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The development of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Degree program at historically black colleges and universities: The case of Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas

Oluponmile O. Olonilua, PhD


This article shares the experience of establishing the Emergency Management and Homeland Security degree program at Texas Southern University (TSU), Houston, Texas. Emergency management programs are evolving and keep increasing and the nature of jobs of emergency managers are becoming more complex. Consequently, there is increasing need to have minority emergency managers who would be able to relate directly with other minorities impacted by disasters. This study uses the case of TSU to discuss the challenges and successes of developing a fairly unknown program at a historically black college and university and how the obstacles were overcome. It further discusses the process of the degree program development, the curriculum, and the present state of the program. This article concludes there are many advantages in training emergency managers of color in the field. These would be professionals in the field with the added advantage of being people of color. They would understand planning for and responding to those affected because they most likely have the same background and similar experience. Additionally, the developer of any new program should expect some form of opposition from faculty, staff, and administration but once central administration buys in, the program is worth the while.


emergency management higher education, FEMA, minorities in emergency management

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