school. Some of the most commonly accepted requirements are as follows:

  • Completed application
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • SAT scores (there may be exceptions however, especially when applying for the degree offered by a community college)

Degree program costs

An associate degree in Homeland Security offered by community colleges may be cheaper than universities, especially private universities. Financial aid may be available for those who qualify.

Degree Curriculum

An Associate of Science degree in Homeland Security is usually divided into 4 semesters. In the first semester, you may be exposed to topics like (these course titles will differ from school to school):

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Introduction to Homeland Security
  • School Safety and Homeland Security
  • Pre-Calculus Algebra
  • English I: Composition

Semester 2 courses may be titled as:

  • Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure: Facilities and Networks
  • Economics, Law and Government
  • US History
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • English II

3rd semester courses may be:

  • Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Homeland Security and First Responders
  • Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • Introduction to Physics/Chemistry/Biology

The 4th and the last semester may include courses like:

  • Cyber-Terrorism
  • Homeland Security and Law Enforcement
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management Partnerships
  • Homeland Security Legal, Policy, and Privacy Issues
  • Computer Information Systems

Learning outcomes and objectives

An associate degree is one which essentially lays the foundation for a bachelor’s degree in a particular major. Nevertheless, an associate degree in Homeland Security has its own objectives and the students can benefit in the following ways:

  • In depth knowledge of the concept of Homeland Security and the workings of the Department of Homeland Security.
  • To make students effective communicators, both verbally and in the written form.
  • To help students secure employment as entry-level employees in Homeland Security.

What is Homeland Security?

Thomas (Tom) Ridge was the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is known to have once said: "This war on terrorism is going to continue for an indefinite period of time".

The definition of Homeland Security is not always clear; it might be confusing at times. While protecting American borders from foreign threats remains the basic and the most critical objective of Homeland Security, the principle goes beyond merely protecting the borders and American lives.

Those who work in Homeland Security, perform the following duties:

  • Analyze intelligence reports
  • Respond to natural disasters
  • Research and develop latest security technologies

One look at the US Department of Homeland Security’s website and it becomes clear that Homeland Security means working for:

  • U.S. Secret Service
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • Transportation Security Administration
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Customs and Border Protection
  • Citizenship and Immigration Services

Career prospects

While an associate degree in Homeland Security will not make you the head of a national security organization, however, it may get your foot in the door by making you eligible for an entry-level position. It is however not necessarily true that all jobs offered to graduates of an associate degree in Homeland Security are entry-level jobs. Some managerial jobs may also be offered to those who qualify with an associate degree.

For example, security managers and emergency management directors may only hold an associate degree in Homeland Security (in majority of the cases, they hold a bachelor’s degree or higher).

A security manager, as the title suggests, is responsible for the security of his/her organization. This includes the physical security of a building, the employees within, assets and facilities. They may work for organizations like Transportation Security Administration, etc. O* NET Online reported these professionals earning a yearly median income of $100,890 in 2012.

Emergency management directors, plan and direct disaster response in case of natural, technological and wartime disasters or hostage situations. They are also responsible for providing disaster preparedness training. They may be hired by departments like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, etc. O* NET Online reported Emergency Management Directors earning a yearly median salary of $59,770 in 2012.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What important topics will I learn in a Associate In Homeland Security program?

A:An associate degree in homeland security is a two year pre bachelor program. It aims at building a foundation of knowledge in a certain study field. The associate degree in homeland security will comprise of important topics such as international terrorism, biosecuri9ty, criminology, emergency management, disaster planning, customs security, immigration etc.

Q:What sort of training will I get through the curriculum for associate in homeland security?

A:The Curriculum for an Associate degree in Homeland Security will allow you to create emergency management plans, coordinate disaster recovery efforts, combat terrorism and handle criminal and civil justice cases. Moreover you will learn how to convert this academic understanding of your relative field into practical expertise that will help you to tackle real life situations.

Q:Which courses are taught in associate degrees in homeland security?

A:Students enrolled in associate Degrees in Homeland Security are given training for protection of civilian and public properties and to counter threats of terrorism. Some of the courses that you will study in the associate degree are bio-security, criminology, international terrorism, disaster planning and emergency management. These will provide you with detailed knowledge and practical training in most of the relevant fields of homeland security.

Q:What are the admission requirements for enrolling in an associates degree in Homeland Security at an Online Criminal Justice School?

A:An associate degree in the most basic qualification you can acquire in homeland security. It is a pre bachelor degree program that has a duration of two years. To be eligible for this program you must have completed high school, you must submit your high school transcript, a letter of recommendation, and receipt of the admission fee.

Q:Can you tell me a little about the aa homeland security curriculum being offered nowadays?

A:Associate degrees in homeland security are undergraduate programs that help students build a basic foundation of knowledge regarding this field. The program covers fundamental areas such as the following: introduction to homeland security, network leadership, research writing, technology for homeland security, organizational and policy changes, and more. The curriculum contents may vary slightly from institute to institute.

Q:Tell me about 2 year associates in homeland security program?

A:A two year associates in homeland security is a foundational study that gives you introductory information on internal and external threats faced by a country. You would study about emergency management, detecting and analyzing potential dangers, emergency medical care, and safety management. A basic overview of criminal behavior and the legal system is also given.

Q:what are the different career options with a degree in criminal justice and homeland security emergency management?

A:With a degree in criminal justice and homeland security, students can apply for jobs in a variety of fields. Some of these include national security, corrections, emergency medical assistance, law enforcement and disaster relief. The career choice is not limited to these jobs alone. Since the scope of this degree is quite broad, individuals can pursue a career according to their own needs and career goals.

Q:Where can I find an associates degree in homeland security and criminal justice in usa?

A:Homeland security is a fast growing field due to rising security concerns. A number of accredited institutes have started offering homeland security degrees. You can pursue this academic principle at associate level as well. The program will provide you with fundamental knowledge of homeland security policies, criminal justice, law enforcement agencies, and different types of security issues faced by the nation.

Q:How much time will need to successfully earn an associate of arts in homeland security?

A:Usually, an associate degree takes around two years to complete. There are a number of institutes offering associate degree programs in homeland security. You can also consider an accelerated degree, which takes less than the usually time. The curriculum of the program may vary from college to college. Browse through our page for more detail.

Q:Can I do associates degree in homeland security online?

A:Yes, you can. There are a number of universities that offer associates degree in homeland security online. You will only need to do a quick search on your preferred universities and their choice of associate programs in homeland security. By choosing to pursue this online you will be saving on fees as well as stress by setting the pace of your degree yourself.

Q:What can I study after finishing my associate degree in homeland security?

A:An associate degree is normally seen as pre-bachelors degree as it covers the first two years of an undergraduate degree. Students can move on to a bachelor's degree in programs ranging from homeland security to criminal justice and law enforcement. You might also be able to get an entry level position at a security organization with just your associate's degree.

Q:Can I enroll in homeland security associate programs with a GED?

A:Yes, you can. The requirements for an associate program in homeland security are the completion of a high school diploma or the equivalent GED qualification. Aside from that you might have to give the SATs and score a decent score. Students applying to community colleges may be exempted from the SAT requirement.

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