Houston master's program builds executive experience
HOUSTON--More and more educational offerings are at the fingertips of security directors and a new master's degree in security management from the University of Houston Downtown aims to further develop their talents in the executive boardroom.
The Master of Security Management for Executives is a two-year program that requires completing 36 credit hours with the College of Public Service and the College of Business. The goal is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the continuously changing security environment.
Richard Hill, coordinator of the security management program for the University of Houston Downtown, said the goal of the program is to help security executives present ideas and solutions to the C-suite of their organization.
"What we are trying to do is ensure that the courses and the instructors scheduled are used to developing the concepts necessary to survive in the upper levels of executive security," Hill said.
Required courses include security and crisis management, risk analysis and abatement, the legal environment of the security executive, and global perspectives of security management.
Hill said the 14-person inaugural class includes professionals from engineering firms, federal and local law enforcement agencies and former military.
"It is a good mix of people that have quite a lot of experience in the career field," he said. "When this program is completed, these people are the individuals the industry will want to hire."
The program is offered on alternate Saturdays to allow security professionals to obtain the degree without interfering with their professional responsibilities and accommodate individuals outside the Houston area, said Beth Pelz, dean of the university. The materials will also be placed online if a student misses a class because of a professional conflict. Even so, the emphasis is on face-to-face learning -- 80 percent of the content is classroom based and 20 percent is offered online.
"The online portion of it helps extend the learning and the community," Pelz said. "The base of the program is to learn from each other and our instructors, which include experts in the security field and the business community."