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The Eastern Kentucky University Homeland Security Program is featured in the second edition of “Threats to Homeland Security: Reassessing the All Hazards Perspective,” edited by Richard J. Kilroy, Jr.

EKU’s bachelor’s degree program is referenced because its core curriculum covers key topics in the field and prepares students for varied careers. In addition, Assistant Professor Dr. Chad Foster contributed a chapter about the history of the profession and the many partners that make up the homeland security field today.

In a chapter titled “Homeland Security Planning and Resources,” author Dr. Stephan Reissman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) examines the EKU degree, as well as a master’s degree in homeland security from Pennsylvania State University.

“We are pleased to see EKU included in this publication,” said Program Coordinator Dr. Ryan Baggett. “Being recognized by our peers in the profession is a true indicator of quality.”

He added that the previous edition of the book was one of the first definitive texts on homeland security.

Reissman explained that the EKU program is designed around three pillars of the homeland security field: disaster management, intelligence studies and security operations/management. Core courses represent a range of topics, including: disaster preparedness and response, cyber security, weapons of mass destruction/hazardous materials, infrastructure protection and risk analysis. Students are encouraged to earn a minor or certificate in one of the three concentration areas as part of their bachelor’s degree program.

The author writes that the EKU program “emphasizes professional skill development in critical and creative thinking; information literacy; oral and written communication; interpersonal relations; teamwork; and leadership.”

EKU faculty follow a rigorous strategic planning process each year aimed at improving the program, evaluating a variety of measures such as professional standards, course evaluation data, student success indicators, feedback from graduates and career paths of graduates.

“We take a lot of pride in our process, and believe students are the ones who ultimately benefit,” said Foster. In fact, he and Baggett presented their curriculum design approach at the 10th Anniversary Homeland Defense and Security Education Summit last year.

Foster’s chapter in the book focuses on the definition of homeland security, as well as its historical and social context. He drew inspiration from several EKU courses. One major point is that homeland security is much more than the responsibilities associated with the federal government or, more specifically, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

“The homeland security enterprise is vast,” said Foster. “It extends to the local level and private sector, and may be characterized as a complex ‘division of labor’ among many organizations each with their own major role to play.”

EKU’s Homeland Security Program was established in 2007. The EKU Online program, which launched in 2011, has awarded more than 80 degrees and certificates. To learn more, visit

Consistently recognized as having some of the nation’s best online degree programs, EKU strives to make quality education accessible to everyone. Eastern is an accredited, brick-and-mortar institution that has offered online degree programs since 2006. Today, more than 40 online options are available in a variety of fields.