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Laredo College to offer Homeland Security Studies Program

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Beginning during the spring semester of 2021, Laredo College (LC) will offer a Homeland Security Studies Program (HSSP) consisting of a one-semester certification, a two-semester certification, and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Homeland Security Studies. 

On Aug. 26, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granted accreditation for our institution to offer this program. The college is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and an associate’s degree in this field.

LC Dean of Workforce Education Heriberto Hernandez said, “In keeping with our college’s mission of transforming lives, we are proud to announce the start of Laredo College’s Homeland Security Studies Program. This program will be of great benefit for those wanting to pursue a career in homeland security or those who want to advance their career.”

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Prospective students that desire to gain new skills or professionals who wish to specialize in this field, may obtain the HSSP certifications or associate’s degree. This program creates an environment where academic study and practical scenarios can help students initially prepare or advance in their field. Those enrolled in the HSSP will have the opportunity to develop self-confidence and self-discipline while establishing and achieving both educational and self-improvement goals. 

Registered students will obtain essential knowledge on requirements for success in the field as well as the attributes necessary to increase employment opportunities. This program will provide both practical training and hands-on experience that will expose students to federal law enforcement careers and professionals. 

LC President Ricardo J. Solis said, “Once again, we are making history. Through our innovative Homeland Security Studies Program, we continue to demonstrate how Laredo College develops high-demand degrees that will prepare Laredoans for a promising future as they serve our community.”

Individuals interested in a career in Homeland Security both in the area of frontline law enforcement such as Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or mission support roles will benefit greatly from the topics covered in this new program.

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“This program takes a holistic approach to homeland security, covering not only law enforcement topics but also emergency response, critical infrastructure protection as well as other specialized topics within Homeland Security,” Hernandez said. 

The Homeland Security Studies one-semester certification is intended to prepare students in the areas of Border Protection and Transportation Security, Interviewing and Report Writing for Criminal Justice, Workforce Development, and Homeland Security. 

In the two-semester certification, students will be prepared in the areas of Intelligence Operations, Organized Crimes and Terrorism, Fundamentals of Information Security, and Criminal Investigation, in addition to those areas covered during the one-semester program.

Those completing the AAS degree will gain the two-semester certification and be introduced to Principles of Basic Emergency Management, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Managing Mass Casualty and Fatality Incidents, Managing Incident Command, and other general education courses. 

As we inaugurate our newest program, we are also proud to welcome our newest faculty member at LC, Dr. Michael M. Bailey. He will be leading students as the Homeland Security Studies Instructor at our Ft. McIntosh Campus. 

Dr. Bailey is a veteran of the United States Army (1985-1991), a U.S. Border Patrol Watch Commander retiree (2019), has over 22 years of experience in federal law enforcement, and is a professional in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. 

Dr. Bailey is a subject matter expert in Homeland, Border, and Transportation Security.  He is a dedicated practitioner with a solid background in emergency and strategic management as well as a skilled instructor in ethics and general leadership matters.  

“I am truly honored to be a part of the team here at Laredo College. [The institution] has worked [tirelessly] to create the college’s first-ever Homeland Security Studies Program.  With an ever-increasing need to protect our nation, it is rewarding to have a program that can help prepare or advance the next generation of public servants, while allowing students to pursue their academic goals at the same time.  This is a great program, at a great school, in a great community,” Bailey said.

Due to the broad experience, preparation, and curriculum our instructor has, we greatly encourage professionals and Laredoans interested in the field to enroll in this one-of-a-kind opportunity. “Our institution has been working closely with homeland security law enforcement agencies over the past year to develop a complete, high-quality program that will develop current professionals and future experts in the field,” President Solis said. 

In order to qualify for the program, prospective students must attend an information session, enroll at Laredo College, apply for financial assistance, apply for the program, submit the required documentation and undergo an interview process. 

The Homeland Security Studies Program will be taught in a hybrid format which consists of online and face to face instruction. All instruction by Dr. Michael M. Bailey will be held virtually, while labs will be held on campus while adhering to all state, federal and local health and safety protocols. 

For more information about the Homeland Security Studies Program, prospective students may email michael.bailey@laredo.eduheriberto.hernandez@laredo.edu, or call 956-721-5802.

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