Thomas Edison State University | Graduate Course Offerings

Master of Science in Homeland Security Course Descriptions

HLS-500: Terrorism and Homeland Security in the U.S. (3 credits)
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This course examines the phenomenon of terrorism as it relates to the United States as well as to American interests in other countries, primarily in the time period from the Cold War to the present. The attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and the subsequent adoption of a formal U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be examined in the context of the global terrorist threat and the more general concept of homeland security. Emphasis is on the identification and understanding of appropriate definitions and concepts so that students may critically evaluate the threats present and the range of responses available in our democratic society. Appropriate historical foundations, as well as essential components of a mechanism for homeland security, will be presented. Other key topics include the relationship between homeland security and preparation; terrorism response and recovery mechanisms; and goals, objectives, and strategies. The importance of coordinating various plans and strategies among local, state, and federal government response organizations will be stressed.
HLS-501: Natural Disasters and Security Planning (3 credits)
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This course will investigate a wide range of natural disasters and develop appropriate plans for mitigating resulting problems. Natural disasters include a variety of events from earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and fires to the outbreak of disease and may themselves trigger secondary disaster situations such as chemical spills, nuclear incidents, and power outages. This course focuses on the impacts of disasters on security, critical resources, and key infrastructure.
HLS-510: Protecting the Homeland: Balancing Security and Liberty (3 credits)
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This course will examine the development of various situations that have evolved since the day of the terrorists' attacks, on New York City and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001. Since that day, the events which transpired have been seen to have made many Americans feel more vulnerable than ever before. After the events of that day, the United States Congress quickly enacted the USA PATRIOT Act, which permitted a number of extraordinary and unprecedented changes to civil liberties without judicial oversight. This course will examine the USA PATRIOT Act, along with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were initiated by the events of 9/11. This course will allow students the opportunity to examine and understand why the government and the public began to question and scrutinize the country's intelligence mechanisms, and national security structure and procedures. During this course there will an opportunity to examine the creation, development, and organizational structure of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of the examination of DHS, there will be opportunities to also examine entities such as the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), which was established after 9/11. This course will also examine other developments including the detention and torture of "enemy combatants" in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and consider whether the nation's security needs justify the consequent restrictions on our freedoms.
HLS-610: The Psychology and Sociology of Disaster (3 credits)
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This course explores best practices for mitigating the adverse psychological and social impacts of disaster. The course discusses types of disasters, the way trauma typically affects victims, the means for assessing trauma after a disaster, the importance of early intervention during the response phase, and approaches suitable for the longer recovery phase of disaster. This course uses current government and law enforcement sources to discuss specific disasters from the last two decades, both acts of terrorism and natural occurrences.
HLS-611: International Legal and Ethical Issues (3 credits)
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This course examines statutory, constitutional, military, and international legal principles and their relation to the design and implementation of national and international strategies related to homeland security in both the domestic and global arenas. Emphasis will be on legal and due process actions and the legality of those actions in domestic, military, and international settings. There will be an intense focus on the exposure, explanation, and understanding of the existing domestic and international laws and treaties. This course will provide the student with exposure to a multitude of issues in the area of homeland security by examining the basic concept of investigating and prosecuting terrorism and its affect both domestically and internationally. The method of study and exposure to these topics is designed to facilitate the student in the development of the ability to identify, understand, and perform critical thinking and written assessment of concepts directly relating to legal and due process issues relating to terrorism and homeland security challenges.
HLS-615: Domestic and Global Intelligence for Security Management (3 credits)
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This course acquaints students with several concepts and practices that are necessary for collecting, analyzing, and evaluating intelligence and managing the intelligence as a function. It also explores the influence of intelligence on shaping homeland security executive decision making at the international, federal, state, and local levels. This course examines the structures, roles, and interactions of the foreign and domestic intelligence communities, the intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities of criminal justice and private sector entities, and the use of intelligence processes to support homeland security investigations, planning, and policy formulation. Through the study of current and past homeland security events, students in this course will develop an understanding of the intelligence tradecraft, analytic, and research skills required for intelligence work. This course also explores the ethical, Constitutional, and civil liberties issues associated with the collection of information by homeland security agencies. Also examined are topics related to assessing the reliability and validity of information, intelligence sharing, and covert and counterintelligence operations of domestic and international intelligence agencies.
