Embry-Riddle Wins Federal Grant to Add Security Operations Track to Global Security and Intelligence Degree Program
Prescott, AZ, October 4, 2010
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ will begin development of a new degree track in its popular Global Security and Intelligence Studies program due to a grant from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). University President Dr. John P. Johnson announced today that the Prescott campus was awarded the grant, valued at just over $222,000, to create a bachelor degree program that will develop a workforce of security professionals with potential to fill highly coveted positions in the United States Intelligence Community.
“I am extremely proud and honored to accept this grant on behalf of the Global Studies department,” said Prescott’s Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Frank Ayers. “Embry-Riddle has created a model program for global security and intelligence at Prescott campus; we are excited to move forward to setting the standard in education for security operations.”
The grant from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Special Security Center is part of the National Intelligence Strategy initiative to develop the workforce; this initiative focuses on the entry-level security professionals with a top-tier education who can fill jobs expected to be vacated by retiring baby boomers in the next few years.
The program at Embry-Riddle will be a new “Security Operations track” in the established Global Security and Intelligence Studies degree. The grant dollars will be used by Embry-Riddle Prescott to build a program over the next 12 months that will meet curriculum requirements developed by the ODNI Special Security Center and the Industrial Security Working Group (ISWG) with the goal of educating entry-level security professionals ready to assume positions in the Intelligence Community upon graduation.
Embry-Riddle’s Prescott campus was one of only two schools nationwide to be awarded this grant. The grant award based on criteria such as significant experience in developing curriculum; educational credentials; past success in collaboratively working to develop programs; and strong foundations in the core subject matter of security operations. Professor Bob Baker, GSIS degree program director, was a key player in the grant proposal process and will be leading the development of the new track.
“We were thrilled when presented with the opportunity,” Baker said. “It’s a natural progression for our degree program that emphases the critical interface between intelligence and security and will be a definite advantage for our students who are seeking to enter the security and intelligence professions.”
The Global Security and Intelligence Studies degree started in 2005 and has experienced steady growth since. It is the third largest degree program on campus and currently has over 200 students enrolled. Twenty-eight of those students are military veterans, also a fast-growing cohort on the campus. The GSIS Chinese track, which includes a summer study abroad in China, was added in 2009.
A new, high-tech facility, the GSIS Eagle Operations Center, opened in late May 2010. The operations center is a training hub for students to practice real-time intelligence analysis, security countermeasures, emergency response, and operational planning at the global, national, state and local levels of government. The facility features a situation room, eight wall-mounted flat screen televisions for monitoring news and situational awareness, multiple computer and laptop stations for open source intelligence analysis, foreign language broadcast translations and interactive exercises. An observation room is adjacent to the situation room to allow for faculty and guest observations and critiques. Students participate in challenging “crisis simulations” drawing on their studies in security and intelligence operations. The scenarios are carefully constructed to test their knowledge and ability as individuals and teams to confront time-sensitive events without complete information and to make decisions in a timely and effective manner. The scenarios used are provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the emergency management area and developed by the GSIS faculty in the intelligence and security operations areas.
The Prescott campus will formally announce the awarding of the grant during a grand opening for the Eagle Operations Center on Tuesday, October 5, 2 to 4 p.m. GSIS students will demo an emergency management scenario and tours of facility will be offered. At 6:30 p.m. that evening, the Honors program presents former FBI special agent Jim Hight, speaking on cyberterrorism.
For more details on the Security Operations track and grant award, please contact Professor Bob Baker, 928-777-3938, or Susan Larsen, Director of Campus Marketing and Public Relations, 928-777-6731.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.