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From the Office of Homeland Security:
University at Albany Offers Graduate Public Security Certificate

Contact: Amy Fires (518) 408-1684, Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 12, 2006) -- The University of Albany, in partnership with the New York State Office of Homeland Security, is offering a Public Security Studies Certificate to graduate students through the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy.

The program, offered through the College's Department of Public Administration and Policy, provides graduates with the foundation to become more effective public security professionals and managers. Students who successfully complete the five-course specialization earn 20 credit hours and a Graduate Certificate in Public Management specializing in Public Security Studies. The 20-credit program focuses on content-based courses focusing on terrorism, political violence, and domestic intelligence, along with analytical courses.

University at Albany President Kermit L. Hall said, "It is our university's mission to address the times in which we live. Working with the Office of Homeland security on this important program enables us to give students valuable career experience in a practical setting, while conducting substantive research that will chart a new course in combating terrorism."

"Our nation has been engaged in a war against terrorism since 9/11 and we have been fortunate to have men and women who possess the necessary analytical skills required," said James W. McMahon, Director of the New York State Office of Homeland Security. "This graduate program which the University at Albany has initiated will help develop the next generation of analysts that will be so vital to helping protect the freedoms our citizens cherish."

The UAlbany program, developed in consultation with OHS, law enforcement, intelligence and public management experts, is completing its initial offering with four field or security professionals enrolled — three from law enforcement and one from the intelligence community. The success enjoyed by the initial offering encouraged UAlbany and the State Office of Homeland Security to expand the program.

"Through the Public Security Studies program, we've made a long-term commitment to making a difference in the fight against terrorism," said Victor Asal, director of the program and a UAlbany assistant professor of political science. "The next level of professionals should be able to evaluate, predict, and challenge terrorist activity before it causes harm, and we're gratified to partner with the Office of Homeland Security and law enforcement to bring them to that next level."

"I think the program does a great job of introducing students to the nature of terrorism, and how government agencies are responding to the issue. I recommend the program to anybody interested in working in the field, or just in learning about and discussing current issues," said Counter Terrorism Analyst Michael Beckman of the New York State Police, one of the students participating in the initial program offering.

Additionally, Director McMahon announced that the State Office of Homeland Security will continue to provide funding to provide scholarships to local law enforcement and State personnel.

Director McMahon said graduates of this program will be able to enter the workforce with the appropriate skills and competencies needed to make an immediate impact in enhancing the security of the state and nation against terrorism. "This program helps to train students to think of public security from an analytical perspective rather than a response mode," he said. "That function is so critical as we look to enhance our nation's security."

Director McMahon said that a shortage of highly skilled and trained analysts, managers, and support personnel with expertise in intelligence, terrorism, and homeland security can be mitigated by dedicated academic and research programs such as the one being offered at the University at Albany. To address the needs of this emerging field, the certificate program will merge an understanding of the fundamentals of terrorism with new tools and competencies for managing intelligence organizations and making decisions.

"Students serving as current counter-terrorism intelligence analysts and investigators employed by New York State will have their job experience and training enhanced by matriculating through an academic program that concentrates on the study and analysis of terrorism, including related threats, trends, and ideologies," said Terrie Schwartz, Director of Intelligence at the New York State Office of Homeland Security. "For students considering a career in homeland security and public safety, successful completion of the UAlbany certificate program will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to be highly qualified for analyst positions at the Office of Homeland Security, State Police and other government agencies engaged in homeland security, intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities."

For more information on what programs are offered and how students can enroll in the certificate program check these websites:
New York Office of Homeland Security >>
University at Albany Rockefeller College Certificate Program >>


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