HLS-620: Homeland Security Preparedness: Prevention and Deterrence (3 credits)
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This course focuses on how strategic planning, incident management, and intelligence techniques are brought together to provide the necessary foundation for anti-terrorism preparedness. The assignments in this course are designed to give students engagement in these areas. Students will learn how potential acts of terrorism are deterred and prevented through vigilance, observation, and the reporting of suspicious indicators of terrorist acts. Emphasis is placed on the level of planning and management involved in preparedness, prevention, and deterrence, and to the implementation of specific techniques and strategies. The topics that will be covered in this course will include the protection of infrastructures, various aspects of the National Incident Management System, and various aspects of data collection and analysis techniques. In addition the course will address threat and vulnerability assessments, information sharing, resource planning, intelligence failures, and terrorism prevention and deterrence.
HLS-625: Technology and Information Security (3 credits)
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This course covers a wide range of cybersecurity and technology concepts. War, crime, and terrorism have affected the domains of land, sea, air, and space for decades. As technology has become more pervasive in our society, a fifth domain has become evident: the cyber domain. Traditional crimes and acts of terror have become leveraged with technological capabilities that give criminals and terrorists a greater advantage than before. In addition, this environment makes it more difficult for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to prevent, detect, and prosecute those that commit horrific acts. This course explores topics in information technology security management. It examines the necessary technical, physical, and administrative controls required to protect information and information systems that are likely to become vulnerable to a cyberattack. Topics within the course include cryptography, disaster recovery, business continuity of operations, network and host security, threats and vulnerabilities, access control, forensics and incident handling, and legal issues involving computers.
HLS-630: Protecting the Homeland: Response and Recovery (3 credits)
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This course focuses on the many response and recovery efforts possible for the various actors in homeland security, both in the public and private sectors. The concept of planning is addressed with a focus on implementation, testing, and evaluation. Students will discuss how best to lead, communicate, and coordinate in response and recovery efforts across jurisdictions and agencies. Technology and information gathering, as tools for planning and responding, are explored. Both government and law enforcement efforts and business continuity planning (BCP) are studied.
HLS-640: Funding and Program Administration for Homeland Security (3 credits)
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This course introduces funding and program administration for homeland security. Following the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States established the Department of Homeland Security and developed new national security requirements to secure the nation's most critical infrastructure. This course will focus on spending in areas such as counterterrorism, defense, intelligence, and securing of critical infrastructure. In addition to covering the financing of these operations, the course will center on security program administration in both the public and private sectors.
HLS-645: Pandemics, Bioterrorism, and Biosecurity (3 credits)
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Resurging epidemics are now gaining national attention in a way not seen for generations. These threats join the long-standing challenge of potential domestic and foreign state sponsored biowarfare attacks on the U.S. and growing awareness of the threat of bioterrorism. This course will examine the national and international political, legal, and policy dimensions of response to these threats. It will explore how the interagency community works at local, tribal, state, national, and international levels to meet these growing challenges.
MPL-510: Research Methods in Public Service (3 credits)
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This course introduces students to the foundations of research study methods with an emphasis on research in the public sector. Concepts presented include study design and selection, data collection guidelines, and study efficacy. A review of data analysis techniques is also featured along with tips on effective presentation of study findings. Ethical issues in research are reviewed to provide greater understanding of the importance of protecting research participants as well as the crucial oversight role of institutional review boards. Students participate in critical evaluations of existing research to engage course content and demonstrate proficiency in course objectives.
MPL-710: Public Service Capstone (3 credits)
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Candidates for completion of the Master of Public Service Leadership (MPSL), Master of Science and Management (MSM) - Public Service Careers, and Master of Science in Homeland Security (MSHS) degree will complete a project demonstrating their conceptual, analytical, research, and practical management skills achieved through the courses in each program. The project, called a Capstone because it represents a crowning achievement much as a capstone does in architecture, is a 3-credit, one-term requirement that is completed at the end of the program. It is a closely supervised experience resulting in a paper that demonstrates the student's ability to synthesize and utilize the skills and knowledge gained in their graduate program.