WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College will be expanding presentation of its core and elective classes for its groundbreaking Associate of Science and Certificate of Achievement program in Homeland Security.

The program, approved in 2018 by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, builds on Rio Hondo College’s nationally recognized public safety programs.

Classes offered this fall in the interdisciplinary degree program include Introduction to Homeland Security, Hazard Mitigation in Emergency Management and Cybersecurity: Policy and Practice.

“Homeland security expertise has never been in such high demand as it is today – a fact sadly reinforced by frequent violent incidents across our country,” Rio Hondo College Superintendent/President Dr. Arturo Reyes said. “This degree program will help prepare students and a new generation of public safety officials who understand the issues, tactics and options necessary for ensuring our safety.”

The program was designed by Rio Hondo College faculty with deep knowledge of public safety needs in collaboration with experts in law enforcement, fire services and homeland security. Besides the core classes in homeland security and emergency management, the program incorporates courses in fire technology, wildland fire technology, administration of justice and geographic information services.

Rio Hondo College’s program is the only one in the region that offers dual emphasis on Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
As part of the program, Rio Hondo College has established a Regional Training Center on par with the College’s Police Academy, Fire Academy and Wildland Fire Academy, creating a fundamental framework for responding to threats posed daily by manmade and natural risks and hazards.

“Our newest public safety program in Homeland Security represents Rio Hondo College’s ongoing efforts to ensure our graduates receive cutting-edge instruction in high-demand career fields where they can make a real impact on our communities,” said Dr. Ygnacio “Nash” Flores, the coordinator for the Homeland Security Program. “Safety and security are concerns for everyone. We teach our students to understand their role in preparing for and responding to a wide range of emergencies and disasters.”

The Rio Hondo College Homeland Security Degree is the latest in a long line of public safety careers to offer not only an opportunity for a rewarding career at a living wage, but a chance to serve the community. Rio Hondo College’s commitment to Homeland Security is demonstrated by its efforts to have Homeland Security approved as a new Academic Discipline by the California Community College Board of Governors later this year

Career fields open to graduates in homeland security have the potential for more than 150,000 new job openings by 2026.

Potential jobs include security management, information security, business continuity planning, biological scientist, systems engineer, hazard management, forensic science, nursing, border protection, customs, the U.S. Coast Guard, emergency management, transportation security, and law enforcement and fire careers.

“Our board is committed to ensuring our community has access to the best career options available,” Board of Trustees President Oscar Valladares said.