TSA to honor graduates of Palm Beach State’s Homeland Security program

Fifteen employees of the Transportation Security Administration based at Palm Beach International Airport will be honored on June 12 for completing a college credit certificate program in Homeland Security offered by Palm Beach State College. The Achievement Ceremony will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the West Palm Beach Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd.

The Homeland Security Specialist college credit certificate was offered at no cost to the TSA employees by the TSA Office of Training and Workforce Engagement. The initiative, called the TSA Associates Program, provides training to TSA employees nationwide through partnerships with colleges and universities. Classes were held at the airport over a three-semester timeframe for the students’ convenience.

TSA employees from various levels at PBIA earned the Palm Beach State certificate, ranging from frontline officers to managers and from those with no college training to some with bachelor’s degrees, including a few who had not attended college in 20-plus years. The certificate gave students an opportunity to increase their knowledge of homeland security studies and share that knowledge with others to benefit the agency. The majority of the students have been with TSA from its inception.

Photos courtesy of TSA
Photos courtesy of TSA

Karen Hanlon, TSA federal security director for PBIA, said that the associates program brings higher education directly to TSA employees. “If officers and others are more educated in areas related to their jobs, they’ll do better jobs, they’ll feel better,” said Hanlon, noting the morale boosting effect of completing the program. “Their dedication to the program was inspiring,” she continued. “Several students have families, some with three or more children to take care of, and they stuck with the program while working full time and juggling shift changes, which often meant attending class on their day off or extending their workday.”

Palm Beach State College developed the new nine-credit certificate as part of its Associate in Science degree program in Emergency Management. Classes were taught in person by experienced PBSC faculty members: C. Everette Vaughan, Jr., EMS programs director and former EM operations manager for Palm Beach County; Dr. Paul L. Friedman, Criminal Justice department chair and former detective and crime scene investigator for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; and Col. James E. Stormes, adjunct instructor and a current PBSO Law Enforcement Operations officer. The coursework examined a range of substantive issues concerning emergency management, intelligence analysis and the security management of terrorist attacks, man-made disasters and natural disasters, and transportation and border security.

“We are honored to be chosen to provide the homeland security training to TSA employees working at Palm Beach International Airport,” says Dr. Jacqueline Rogers, dean of health sciences and public safety, who will speak at the ceremony. According to Rogers, “our curriculum reflects current homeland security practices and our faculty are content experts.”

The Homeland Security Specialist college credit certificate program will continue to be offered by Palm Beach State and is now accepting students for classes starting in August on the Lake Worth campus.

News Release, Press Release

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