Pitt CGS Offers New Certificate in National Preparedness and Homeland Security

Issue Date: 
July 12, 2010

In the wake of terrorist attacks, hurricanes, oil spills, crippling snowstorms, and pandemic scares, the University of Pittsburgh is offering a new certificate program designed to teach students and professionals core concepts and procedures central to preparedness, homeland security, and emergency management.

The Certificate in National Preparedness and Homeland Security (NPHS) is a one-of-a-kind 18-credit program that features dynamic modeling tools developed in Pitt’s Center for National Preparedness—a multidisciplinary collaboration of Pitt scientists, engineers, and policy experts with backgrounds in biomedical research, public health, medicine, national security, and information technology.

The course content, which will cover fundamentals, also will be continuously adapted to a changing preparedness environment, embracing new scenarios and knowledge derived from the most recent crisis-response efforts.

The certificate is being offered beginning with the fall term through Pitt’s College of General Studies (CGS), the region’s leading provider of adult education programs, and is expected to attract emergency medical technicians, paramedics, government employees, and business people who work in risk management, among others. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 12.3 percent spike in demand for emergency management specialists between 2010 and 2016.

“Consistent with our mission, this certificate program responds to an emerging need in the regional workforce and is aimed at nontraditional students and professionals, as well as currently enrolled students,” says Kelly Otter, CGS associate dean.

“The program is unique in that it is evidence-based and analytical,” says Ken Sochats, codirector of Pitt’s Center for National Preparedness. “It incorporates a multiple response systems approach and exciting visual tools.”

The program’s courses cover international, federal, state, and local frameworks for response; a capstone course requires students to plan, simulate, and report on a complete disaster scenario in which all critical infrastructures (e.g., energy, government, transportation, health, and telecommunications) are compromised.

Applicants must have completed at least 60 college credits, from Pitt or other institutions. For more information, admission guidelines, and an application, visit http://www.cnp.pitt.edu/certificate.