This blog contains excerpts from the “Planning Resource for Developing a Two-Year Emergency Management Academic Program” (March 2019) and reflects the collective contribution of the time and expertise of several individuals sharing their dedication to preparing the next generation of emergency management professionals.

Join the national community of two-year emergency management program discussion!

Did you know that FEMA Higher Education Program  includes Special Interest Groups (SIG) to inform the emergency management profession through education and to promote and connect our nation’s academic community members?  This effort includes a SIG entitled Collaboration, Connection, and Commitment of 2-Year Emergency Management Programs.  The next few weeks of the blog will focus on planning resources for two-year programs. This week, let’s look at General Education Curricula considerations for two-year programs.


Many institutions provide resources to guide programs and courses through their Curriculum Committee approval process, state higher education commission process, and regional accrediting body expectations. Be sure to consult with your academic administration regarding all of these regulations. Resources may include syllabi templates, distance education course shells, rubrics, and assessment tools. Make full use of the tools available within your institution. Be sure to ask Committee members or those at your institution with experience navigating submissions for help whenever you feel it’s needed. It’s far less painful to spend a little extra time learning your institution’s preferences and getting them under your belt for the future, than to spend that time lost in reviews and resubmissions.

Review the graduation requirements established by your institution with an emphasis on general education courses, physical education, degree credit minimums and maximums, and unique goals, such as cultural competency.

General Education

The General Education degree requirements are often designed specifically for the institution and its accrediting body. General education outcomes produce knowledge and skills that cut across majors and support both well-rounded and workplace preparedness. “The skill and knowledge areas of greatest importance to both business executives and hiring managers when hiring include oral communication, critical thinking, ethical judgment, working effectively in teams, working independently, self-motivation, written communication, and real-world application of skills and knowledge” (Hart, 2018). To promote the whole community approach and foster a shared preparedness mindset, and connect with other schools, departments, and majors, consider working with your Curriculum Committee to establish courses meeting the general education, cultural competence, and other institutional designations for graduation.

The Associates-Level Curriculum Outcomes Focus Group developed a baseline document describing the general education knowledge, skills, and abilities a two-year graduate should possess. Courses selected for this area should align with institutional, state, and accrediting body guidelines and produce individuals with the following baseline outcomes (EMI Focus Group, 2014).

Reading, Writing, and Communications

  • Possess the ability to provide organized, clear, and concise delivery of emergency management information in both the verbal and written forms.
  • Identify appropriate research sources and apply scientific methods and document work utilizing one of the style manuals.
  • Demonstrate a level of competence in the application of technology used in the workplace.


  • Identify and apply scientific mathematical techniques and concepts appropriate to emergency management statistical analysis, problem solving, financial management, budgeting, and risk management.


  • Awareness of biological, physical, and environmental sciences and methodologies. (Be aware that your institution and transferring institutions may have specific course requirements for this area. Engaging your advisory committee and partnering institutions is advised.)
  • Awareness of the impact of the social and behavioral sciences, moral issues, conflicts, and the impact on emergency management in a multicultural society.

Health and Wellness

  • Awareness of and ability to apply the concepts of health and wellness in a professional setting.

Critical Thinking

  • Describes ways to modify practices when presented with new information.


  • Describe how the levels of government interface with emergency management functions before, during, and after a disaster.


Join us next week as we discuss a “Emergency Management Core Curriculum Model” for an Emergency Management 2-Year Academic Program.  In the meantime, please enjoy our one-pager that we created.  It’s designed to help programs get started using the resource we’re discussing!  Promote2YearCritInfluencers

Leave a Reply