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Over 350 academic programs in the United States currently offer instruction in the field of homeland defense and security. In spite of this growth at the program level over the past ten years, there still exists a shortage of instructors and coursework in critical infrastructure protection (CIP). Traditional instructor preparation (which is accomplished through the attainment of an advanced degree coupled with research and professional experience) does not currently produce enough instructors qualified in CIP because of the extremely limited number of CIP-related educational opportunities. Therefore, an alternate venue for instructor preparation must be provided. This article addresses that need by providing a guide for educators who desire to engage in a deliberate self-study program to develop sufficient expertise to teach a first course in physical CIP at the undergraduate or master’s degree level. This information is also useful for professionals who have had to assume CIP-related duties and functions without the benefit of supporting coursework. This article introduces a five-part framework for understanding CIP — policy, networks, level of hazard, level of protection, and system design — and provides resources for understanding each part of the framework. Each element of the framework is introduced and briefly explained and then resources are presented which will allow the reader to explore this particular topic in detail. Where possible, resources are presented as Web links to allow the reader to directly access the learning resource, free of charge. The article concludes with guidance for adapting the five-part framework and the materials presented in designing a CIP course tailored to the needs of a specific instructor and institution.

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Homeland Security Affairs