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My New Year's Resolution: Education

You've said it how many times before? This is the year I'm going to...(fill in the blank) and make something happen. You've sat down, put pen to paper, and actually took time out of your hectic schedule to write out your new year's wish list. Stop smoking, lose weight, cut back on TV, work out more, finish the landscaping, find more time for the kids, read more, learn to relax, etc. But then the excitement of New Year starts to wear off, daily routine sets in, and old habits surface while New Year's wishes sink to the bottom of despair. I would say the two biggest resolutions (however, I'm sure this could be debated) include working out more and improving one's skills. Since I'm not in the business of blogging about exercising (even though that would be cool) I'm going to talk about the latter.

More to the point I'm going to try to fire you up so THIS REALLY BECOMES YOUR YEAR!! If you've been contemplating going back to school, improving your knowledge through continuing education or you just generally want to know more - then look no further. This is the place where you can browse around and request information on the many criminal justice degree programs and educational opportunities offered by leading on-line Colleges. And this is the blog that will spark the flames in getting you motivated to do something about it. Personally speaking I'm a huge fan of a new year. I mean it's a time to start fresh, reflect on past accomplishments, pursuits, and failures. It's a call to arms to say this is my time and this is the place to begin heading in the right direction. Or if you believe you're already heading in the right direction then it's a perfect time to figure out those next action steps to keep things really moving.

Either way the New Year is coming. It's almost 2007, can you believe it, and this is your time to shine. Give yourself the perfect gift - education. Expand your mind, explore new horizons, and give yourself a raise. You can do it and you're worth it!!

Happy New Year's Everyone and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Homeland Security is Big Business

Yes, the title says it all - homeland security is becoming a major industry and a big business. How big? About $45 billion large. States are vying for grant money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and taking steps to secure their share. New York, Illinois, Arizona, and Michigan are all trying to court the Government in siphoning funds into their pockets.

In Lansing, Michigan businesses and government leaders want to make Michigan as well-known for homeland security as it is for the auto industry have recently formed a consortium to tap into the fast-growing sector. "I'd say Michigan has an above-average chance to become a leader in homeland security," said Mark Mills, chairman of Washington-based ICx Technologies Inc., a government contractor focused on homeland security.

About 40 homeland security businesses, universities and economic development groups have formed the Michigan Homeland Security Consortium, The Detroit News reported Monday. The companies hope they can raise awareness of the industry, garner more contracts and help attract more jobs to the state, said Keith Brophy, chairman of the group and president of Troy-based NuSoft Solutions Inc. "We are just now putting our arms around this field and recognizing it as a vibrant and growing portion of (the) state's economy," he said.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. recognizes the field as one of the state's potential strengths. From businesses to academia - everyone is getting into this very lucrative market. In fact students now graduating with a Homeland Security Degree are finding the job market wide open as their prospects for employment continue to grow. Its 21st Century Jobs Fund delivered $12.35 million to homeland security projects this year alone.

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Law Enforcement Personality Quiz

Do firearms and handcuffs excite you? Do you have fantasies of speeding down the boulevard, sirens flashing, on a hot summer night tangled up in a high-speed chase? Have you been pondering lately on whether or not becoming a cop is for you? Well, you've come to the right place! We've recently added an on-line, dynamic, personality quiz to gauge whether or not you have the disposition to become a law enforcement officer. It was developed by PoliceOne columnist Dr. Dorothy McCoy and consists of 21 questions that ask you everything from 'which is more important to you? A substantial salary or Serving your community' to 'are you attracted to adventure?'

So, do you have the characteristics necessary to become a successful police officer? Take the Law Enforcement personality quiz and find out. I did and was surprised to see that becoming a cop is really not for me. In fact my results noted I shouldn't quit my day job. Guess I'll keep writing. How did you do?

Advanced Degrees in Homeland Security are on the Rise

Receiving a degree in homeland security is becoming increasingly popular among college bound students. More and more colleges and universities are offering degrees in homeland security as the threat of terrorism and natural disasters continue to plague our country. Furthermore, more universities are now offering advanced degrees in homeland security. San Diego State University, the universities of Colorado, Connecticut, and Southern California, and others have established or are developing master's programs.

You can now ad Texas A&M University to the list. The university is making plans for masters and doctoral programs in homeland security, with the hopes of taking a leading role nationally in the still emerging and potentially lucrative field. Campus leaders want the master's program in place as early as fall 2008. The doctoral program would come once the master's program matures, said David McIntyre, director of the Integrative Center for Homeland Security at A&M reported the Houston Chronicle. The Texas A&M University System's governing board endorsed the idea last week. The programs, which are in the early stages of planning, are still to go before the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for approval.

The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., which provides advanced degrees primarily for military and law enforcement officers, launched the first master's degree in homeland security nearly four years ago.

Terrorism Prevention and Homeland Security

Secretary Michael Chertoff recently called for more vertical sharing of information and the creation of intelligence fusion while speaking of the necessity for greater citizen participation. Securing our homeland is every American's responsibility and citizens are beginning to finally take notice.

Illegal immigration into this country has been problematic for years, however not until just recently has this hot-button topic become a mainstream concern. Perhaps 9/11 was the catalyst in waking people up to the fact that our borders are vulnerable to terrorists infiltrating our country and a gateway to many other unwanted criminals. Yet a full five years after September 11th and billions of dollars later, articulating a clear vision and strategy for terrorism prevention is still lacking.

I've read various solutions from creating a type of national awareness campaign to rallying citizen groups and other faith-based organizations in emergency exercises. However, at the forefront of terrorist prevention is education; education not only for citizens through awareness campaigns, but also creating and expanding collegiate education programs nationally. Homeland Security degree programs are springing up at more and more Universities and Colleges in both online and offline formats. These programs are teaching students how to deal with issues of security, intelligence operations, emergency services and crisis management. Students are learning how to observe, assess and respond to a number of emergencies including fire, natural disasters, terrorist strikes, and corporate crime.

By educating students with formal classes in homeland security areas of study we are striking a blow at terrorism and making positive steps toward its prevention.

Homeland Security Degree Programs on the Rise

Terrorism, major natural disasters, border security - these are the times, and these are the very real threats that we Americans must deal with in the early 21st century. To combat terror and protect us from disaster, more and more students are looking at college programs in homeland security. There is a growing number of homeland security degree majors available nationwide as schools try to meet a rising demand for workers trained in a variety of national defense areas.

So far, graduates are finding themselves attractive to government agencies, defense contractors, and private companies. Some programs focus on terrorism and man-made threats while other colleges train students to help with major disasters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's immense destruction of the Gulf Coast. More than 300 colleges have some type of instruction in homeland security, a trend that started soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks, according to the National Academic Consortium for Homeland Security, which started three years ago with just a handful of institutions.

The Department of Homeland Security has a division dedicated to university programs, and it is spending about $50 million this year on grants to colleges with research in national defense and on science and engineering scholarships. Large government contractors such as Lockheed Martin Corp. are beginning to look for qualified candidates with a homeland security degree, among other areas of expertise, when recruiting workers.

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