The State of Emergency Management Higher Education is Good!
Faculty and Students attended the FEMA Higher Education Conference at the Federal Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland last week. Attendees had the chance to listen to leaders within Emergency Management Higher education discuss topics of great importance. The sessions offered ranged from topics such as Online Education to Responder Stress and Compassion Fatigue. When asked about the offerings, OCU Disaster Management student Jay Allen stated, "There was something offered for everyone, and I don't think anyone walked away from the week wishing they had heard something that was not addressed.
One session was particularity interesting, The State of Emergency Management Higher Education. Each year a survey is conducted by FEMA Higher Education. The survey is given to all programs within the United States offering an Emergency Management program. The end result is a thorough look at Emergency Management as an academic discipline.
There are currently just over 140 college and university programs in the United States offering Emergency Management. This might seem small but not if you learn that the field had only 4 programs in the entire United States in 1994. This massive amount of growth in the past 17 years has not slowed. According to B. Wayne Blanchard, Ph.D., CEM, of the Emergency Management Institute, there have been new Emergency Management programs beginning each year since 1994. This growth can be seen in Ohio Christian University's program. When OCU began its program in January 2010, there were 6 students in the program. The program currently sits at almost 40 students and the number should be closer to 50 by the fall semester. According to OCU's Disaster Management Director, Thad Hicks, "The growth in these programs was required to keep in line with the changes in the job market." Hicks added, "The field is now requiring a college education in addition to the traditional certifications and field experience."
Ohio Christian University is a relative newcomer to the field but is learning quickly what it takes to produce leaders in Emergency and Disaster Management. OCU's administration plans to remain at the front in the Emergency Management field. Numerous options are currently being considered to cater to the individual needs of specific areas in the field. In addition, the idea of offering OCU's distinctive courses online is being researched in order to make the program accessible to people all over the world.
FEMA Higher education might refer to the state of Emergency Management Higher Education as good." At Ohio Christian University, we say "The State of Emergency Management Higher Education is Great!"