Penn State’s School of Public Affairs Security-Related Academic Programs Amid the Novel Coronavirus Catastrophe

Alexander Siedschlag, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


The School of Public Affairs is located at Penn State Harrisburg, the Capital College of the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). Penn State is a public land-grant institution of higher education whose mission is to serve the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a global community. The School of Public Affairs, among other things, is the academic home of the Intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security Program that collaborates with eight Penn State colleges. The school houses online (OL) and residential face-to-face (F2F) undergraduate and graduate programs in criminal justice, health policy and administration, political science, public administration, and public policy. The programs include emergency management, civil security, and public safety concentrations. The Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security Program is delivered entirely OL asynchronously via the university’s World Campus and currently serves approximately 700 students. Besides that, well over 1,000 of the school’s total student population of approximately 1,500 students are in OL programs. This provided the School of Public Affairs with a great deal of OL teaching experience that prepared us for teaching during the COVID-19 crisis (Penn State, 2020b).