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Campbell University first in state to offer homeland security bachelor's degree

Posted May 6, 2013

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— Campbell University will become the first college campus in North Carolina to offer a bachelor’s degree in homeland security, beginning this fall.

Administrators said the new degree offering is the result of rising interest in the field since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“What’s interesting about that is what you see is that the discipline itself is maturing,” said David Gray, a criminal justice professor at Campbell. “It’s only been really a discipline for 12 years, since 9/11, but it’s starting to get more mature and more robust and more definition as far as what the topics are.”

About 50 students have already declared the major at Campbell, a private institution in Buies Creek. The degree is an expansion of coursework already offered in criminal justice and other areas.

“It seems like a logical thing to do to help educate men and women to help with the global war on terrorism,” said Mark Hammond, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “For us, the idea of expanding a very popular concentration in criminal justice and changing that into a full-blown homeland security (degree) became a no-brainer when we realized that very few institutions across the nation offer such academic programs.”

Indeed, a search of the national Center for Homeland Defense and Security website shows 380 security-related academic programs in the country, and many of those are two-year degrees.

Dr. David Gray Campbell adds homeland security to degree programs

The major is a big draw for students Joshua Kinney and Blaine Rhyne, who both want to pursue careers in the field.

“Every day has got to be different for me,” Kinney said. “(I want) to work my way up to a federal agency level.”

Added Rhyne: “When I saw that Campbell had a homeland security (degree) starting, it really was a no-brainer.”

Gray said recent events, including the Boston Marathon bombings, heighten the public’s perception of what homeland security is. And he strives to put such events into context for his students.

“There’s a number of lessons that we learn from the Boston Marathon attack,” he said to students during a recent class. “You have to understand the importance of some of the international dynamics of what’s going on in Chechnya, because it comes home to good ol’ US of A.”

Gray and Hammond said they have no doubt the degree will be a popular one for years to come.

“There is interest. It will continue,” Gray said. “I’ll bet a large chocolate milkshake on that.”

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  • brentf777 May 8, 3:30 p.m.

    Superman, that's what the government wants you to believe. You are more likely to be struck by lightening than be a victim of a terror attack. The whole "War on Terror" is a sham to increase executive power and strip us of our Natural Rights. The last thing we need is a "Homeland Security" major to train more gestapo agents for our tyrannous Federal government. Turning America into a police state (which it pretty much is already) will not do anything to make you safer. The only way to reduce the threat of Islamic terrorism is to stop bombing them, stop financially supporting their enemies (end all foreign monetary and millitary aid entirely for that matter), end all embargoes, and get out of their countries.

  • WASP May 7, 9:31 a.m.

    RustyDawg: Sure they will. I remember training Iraqi and Iranian fighter pilots. See what happened there?

  • RustyDawg May 7, 9:01 a.m.

    Will these courses be open to students here on foreign visas? Nothing like learning about the enemy's plans first hand. Just saying.

  • WageSlave May 7, 8:49 a.m.

    DHS, some more of that small limited government from GW.

    Sigh.

  • superman May 6, 7:45 p.m.

    One thing that we need to learn and to remember-- we are not safe anywhere at anytime. If you think or belive otherwise you are only fooling yourself. They knew the planes were headed toward the buildings in NYC and did nothing. They didnt want to believe that the planes were on a mission of destruction. As long as there are crazy people in this world--you just aint safe. Maybe you might get lucky and prevent some but there will always be some that are successful in their mission of evil.