Several weeks ago, a deadly wave of terrorist attacks hit Paris, France, killing 130 and injuring hundreds more. And just days ago, 14 were killed and many others injured in a mass shooting in San Bernadino, California. As threats from terrorists and criminals continue to evolve, there is a dire need for experts who can anticipate, identify and proactively prevent threats to the nation’s security.
To meet this need, the University of Phoenix College of Security and Criminal Justice recently announced it has launching a Center of Research Excellence (CORE) based in Washington, DC to meet domestic security needs. CORE will focus on the security, criminal justice and technology fields, producing scholarly materials, conducting research on current trends, and working in partnership with industry associations to identify solutions that can stay head of criminals throughout the world.
Mark Logan, a Department of Justice veteran with nearly four decades of security and criminal justice expertise, will serve as assistant dean and will lead CORE’s initiatives. Logan’s focus will be on building partnerships with other institutions, industry and the community to collaborate in providing solutions to problems the nation faces.
“Collaboration and sharing is the key,” Logan told Homeland Security Today. “Everyone is a stakeholder in what we do, and in enjoying our freedoms and being able to cooperatively live together in our nation.”
The center will help ensure that University of Phoenix students receive career-relevant education to keep pace with the dynamic array of threats facing the United States. CORE aims to arm the next generation of security professionals with the skills necessary to understand threats and how to prevent them.
Logan said the University focuses not only on teaching students, but also on enhancing faculty proficiency so they can talk about the real world application of the curriculum. The goal is for students to be able to leave the classroom and apply what they learn right away.
The University recently partnered with ASIS International, a professional organization for security professionals, to develop the Enterprise Security Competency Model. The model, which has been endorsed by the US Department of Labor, is designed as a resource supporting workforce development efforts to prepare the workers that fulfill critical roles in today’s security industry.
Logan said the model enables organizations of all sizes to accurately define core skills and competencies required for security positions. He added, “The model serves as a guideline in bringing consistency to how we develop our professionals to address security challenges.”
In the current threat environment, Logan emphasized the point that no one entity can face today’s threats alone. It is essential that everyone—industry, students and faculty, and the community—partner together to find ways to address threats, and to always be prepared for the “what if.”
“We are always looking to address ‘what if’,” Logan stated. “That’s what we are all about. We need to be able to promote solid leadership across the board to address ‘what if.’ The key here is to collaborate together to share lessons learned and apply those lessons to a particular situation.”
Logan added, “We can’t do it alone. We need to collaborate so we are on same page to address the issues that face us.”