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Homeland Security at UCM Receives Three More No. 1 Rankings from College Factual

By Alex Gamblin, April 3, 2023


WARRENSBURG, MO – As careers in homeland security flourish, the University of Central Missouri’s success in preparing graduates for the competitive field continues to grow with it. College Factual has ranked UCM No. 1 in Missouri for homeland security in three recent lists; Top Missouri Schools for Homeland Security, 2023 Most Popular Colleges for Homeland Security in Missouri and Best Value Colleges for Homeland Security in Missouri (with Aid). 

College Factual is a website that provides data-driven insights and rankings for colleges and universities in the United States. The website uses a methodology that takes into account factors such as graduation rates, loan default rates and post-graduation earnings to determine a college's overall quality. According to the site, UCM graduates with degrees related to Homeland Security experience approximately a $3,754 salary increase compared to the average earnings of those who obtain a degree in Homeland Security at other universities.

Lynn Urban, Ph.D., professor and chair of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the university, said, “UCM offers several pathways to a career in homeland security, with its Terrorism and Homeland Security Certificate, a major or minor in Criminal Justice and Criminology as well as a Crisis and Disaster Management major.” In addition to offering various programs for students interested in the field, UCM prioritizes excellence in each. “All of our programs include the most recent information on the topic with highly qualified faculty who research and serve in this area,” Urban added. With quantity and quality combined, the university has become a leader in homeland security education and preparation.

According to Lightcast, which provides labor market analytics, the number of terrorism and homeland security jobs in Missouri is expected to grow 9.3% between 2023 and 2030 placing annual state employment for careers in the field above 59,000 in less than seven years. Homeland security as a field involves the study and practice of protecting the United States from both domestic and international threats.

UCM’s Crisis and Disaster Management bachelor’s degree, the first of its kind in Missouri and the oldest in the U.S., prepares students for high-demand careers in public and private sector organizations.

According to Laurel Hogue, vice provost for online and learning engagement, Crisis and Disaster Management students gain vast real-world experience from writing emergency management plans for small businesses to patrolling the United States border with the U.S. Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue Team.

UCM presents a competitive option for students looking for careers as homeland security specialists, emergency management coordinators, emergency planners and more. Others may enjoy the opportunity to enhance their capabilities as a paramedic or firefighter. Related courses are led by field experts with many diverse certifications. In addition to sharing their expertise to students, some also work for city emergency management, veterans’ health and fire safety and for the Department of Homeland Security.

"The education I received in the CDM program set a foundation for the work I do every day”, said UCM alumni John Stipetich IV, ‘17. He added, “I gained valuable, real-world experience through my practicum that helped me gain a competitive advantage when applying for jobs, but it also taught me skills that I use on a regular basis.” Stipetich now serves as an Emergency Management Specialist in Lawrence, Kansas.

In reference to the Criminal Justice and Corrections major at UCM, the College Factual site states, “We've gathered data and other essential information about the program, such as the average salary of graduates, ethnicity of students, how many students graduated in recent times, and more.”

In addition to the core curriculum, UCM's program offers students many opportunities for hands-on learning through internships, student organizations, field experiences and research projects. These opportunities allow students to apply their critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities in real-world settings, preparing them for successful careers in their field of choice.

UCM CJC students share the university’s commitment to excellence. This is exemplified by UCM’s Gamma Epsilon Delta (GED) chapter of the Lambda Alpha Epsilon (LAE) American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA) recently capturing its 20th consecutive national title in March 2023.

Customized degree paths allow students to tailor their education to their specific interests and career goals. CJC courses concentrate in areas such as juvenile justice, law enforcement and policing or legal studies. Students consistently list its wide selection of undergraduate electives as one of the reasons why bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology from UCM are the best. CJC electives include Federal Law Enforcement, Homicide Investigation, Miscarriages of Justice and Terrorism.

UCM students can earn their B.S. in Criminal Justice and Criminology faster by enrolling in the Accelerated Dual Degree program. This allows them to work toward earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology in just five years.

UCM has emerged in the top spot on numerous College Factual lists for its programs related to homeland security including five No. 1 placements in 2022 including:
- Best Value College for Homeland Security in Missouri 
- Most Popular Colleges for Homeland Security in Missouri 
- Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Firefighting in Missouri 
- Best Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Firefighting School in Missouri
- Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Online Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Firefighting Schools

Demonstrative of the program’s flexibility and accessibility, these rankings further reinforce UCM's commitment to providing students with a rigorous education in this field, leading the way in preparing students for careers in national security, emergency management and law enforcement.

Students interested in pursuing a career in homeland security and related fields can find information regarding UCM’s top-ranked programs using the university’s academic program finder.



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