Syllabus for HLS-429

PROTECTING THE HOMELAND: RESPONSE AND DETERRENCE


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Protecting the Homeland: Response and Deterrence focuses on processes, procedures and available resources in responding to and guiding recovery from disaster events. Topics covered in this course include Planning, Leadership, Technology, Information Gathering, Coordination, Communication, and other issues relating to the response and recovery from disaster and terrorism scenarios.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify and assess available resources from public sources to guide response and recovery activities, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  2. Assess disaster scenarios as they unfold, monitoring key indicators that will determine the nature and scale of response.
  3. Organize effective communications during a disaster event.
  4. Discuss the importance of communications between responders, the media, and public during all phases of a disaster.
  5. Identify and analyze the inherent difficulties in translating documented response and recovery steps into real-world work tasks.
  6. Analyze the impact of incidents on both public and private sector organizations.
  7. Conduct post-incident reviews to judge response effectiveness and gather valuable feedback to enhance response and recovery plans.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  1. James F. Miskel, Disaster Response and Homeland Security: What Works, What Doesn’t (Praeger Security International, 2006)

ISBN-13: 978-0275992118

Materials on the Internet

In addition to the main textbook, certain materials available on the Internet are also used in this course. You will find links to readings, maps, and audio resources under "Study Materials" in each particular module.

COURSE STRUCTURE

Protecting the Homeland: Response and Deterrence is a three-credit online course, consisting of five (5) modules. Modules include an overview, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Each module is built around assigned readings. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Understanding Your Resources

  1. Module 2: Assessing the Situation

  1. Module 3: Communication is the Key

  1. Module 4: Real-World Factors

  1. Module 5: Effective Response - Putting it All Together

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in five (5) online discussion forums, complete four (4) written assignments and a final paper that will be worth 30% of your final grade. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You will be required to partake in five (5) graded online discussions, each focusing on a different subject. There is also an ungraded but required discussion in Module 1 titled "Introductions."

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You will be required to complete four (4) written assignments for this course.  Each written assignment tests your comprehension of reading material assigned in the appropriate module.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the Modules of the course Web site, and read through the written assignment questions before you begin each lesson. Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Formulate responses in your own words (do not merely copy answers from your reading materials), citing text materials where appropriate and in an appropriate manner.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Final Paper

You are required to submit a final paper at the end of the course. This paper will be worth 30% of your final grade. Consult 'Written Activity 2' in Module 2, and 'Final Paper' in Module 5 in the Activity Modules area of the course for details regarding this paper.

For help regarding preparing and submitting activities, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (5)—30 percent
  2. Written assignments (4)—40 percent
  3. Final paper—30 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting activities before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting activities, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized activity, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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