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Nova Southeastern University
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Medical School Establishes Master’s Degree Program in Disaster and Emergency Preparedness

On August 2, Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-COM) received university approval to establish its Master of Science in Disaster and Emergency Preparedness 36 credit-hour degree program, which is anticipated to commence in January 2012.

The program content, which will be offered in an all-online format, will incorporate interactive video and include an onsite meeting at the beginning of the students’ enrollment. An additional onsite meeting will be coordinated near the program’s conclusion to allow students to present their selected track practicum project and have it evaluated.

“The new M.S. in Disaster and Emergency Preparedness degree is the only such interdisciplinary graduate-level program of its kind in Florida,” said Cecilia Rokusek, Ed.D. R.D., professor of family medicine/public health and executive director of education, planning, and research. “This new degree will help to prepare future leaders in one of the world’s fastest-growing job fields. It is expected that the need for emergency preparedness leaders at the local, state, national, and international levels will continue to grow through 2030.

“This new and emerging academic discipline is will suited for NSU given the leadership role in curriculum development that the Institute for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness within the College of Osteopathic Medicine has demonstrated over the past 10 years,” she added. “The program has outstanding faculty members from the college, the university at large, and across the United States. This innovative hybrid online degree requires that students also integrate a required on-campus learning component to bring them together and to also better connect them to the university and community.”

The new degree program, which is interdisciplinary in nature, is designed to provide students with the requisite theoretical knowledge and applied skills needed to work in the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field of emergency and disaster preparedness. The degree will allow students from a variety of disciplines to specialize in one of several tracks, which is why a community research practicum at the local, state, federal, or international level will be a key component of the program. Four degree tracks are offered: maritime safety and security, cyber security, law enforcement/criminal justice, and public health. In addition to the required biostatistics course and selected track practicum, students can chose from an extensive mix of core and elective courses that includes:

•    21st Century Management
•    Executive Leadership and Administration
•    Security Management in a Global Society
•    Bioterrorism and All-Hazards Preparedness
•    Agro-Terrorism and Food System Disasters
•    Risk Assessment and Mitigation
•    Weapons of Mass Threat and Communicable Diseases
•    Psychosocial Dimensions of Disaster
•    Risk and Crisis Communications
•    Emergency Preparedness for Special Needs Populations
•    Maritime Safety and Security Leadership
•    Maritime Environmental Responsibilities
•    Telecommunications and Computer Networking
•    Information Security Management
•    Interagency Disaster Communication
•    Community Disaster Preparedness
•    Environmental and Occupational Health
•    Epidemiological and Occupational Health
•    Veterinary Challenges in Disasters

Graduates will develop skills in leadership as well as disaster and emergency management and will be prepared to become leaders in the field of disaster and emergency preparedness in both the government and private sectors.

For additional information, please contact Kelley Davis, Ph.D., academic program director, at (954) 262-1663 or Maria Alonso, program administrator for the Institute for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness, at (954) 262-1850.