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by Jessica McDunn, University Relations


Worldwide attention on recent natural disasters underscores the need for greater expertise in managing complex emergencies, whether natural or man-made. The field of emergency management is growing rapidly as more and larger disasters are occurring throughout the world.

HPU has responded by developing a graduate certificate program that debuted in fall 2007, providing emergency responders and public health personnel a context for how their professions fit into emergency management systems from a domestic and international perspective.

“ Dramatic changes to the post-9/11 world pose serious challenges to local, state, and national governments,” said Dr. Carlos Juárez, dean of the College of International Studies.

“ Public and private agencies need well-conceived disaster plans with integrated response management and an ‘All Hazards’ approach. HPU’s certificate program covers all the key content areas for professionals interested in the tools to manage disasters and develop important policy,” Juarez added.

The Graduate Certificate Program in International Disaster and Emergency Management offers professional education for graduate students planning careers in government or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and for practitioners in the field seeking to broaden their knowledge and skills, Juarez explained.

It provides the tools to manage disasters and address difficult public policy issues facing public and private sector officials, with a regional focus on Asia and the Pacific region.

Organizations have the opportunity to sponsor advanced employee education, making it possible for businesses to employ their own on-site disaster experts.

According to Juarez, HPU is well positioned to deliver a graduate certificate in the area of disaster and emergency management with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. The island of O‘ahu has a large military establishment that oversees disaster relief in the region, as well as many NGOs involved in medical relief, disaster relief, and humanitarian assistance. O‘ahu also offers many specialized agencies that are valuable assets for professional training and development.

The certificate program, consisting of 15 credit hours, can be completed within one year, with some elective courses available online and others in a classroom format. The four core courses serve as building blocks toward a balanced understanding of the body of knowledge already developed in the field. The electives courses allow students to specialize in a particular area of interest.

Employing the “All Hazards” approach to planning, the program addresses natural disasters, technological or accidental disasters, and man-made disasters such as conflict, war, and terrorism. The program also includes site visits to area organizations and guest lectures from specialists and government officials in the field.

The program provides a professional credential for disaster and emergency managers preparing to apply for the Certified Emergency Manager program and the American College of Contingency Planners fellowship certification.

The certificate program is an ideal choice for military officers and Department of Defense civilian employees, state and local government officials, NGO leaders involved in disaster relief, employees of firms interested in developing business continuity plans, and graduate students who want to enhance their specializations.

For more information visit www.hpu.edu/grad or call 543-8034.



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