Students disaster-ready with new emergency management degree

From hurricanes to homeland security threats, oil spills to outbreaks, the Texas Gulf Coast experiences a variety of incidents, disasters and hazards. College of the Mainland is launching a new program to train emergency management professionals to prepare for and respond to emergencies.

The COM Emergency Management Program will allow students to gain experience and earn certificates leading to a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree.

“This program is ideal for people who are interested in getting in the field or those already in emergency management who need credentials to move forward,” said Trish McIntosh, program coordinator and COM emergency management coordinator.

The Texas Workforce Commission projects nearly 20 percent growth in emergency management careers between 2012-2022.  Emergency management professionals are in demand in city, state and federal government and nonprofit organizations to mitigate potential effects of disaster and to help coordinate recovery efforts. Individuals may find careers with the U.S. Coast Guard, schools, hospitals, petrochemical plants, ports, railroads and airlines.

“I think it’s a great time to be [in the field]. People are realizing what emergency management is and recognizing it as a career, and more agencies are adding emergency managers,” said COM Emergency Management Program advisory panel co-chair Trameka Jewett, who is Regional Training and Exercise Coordinator for SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council. 

A panel of professionals representing emergency management in the public, private and nonprofit sectors advises the program on curriculum content. Students will learn about effective communication, leadership, contingency planning, coordinating volunteers and working with multiple agencies.  Throughout the program students will complete the Federal Emergency Management Agency Professional Development Series and Advanced Professional Development Series.

“Besides our curriculum in academic courses like English and math, the remainder of the curriculum will focus on emergency management, hazard mitigation, disaster recovery and legal aspects,” said advisory panel co-chair Dan Buchanan, a retired Marathon safety professional now with TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute.

This combination of education, training, and hands-on learning opportunities positions graduates to be competitive for a variety of entry-level positions in emergency management. Courses begin August 2016.  Registration begins June 14. The program has been approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 

For more information call 409-933-8267 or visit www.com.edu/academics/areas-of-study/emergency-management.

Stay Connected with COM: