The Transportation Security Administration and Des Moines Area Community College are expanding a training program that’s been in place since 2011. DMACC will now offer homeland security courses to TSA officers across much of the nation.
DMAAC’s online courses leading to an associate’s degree in homeland security will now be available to TSA officers at 285 airports in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The move is part of a consolidation of schools offering the courses. A TSA supervisor at Des Moines International Airport, Dawn Smith, is currently enrolled in the program. She says the courses help her better understand the bigger picture of law enforcement in protecting the public.
“There are so many layers that go beyond the airport that are involved with TSA, with homeland security,” she says.
The assistant federal security director at Des Moines International, Nic Menke, completed the coursework two years ago. He says it involved teachers with on-the-job experience.
“You’re learning this material, but you’re also getting ideas and ways to work through the emergency management process, making sure you’re not making the same mistakes others have made,” he says.
DMACC will hire four full-time criminal justice professors to expand its reach. American Public University in West Virginia will be the only other school offering the courses.