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Daytona Beach


Security Studies & International Affairs

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The field of homeland security is a nascent discipline, and as such does not have a national accreditation body to promulgate a standardized, outcomes-based curriculum for future homeland security professionals seeking university degrees. This qualitative study was designed to identify a set of program-level, learning-based outcomes for an undergraduate degree in homeland security. The research project used a case study methodology to examine and validate the results of earlier studies on homeland security (HS) curriculum development. A consensus-driven, iterative Delphi technique was used to survey a purposive, convenience sample of homeland security experts to ascertain their ideas on what elements (i.e., knowledge, skills, and abilities) should comprise an undergraduate degree in HS, and then compare and contrast the data to earlier research projects. In addition, a 5-point Likert scale survey was distributed to gather basic demographics on the panel and to gauge the respondents' thoughts regarding additional elements that should be included in an HS degree. The participants in the study identified a list of 15 core academic areas (CAAs) with a set of 50 associated program-specific objectives (PSOs), and a list of eight overarching program objectives (OPOs) that could comprise a standardized model homeland security curriculum. The proposed curriculum developed by this study enables an institution of higher learning to offer a unified, outcomes-based curriculum that would achieve a measurable level of knowledge, skills, and abilities a student must have to perform successfully as a homeland security professional in the 21st century. Additionally, adoption of such a model curriculum would be a precursor for an institution seeking program accreditation from a national accrediting body in the field of academic homeland security.