Curriculum-level goals in emergency-management education: Developing a common framework in an evolving field

Michael J. O’Connor Jr., EdD


Emergency management (EM) is a rapidly growing and evolving discipline. While only two degreelevel programs existed prior to 1995, they were joined by an additional 40 programs by 2005. These new programs contributed to a broad expansion of courses and instructional materials. However, none of this growth has been guided by a commonly agreed upon curricular framework. As a result, degree-level programs have varied widely in terms of what they consider an appropriate EM curriculum. The past several years have seen repeated efforts by a small group of academics and professionals to develop a standard curricular framework based on mutually agreed upon competencies, functions, and skills. This research project refines and builds upon these earlier efforts to create a unified list of broad curriculum-level goals. These goals were then qualitatively and quantitatively measured to identify specific themes that could be used to build an appropriate curriculum for EM bachelor’s and master’s degree-level programs.


emergency management, education, curriculum, professional standards

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