Syllabus for HLS-630



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. Technology and information gathering, as tools for planning and responding, are explored. Both government and law enforcement efforts and Business Continuity Planning are studied.


After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. Assess and evaluate critically needed plans which will be used for recovery effort from natural and man-made disasters.
  2.  Create and implement essential maintenance and modification of plans in response to various challenges produced by various changes in the form of threats, vulnerabilities, and  environmental crisis during times of disasters.                      
  3. Appraise, describe, and discuss various forms of information technology that will be needed within a command center during restoration operations in disaster situations.
  4. Explain and provide operations procedures pertaining to information gathering directly relating and affecting critical issues and operational activities involving the specific disaster being addressed.
  5. Critique, evaluate, and discuss existing and potential plans pertaining to the movement of personnel, equipment, and other necessities prior to, during, and after the occurrence of a disaster.
  6. Assess and evaluate how large-scale operations and response activities are facilitated throughout various levels of the government and their interface with non-governmental entities during disaster operations.
  7. Examine, critique, and describe how response activities are coordinated and implemented by examining a specific governmental or non-governmental entity.
  8. Examine, assess, and describe what factors need to be considered relating to various forms of stress experienced by victims and responders to human made, and natural disasters.
  9. Understand and explicitly explain the delineation of responsibilities and performance requirements between governmental and non-governmental agencies during a disaster situation.
  10. Analyze the components of the response cycle which is required to be implemented during a crisis and disaster situation.
  11. Possess and demonstrate a working knowledge of how to close out an emergency response to a disaster situation upon completion of required tasks being accomplished.
  12. Write in clear and concise language, using proper grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation;
  13. Document sources in proper APA style.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks


Small Business Finance is a three-credit online course, consisting of six modules. Modules include topics, objectives, study materials, and assignments. Module titles are listed below:


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored online midterm exam, and produce a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum, you are required to participate in six graded online class discussions.  For Modules 2-5, your discussions will focus on questions relating to an imaginary event scenario, details of which will unfold as you progress through the course.

Communication with your mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online class discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

All of these responses must be substantial. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate or your mentor, state and support your position.

You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions: responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments based on a variety of topics covered in the course modules. These assignments are in the form of short papers.  

Final Project

You are required to produce a Final Project in the form of an after-action report in which you provide feedback to senior government officials on the performance of various response teams during a disaster event.

Consult the Final Project section of the course for details of what you need to do. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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