Academic Studies at a Federal Homeland Security Intelligence Undergraduate Academy

July 1, 2009
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In several recent articles in this magazine, we proposed the need to establish a federally run, full-time, resident, self-contained national academy—the U.S. Homeland Security Intelligence Academy (HSIA)—where students will be able to obtain an undergraduate degree in homeland security/intelligence studies coupled with garnering homeland security/intelligence-related practical and tactical skills. In addition, leadership development insights and a rigorous physical education program will be incorporated into other instruction and training at HSIA.
     
HSIA graduates will need a solid understanding of homeland security/intelligence studies and a myriad of other subjects in order to excel as intelligence analysts, in covert operations, doing counterterrorism, counterintelligence, emergency management, law enforcement, or otherwise.
     
We now turn to another component of the HSIA, namely, the key aspects of the open-source academic coursework. As HSIA’s mandate centers on the subjects of homeland security and intelligence studies, students will be focusing on these two themes. They will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security and Intelligences Studies.
     
Among other proposed academic courses to be offered at HSIA are disciplines ranging from history and political science to religion and economics, as well as criminal justice and law.
     
Given the need for foreign language skills for 21st century homeland security/intelligence professionals, it is expected that all students entering HSIA will be fluent in English as well as a second language. In addition, computer and technology skills will be enhanced through student immersion in these realms during regular coursework and in supplementary sessions.
     
In order to ensure that all graduates have a baseline of expertise in similar academic disciplines, a core set of classes will be mandatory.
     
The proposed courses to be offered at HSIA include:
  • Homeland Security: Survey of Homeland Security Organizations; Hazards and Disasters in Emergency Management; Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery
  • Terrorism: Overview of Terrorism; Domestic Extremist/Terrorist Groups; International Extremist/Terrorist Groups; Combating Terrorism
  • Intelligence: National Intelligence Community; Intelligence Analytical Methodologies; Intelligence and Domestic Security Strategies; Intelligence and National Security Strategies; Intelligence Collection, Assets, and Capabilities; Technology, Science and Intelligence; Covert Action
  • Foreign Language: Four years of foreign language instruction (from beginner through advanced, plus eight courses)
  • Law: Constitutional Law; Criminal Law/Procedure; Intelligence/National Security Law
  • Political Science: American Government and Politics; Comparative Government and Politics; Fundamentals of International Relations; U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Criminal Justice: Criminal Justice Organizations; Emerging Issues in Crime: Organized Crime and Cybercrime
  • History: U.S. History; World History
  • Religion: World Religions
  • Business: International Business
  • Economics: Micro/Macro-Economics
  • Geography: World Geography/Culture
  • Health Sciences: Emergency Medical Preparedness
  • Mathematics: Statistics
With a better appreciation of the main coursework to be offered at HSIA, a tentative baseline academic program during the four years includes:

Freshman Year
Fall Semester – U.S. History; American Government and Politics; Criminal Justice Organizations; Statistics; Foreign Language - Introduction A
Spring Semester – World History; World Geography/Culture; Constitutional Law; Comparative Government and Politics; Foreign Language – Introduction B
 
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester – Criminal Law/Procedure; Fundamentals of International Relations; World Religions; Micro/Macro-Economics; Foreign Language – Intermediate A
Spring Semester – Survey of Homeland Security Organizations; Overview of Terrorism; National Intelligence Community; U.S. Foreign Policy; Foreign Language – Intermediate B
 
Junior Year
Fall Semester – Domestic Extremist/Terrorist Groups; Intelligence/National Security Law; Intelligence and Domestic Security Strategies; Intelligence Analytical Methodologies; Foreign Language – Advanced A
Spring Semester – International Extremist/Terrorist Groups; Intelligence and National Security Strategies; Intelligence Collection, Assets, and Capabilities; Hazards and Disasters in Emergency Management; Foreign Language – Advanced B
 
Senior Year
Fall:  Combating Terrorism; Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery; Emerging Issues in Crime: Organized Crime and Cybercrime; International Business; Foreign Language – Advanced Plus A
Spring: Technology, Science and Intelligence; Covert Action; Emergency Medical Preparedness; Senior Thesis Seminar; Foreign Language – Advanced Plus A
     
Educating future homeland security and intelligence-focused professionals is the goal of HSIA. In focusing on homeland security/intelligence studies and other strategic disciplines, HSIA graduates will be well equipped to serve and protect the United States and its interests. As former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once stated, “Upon the education of the people of this country, the fate of this country depends.” This wise observation should guide HSIA in its future role in national and global security concerns. 

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