Amidst the hot-button issues of illegal immigration and border security, American
River College is offering Homeland Security-sponsored courses at its off-campus McClellan center to assist students looking to further their educational goals in the field.
Transportation and Border Security is a 3-unit course required in order to attain a certificate in Homeland Security, which requires nine units for completion. The class provides discussion on a broad spectrum of modern security challenges for the United States, including border security and transportation.
“Given the homeland security situation in the United States over the last several years, it offers students an insight into Homeland Security and to learn how it actually works,” said Steve Segura, Dean of the Sacramento Regional Public Safety Training/McClellan Center.
“Our ability to offer courses in this field opens doors for individuals looking to gain background in homeland security. We’re trying to give an advantage to people looking to advance in this field,” Segura said.
Elisa Jensen, who has a degree in Criminology and has been in the security and counseling fields for the last eight years, has been an avid supporter of the Transportation & Border Security course since it started being offered in Spring 2013.
“The students in my classes, had their childhoods and early adult lives transformed by the events of 9/11 … offering a certificate program that could lead to a four year degree in Homeland Security, is an immense opportunity for these students provided by ARC,” Jensen said.
“The interest in this field is phenomenal, as more threatening terrorist groups emerge such as ISIS, we need educated people working for our government,” said Jensen.
Career fields in the Homeland Security department certificate program are varied. According to the 2014-2015 ARC Course Catalog, the certificate can lead to careers in law enforcement at the local, state, and federal level, with the increased ability to branch out into Homeland Security-related occupations.
Omba Kipuke, 25, who majors in Homeland Security and is the 2014 Student Trustee for the Los Rios District encompassing four different community colleges, says he finds the course engaging and very relevant in today’s world.
“The professors do a great job of keeping us current,” Kipuke said. “You feel like you can leave the class, hear something on the news, and instantly know how to react.”
Such an example includes a group-scenario the students of Jensen’s class experienced during lecture.
Students were divided into two groups, with a courthouse being the setting for this hypothetical scenario. One group represented “terrorists,” tasked with doing anything and everything possible to destroy the courthouse and cause as much damage as possible.
The other group’s duty was to defend the courthouse as efficiently as possible, with access to limited provisions and materials to do so.
“Examples like the group project are realistic,” Kipuke said. “They are up to date, as well as challenging.”
HLS 304 will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the ARC’s off campus site at McClellan next semester from 5:00-8:05pm.