Moving from a Degree-Centric Postsecondary System to an Incremental Credentialing System: What Happens to Learners’ Financing Options?

Organization Case Study

CREDENTIAL AS YOU GO ORGANIZATION CASE STUDY

Homeland Security Studies Certificate

Colorado State University, Pueblo

CREDENTIAL TITLE

Homeland Secruity Studies Certificate

CREDENTIAL LEVEL

Undergraduate

ACADEMIC PROGRAM

Political Science

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT

in Development

CREDIT/NON-CREDIT # OF CREDITS (IF CREDIT BEARING)

9 credits

LENGTH OF CREDENTIAL

16-32 weeks

INCREMENTAL CREDENTIALING FRAMEWORK APPROACHES

  • Learn As You Go
  • Retro As You Go

TOP COMPETENCIES/LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Intelligence and counter-intelligence concepts; legal and constitutional principles pertaining to homeland and national security policy; strategic planning interfaces between national, state, and local governments; conceptual aspects of terrorism and counter-terrorism; and understand basic inter-agency communication needs, methods, and processes
  • Writing: students will be able to construct and present coherent, objective, and well-reasoned arguments or discussions pertaining to topics on homeland security
  • Communication: Students will be able to construct, compose, and deliver professional reports, research, and briefings
  • Critical Thinking: Students will be able to: recognize issues that are pertinent to homeland security; question issue validity; develop logically sounds arguments pertaining to said issues; and evaluate sources of evidence pertaining to the issues (including contrary and supporting evidence)

CREDENTIAL COMPONENTS

Why the Credential was Developed

  • The certificate in Homeland Security was designed by faculty to provide students with an opportunity for introductory level study of real world political and public policy issues involved in prevention and response to natural and man-made disasters and events
  • The program is directed at creation and enhancement of pre-professional knowledge and skills, which are immediately transferable to related career fields in government and industry
  • The certificate is also available for students who left the college with completed coursework but no degree

How the Credential was Developed

  • The Political Science faculty designed this credential to serve students and employees looking for knowledge and skills in homeland security, separate from a full degree
  • Available to all our majors and the community, it provides this training for learners in a wide variety of disciplines and occupations
  • The approval process involved faulty design, administration and faculty governance approvals, plus CSU System Board of Governors and Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) approval
  • The credential is recorded on a student’s transcript when conferred
  • A certificate document is also provided to the student

The Targeted Learners

  • Full time students seeking a professional credential and federal emergency response certifications
  • Currently employed professionals seeking career relevant training and advancement
  • Previous students with some completed courses in Political Science or related fields, but not a completed degree

Lessons Learned

  • The need for collaborative effort and lift from many different areas on campus: administration, faculty, advising, registrar, admissions, to make this as seamless an option for students to opt-in

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes