EKU Online Master of Science in Safety, Security and Emergency Management Program Overview Webinar

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Join EKU’s Master of Science in Safety, Security and Emergency Management program director to learn more about the online program and concentration offerings.

Transcript

Lyann Guilamo:

Thank you for joining us here at Eastern Kentucky University, where today we’ll be talking about our online master of science in safety, security, and emergency management program overview. Today, we will discuss our introduction. We will go over what we have here at Eastern Kentucky University. We’ll go over a program overview, our concentration curriculum, our online experiences, and resources. What could be your career outcomes as well as the admissions requirements? Today, I will be assisting you. My name is Lyann Guilamo, and I am one of the enrollment advisors for the master’s program. We also have Dr. Schneid with us. Dr. Schneid, why don’t you introduce yourself, please?

Dr. Tom Schneid:

Well, thank you, Lyann. My name is Tom Schneid. I’m the chair of the department of safety and security, and also serving as the interim coordinator for the master safety security emergency management. My background has been in safety, I’ve been here at Eastern for over 33 years right now, and we’ve got a world-class faculty. And let me just take the second and just walk down through our faculties. You might recognize some of these names, Dr. Troy Rawlins is our coordinator for the occupational safety and health program, also teaches in the graduate program. Dr. Ron Dotson is heavy into the construction industry. Dr. Scotty Dunlap is heavy into the research area. Dr. Michael Shoeman, who is construction. He is also an attorney that works in these areas.

Dr. Tom Schneid:

Dr. Barry Spurlock, who is also an attorney, and does a lot with OSHA, and Dr. [inaudible 00:01:58], who is our coordinator for the co-op program. On the Homeland security emergency management side we’ve got Dr. Chad Foster, who serves as our coordinator, Dr. Joanne Mclaughin, who is heavy into the healthcare industry, Dr. Bill Sullivan, and Dr. Brian Simkins who are both heavy into the research and the security side of the house. From my opinion, we’ve got a world-class faculty. We’ve done a phenomenal job at serving the safety profession for a long period of time. Our safety program has been around for almost 30 years. Our online program started in the early 90s. We were the first one in the state of Kentucky, one of the first in the country to serve the safety profession through online education.

Lyann Guilamo:

Great. And so, Dr. Schneid, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the history behind EKU?

Dr. Tom Schneid:

Okay. EKU is Eastern Kentucky University. We’re located in the bluegrass in Richmond, Kentucky, just south of Lexington. The University itself has been around, it was founded in 1906. We’ve got more than a hundred years as an institution, we’ve grown and grown virtually every year. Right now we’ve got 168-degree programs and we’ve educated more than 15,000 students each year coming out of our programs. Recently, we had the pleasure of also joining Urban the college of justice and safety for a number of years, but now the military science program has come over with us. And so we’ve changed the name of the college to the college of justice, safety, and military science. And safety security emergency management.

Dr. Tom Schneid:

The college of justice safety and military sciences has been identified as a program station by the state of Kentucky. We have been recognized as a source of expertise in the fields of emergency management, safety, fire, science corrections, and juvenile justice, and Homeland security. So the state has recognized us as being the school. There’s no other school like ours in the state of Kentucky, and if you look around the country, there’s no other school with the same combination of programs that we have here at Eastern Kentucky University.

Lyann Guilamo:

Dr. Schneid, thank you so much for sharing that background with us. Now, I know that Ms. Kim Chitwood is also joining us. Kim, won’t you share with us a little bit of the program overview?

Kim Chitwood:

Okay. Yes. My name is Kim Chitwood. I am the assistant online program coordinator for this master’s program and safety security and emergency management. I’ve been here for about 14 years, and I have been with this program for eight years now. And just to give you a little bit of overview about this program, as you can see on the slide, you can graduate in just two years, we have been on the best value school list for several years. We’re also in the top 25 in the nation for the best colleges for veterans. We do allow students to study 100% online. You can still continue to get your education while you are already working in the same profession. There’s no GRE that is needed for applicants that have an overall 2.5 undergraduate GPA and we currently have seven concentrations that you can choose to meet your interest.

Kim Chitwood:

We’ll talk a little bit more about those concentrations on the next slide. But just to give you an idea of what you could do with this degree, you can qualify for important positions like the safety manager. You can be an environmental compliance specialist, a health and safety engineer, an emergency management director. This degree will allow you to earn the fields that make companies look to you, regardless of what area of safety or security, or emergency management you may be interested in. We do allow our students to look for jobs in public, private, and nonprofit settings. We focus on leadership styles, decision making, critical thinking, policy analysis, ethical reasoning skills. We will sharpen your ability to detect critical threats and hazards. You will learn how to develop safety procedures and emergency response policies. And you’ll also learn how to work in different environments, such as industrial construction and corporate and unique threats, hazards, and the risk involved with each.

Lyann Guilamo:

Thank you for that Kim. Why don’t you go over a little bit on our curriculum, what we have to offer and how it breaks down.

Kim Chitwood:

Okay. With our curriculum, this is a 12 class 36 hour program. There are six core classes that all students are required to take. And then the additional courses you can choose from the set of concentrations that are highlighted here. We were proud to announce construction, safety, supply chain safety and security, safety leadership, and healthcare safety as new concentration options that began in the fall of 2021. And that joined our previous concentrations like health and safety corporate security operations and emergency management and disaster resilience.

Kim Chitwood:

These concentrations typically consist of four classes, and once you finish those four classes you are in a graduate-level department certificate that goes along with the master’s degree [inaudible 00:08:00] program. Students can choose one or more concentrations, we’ve tried to make our new concentrations easy to pair with another. So it is very possible for students to walk away with more than one concentration in addition to their master’s degree. You will take typically, one or two free electives to go along with your exit options.

Kim Chitwood:

A couple of exits option choices you can choose from a comprehensive exam that is centered around the six core classes that I mentioned, or if a test of that nature is not something that you are interested in there is a capstone option, which is kind of like a mini-thesis that would allow you to pick a topic of interest and focus on completing your exit option that way. So typically students will take six core classes. They will normally take four concentration courses. If you only select one concentration, you will pick an exit option of either the capstone or the exam, and then depending on your exit option choice, you would take one or two free electives. So again, most students do take 12 classes. You can finish in two years, and walk away with not only your masters but also a pick of topic to you to walk away with a graduate department certificate as well.

Lyann Guilamo:

Awesome. Thank you for sharing that with us Kim. Now, I know that a lot of students are wondering what their online experience would be like. So, Dr. Schneid, why don’t you share with us a little bit of what our students can expect?

Dr. Tom Schneid:

The online experience is the same identical classes that we have on campus. They’re just offered through a distance learning component to bring it right to your living rooms basically. A lot of our students continue to work and they try to do work online in the evening or on weekends. It is a rigorous program, there are no two ways about it, but students will have access to a number of different programs as you see on the slide, including Handshake, Handshakes data base is for full-time, part-time, and internships, and co-op experiences for seasonal jobs. We get a number of companies that call us up every day, a lot of them come to our job fairs and come to campus to interview our students.

Dr. Tom Schneid:

I encourage students to do internships if they possibly can to get a feel for what the safety profession is all about and what industries they would like to work in. The key to this is finding an industry and finding a job that you love, and that you’re willing to do for a longer period of time. If you love your job, if this is what fits into your career path, I think it’s a phenomenal profession to be in. Also, along there, you’ve got the online career service support through the EKU office of academic career services that also help in placing internships and full-time employment. They have a number of job fairs, etcetera, that come to campus, different activities to expose the companies to our students and our students to these companies.

Dr. Tom Schneid:

We have online workshops and webinars like this one where you get information that comes forward on interviewing scenarios and other activities to prepare you to move into the profession. And then we’ve got pro-active employees, we’ve got major databases where you can search your major and see details and employers that are looking for you out there. Right now is a great time for the people moving into the safety profession. As you’ve probably seen and read in the newspaper and saw in the news, OSHA expanded their responsibilities, dealing with COVID in other areas, and companies are searching for people with this expertise.

Lyann Guilamo:

Thank you for that. Now, Dr. Schneid, I know that you are just talking about OSHA and all the different opportunities. So why don’t you tell our students about what out their career outcomes could be, and the opportunities that are currently being offered?

Dr. Tom Schneid:

The first thing I’d say is to go to Indeed or Monster or one of the databases, the job search databases, just type in the word safety and hit the button. And you’re going to see that there are safety jobs in virtually every industry out there from Boeing on the west coast to the industrial plants in the Midwest, to the insurance industry on the east coast, there are jobs across the board. Any company that you can think of, any activity that you can think of probably has a safety professional working for them, and just see what jobs are of interest to you and then you can hone your education toward that goal as you go through our program.

Dr. Tom Schneid:

Where can you work? Literally any place. And you see some of the companies that come here on campus that we have here, GE Lockheed and Amazon. What can you do? Every company has its own definition, its own job. There’s no one specific job title that goes across the board. Safety is in there, but it could be safety and security. It could be safety and disaster management. It could be safety in whatever they need within their particular operation. So just when you’re searching the word safety, we’ll get you there.

Dr. Tom Schneid:

What industries can I work into? Again, it’s wide open. It’s finding the job that you and joy doing every day. I believe the safety profession is just a phenomenal profession. You’re not going to sit behind a desk. You’re going to be working with people. You’re going to have an impact, not only for your company but on these individual employees, your communities across the board. Safety professionals work in literally any industry you can think of. You’ve got quite a few here on your list and on your slide, but there are others. Again, try to find the industry, the job, and as you’re going through the program, or whatever you’re doing, try to find the job you’re going to have the biggest impact, and what makes you happy working in that industry for a long period of time.

Lyann Guilamo:

Thank you, Dr. Schneid, again for that. Now, I want to take some time to go over our admissions requirements for our masters of science and safety, security and emergency management, we are currently reviewing the application. The first thing I want to make sure our students know is that you can go ahead and submit your application online. There is a $40 non-refundable application fee. We do require our students to have a bachelor’s degree from a credited institution. We also request that you provide us with official transcripts from all universities and colleges previously attended and conferred. The ideal situation will be for our students to have a 2.5 GPA or higher. But if for any given reason, you do not have a 2.5 GPA or higher, please note that you will be required to take a GRE. Otherwise, it is not required for those with a 2.5 GPA or higher.

Lyann Guilamo:

We do accept international students, in which case we do have a requirement for a Tofa and you must score a 550 to be admitted into the program. Besides that, I want to let you know that we’re here to support you. So should you have any questions, if you are ready to apply, please feel free to give us a call. Our phone number here is 859-267-2800. Again, that is 859-267-2800. You can also schedule an appointment with one of your advisors by clicking the vcita link listed here, and we’ll be more than happy to go ahead and assist you. I want to thank Dr. Schneid, and I also want to thank Ms. Kim Chitwood for joining us today. I want to thank you for your time. I hope that this webinar has been beneficial for you, and we are looking forward to connecting with you. Thank you