New Emergency Prep Curriculum
Date: April 25, 2007
Andrews University announces a new curriculum in Emergency Preparedness. Within the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and the Master of Science in Administration (MSA) in Community Development, special tracks in Emergency Preparedness are now available.
On April 10, the university hosted a major Pandemic Point of Distribution exercise for the Berrien County Health Department, from 1-4 p.m. in Johnson Gym. Student volunteers from nursing, social work and the MSA program assisted health professional staff in this drill. The exercise was an important part of the new emergency preparedness curriculum.
The new tracks include such courses as Introduction to Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Planning, Emergency Management, Disaster Response & Emergency Operations and others. Individuals who complete 18-19 semester credits in this field are eligible for a Certificate in Emergency Preparedness from Andrews University. The first course in the tracks, Introduction to Emergency Preparedness, will be offered in May, 2007 as part of the new May Express program, which includes a significant tuition discount. Satisfactory completion of this course will be recognized by a FEMA Professional Development Series Certificate of Completion.
"This emphasis in Emergency Preparedness links closely with the mission of Andrews University--to educate students for generous service to society," said Patricia Mutch, curriculum coordinator for the program. Mutch pointed to recent disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, tsunamis, tornados, and other crises as impetus for a flurry of training opportunities now being offered.
Andrews University sponsored many volunteers to assist in both the World Trade Center disaster in 2001 and responded to Hurricane Katrina's devastation within three days in 2005. The Center for Youth Evangelism, housed on the Andrews campus, has sponsored the "We Care" project in Mississippi since 2005, which has provided coordination and supervision services to thousands of student volunteers from Seventh-day Adventist high schools and colleges across the country.
"Students who have been involved in these service projects have been urging that Andrews provide more academic preparation for them to be active in disaster response, so we began investigating curriculum options last fall," Mutch continued. "FEMA has a Higher Education Initiative, which is actively seeking institutions now training in the helping professions, business, and public policy, who are willing to offer programs in Emergency Management or Homeland Security. Andrews seemed well-positioned to undertake this challenge."
The Departments of Behavioral Sciences, Social Work, Communication, Management & Marketing, and the interschool MSA program are collaborating to sponsor this curriculum, which has been benchmarked with programs elsewhere and aligns with FEMA's recommendations.
The curriculum will include numerous online modules created by FEMA for higher education as well as various opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in practical ways.
"As we have made contact with professionals in the local community who are involved in emergency planning and response, their enthusiasm for Andrews getting involved academically in this field has been exciting," Mutch noted.
Andrews has experience in cooperating with the Berrien County Emergency Management office and is working closely on emergency plans.
Further information on the Emergency Preparedness curriculum is available from Patricia Mutch, curriculum coordinator, at 269-471-3543 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.