Graduate Programs

Public Safety Administration Courses (PSA)      

PSA 500. Communication Leadership Skills and Managing Crisis Decisions
3 hours
Examines the theories and practices of strategic and operational planning for crisis and emergency management. Operationalizes the principles associated with evaluation of risk and the formulation of prevention programs, including: organizing the response; managing the response organization; managing in a turbulent, high stress environment; and utilizing crisis decision-making and crisis communication. Identifies the issues and policy responses necessary to achieve coordination of agencies and collaboration with private resources. Group leadership skills will be learned and performed, including task leadership in both the designated leader and emergent leader perspectives. Process skills performed by crisis managers, such as practicing standard operating procedures, exercising intuition and practicing mental stimulations will be learned and exhibited in group presentations. Cases and group scenarios will be examined to apply these concepts in practice.

PSA 510. Diversity and Social Justice in Public Enforcement Administration
3 hours
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop an understanding of four critical components of implementing a commitment to social justice as a public safety administrator: 1) the challenge to respond effectively to multi-cultural communities; 2) insight into the relationship between social justice and criminal justice; 3) criminology research in light of the threat of terrorism and its implications upon society; 4) understanding and discerning the larger implications of terrorism and public safety.

PSA 520. Research Methods/Data Analysis for Public Safety Administrators
4 hours
This course introduces the student to research design as applied to the field of public safety. Students will master the following research methodologies: participant observation, interviewing, constructing and implementing surveys, content analysis, coding and analysis of qualitative data, coordinating qualitative and quantitative methods. The student will develop mastery of simple and multiple regression, chi-square analysis, interpretation of crime trends and correlation, the analysis of "hot spot" crime and selected additional analytical techniques. Students will also become familiar with basic ethical principles that guide research (Taken concurrently with PSA 521).

PSA 521. Research Lab
2 hours
This course support PSA 520. Students will have an opportunity to focus on specific issues in data analysis in an applied technology setting.

PSA 525. Terrorism: Ideologies, Tactics and Counter-Measures
3 hours
The central concern of this course is the systematic study of political, religious and ideological violence in its different forms. This course is the study of terrorism; using a criminological or criminal justice framework, focusing on terrorist origins, goals, tactics, ideologies, media implications, counterterrorism methods, and the ramifications on public safety. The course also examines the full continuum of terrorist violence, ranging from small scale violence to mass violence assassinations, terrorism by sub-national and transnational organizations, state terror and international implications.

PSA 534. Risk Management and Public Safety
3 hours
This course deals in risk management theory and practice relative to strategic and operational planning in both the private and public sectors. The risk management process is developed in great detail throughout this course by generating an on-site risk assessment evaluation, utilizing the implementation of safety-orientated programs and countermeasures designed to assist in the reduction of risk levels. Students will examine the management of risk associated with a range of conditions and events, which include, but not limited to fire and fire safety, crime and terrorism, public safety deficiencies, hazardous and toxic materials, and natural disasters. Site assessment case studies are intended to familiarize and better prepare students for the Public Safety Administration capstone project by developing a greater sense of the practical application of these concepts.

PSA 537. Public Safety Laws and Operational Implications
3 hours
This course examines important legal and operational considerations for public safety professionals. Students will understand how tort, contract, criminal, constitutional, and discrimination laws affect the liability and operations of public safety entities, from both a private security and public policing perspective. In addition, students study security methods, policing models and relevant legislative initiatives in light of the threat of terrorism. Underlying this understanding is the ethical, financial, legal and public policy issues which affect liability exposure and operational implications. Cases and scenarios are examined to apply these concepts in practice.

PSA 540. Ethical and Political Issues in Public Safety
3 hours
This course examines crime as a political concern and delves into the conflicting political philosophies and ethical issues that guide our judgments relative to criminal justice issues and policy.

PSA 547. Information Security and Technology
3 hours
This course focuses on the personnel, legal, regulatory , and privacy issues that constitute many of the basic management areas that must be considered in developing and implementing an effective information security program. The course examines the legal basis for privacy and security of information and related technologies. Students study the USA PATRIOT ACT, GASSP, security best practices and appropriate organizational responses to risk associated with the integrity of information. It presents methods and procedures for the assessment of risk, and examines strategies for mitigation of risk involving operational procedures, political issues in the organization and the implementation of an enterprise wide security strategy.

PSA 550. Public Safety Personnel Administration
3 hours
The course is designed to assist public safety administrators in personnel administration. The course will focus on employee recruitment, hiring, retention, discipline, development and assessment of public safety employees. The rights of the employees and obligations imposed upon administrators by applicable federal and state statutes, and/or local ordinances and collective bargaining agreements will be discussed. Students will be required to complete assignments applying the principles learned in class to make recommendations for improving the personnel administration for their agency.

PSA 560. Fiscal Planning and Management
3 hours
This course will teach students how to conduct fiscal planning that accurately reflects policies and priorities, create capital budgets to provide necessary organizational infrastructures, design expense budgets to support ongoing daily operations and manage overall departmental expenses by conducting fiscal analyses of proposed programs and personnel needs.

PSA 580. Capstone Course
3 hours
This course functions as a cumulative assessment process as students complete the requirements for the degree. In this course students will demonstrate the ability to integrate the theory and skills developed in the graduate program through a security audit, which will then be presented and evaluated by a panel of Public Safety Administrators.

PSA 598. Topics in Public Safety Administration
3 hours
This course covers specific topics and/or issues related to a variety of public safety concerns. It provides an in-depth study of a specific topic.

PSA 599. Master's Thesis Research
3 hours
Under the direction of a thesis committee, the student will plan, research and write the Master's thesis. The thesis option is designed to meet the needs of students who plan to complete doctoral study.

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Contact InformationProgram Director: David J. Plebanski

Room: 100A
Telephone: (219) 473-4274
FAX: (219) 473-4610