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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 19, 2011) – Recent natural disasters, such as the tornado in Joplin, Mo., and hurricane in the northeast part of the United States, demonstrate the need for trained professionals who can help manage a crisis. A new agreement between the University of Central Missouri and Wentworth Military Academy and College, Lexington will help prepare students to work in such fields by providing a seamless transition from an Associate of Arts in Homeland Security degree to a to a Bachelor of Science in Crisis and Disaster Management.
Officials from Wentworth and UCM recently met to formalize and announce the new program. It enables all classes taken at Wentworth toward a two-year associate degree to successfully transfer to the four-year degree at UCM. Students will be able to complete the last two years at UCM online.
“We continue to explore opportunities to partner with two-year institutions across the state to make a smooth transition possible for students who wish to advance their education goals,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose. “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with leaders at Wentworth Military Academy and College to ensure access to one of our outstanding baccalaureate degree programs in an area where there is tremendous need.”
Wentworth President Bill Sellers said the college has enjoyed a positive relationship with UCM for many years. He noted many graduates take advantage of the close proximity to Central Missouri, which is only about a 35-mile drive from Lexington.
“With our military mission, we produce more second lieutenants for the Army and Missouri Army National Guard than any institution in the state and most of these students come to UCM,” he said. “Many of them are interested in criminal justice, homeland security, and FEMA issues, and this new program is almost custom-made for them.”
The bachelor’s degree in crisis and disaster management requires a minimum of 120 semester hours, with more than half of the course hours generated from the associate degree program. Students enrolled in the first two years will complete at least 24 hours of coursework in homeland security, in addition to covering prerequisites in areas such as English, mathematics, science, humanities/fine arts, history and government, computer information systems and military science. After transferring to UCM, students will take 27-30 hours of coursework in their major, selecting an emphasis in one of three areas: emergency management, hazardous materials, or business continuity. Free electives will be taken to round out the degree.
Dianna Bryant, program coordinator for the B.S. in Crisis and Disaster Management degree, said the bachelor’s degree in crisis and disaster management is a good fit with the education Wentworth students receive. Those who go on to join the Army and National Guard will have a role in the safety of communities.
“The academic preparation at Wentworth is going to help them understand that role better,” Bryant said. “Our bachelor’s degree program in crisis and disaster management takes that a step further so that they can understand the roles and responsibilities of all the different agencies, what happens during a disaster, and how to help communities recover from a disaster.”
Wentworth students will have the opportunity to apply for dual admission to both schools during their first semester at Wentworth. Dually admitted students can receive academic advisement from UCM; run degree audits; and receive a UCM ID car that provides them access to athletic events, the library and cultural events.