TCC and TSA Graduate First Class in Homeland Security Program

Tulsa Community College and TSA

Sixteen Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees became the first class in the Tulsa area to earn a TSA Homeland Security Certificate during a ceremony last month. The TSA Homeland Security Certificate represents three classes or nine credit hours earned through a partnership with Tulsa Community College.

The classes provide an accelerated learning opportunity and allow Transportation Security Officers to further their education and improve their career advancement.  The program gives the officers new skills and information; improved customer service; and cutting-edge professional development.  TSA employees can continue on toward an associate degree at TCC with the nine credit hours from the certificate applied to an Associate Degree in Management or Criminal Justice.

To earn the TSA Homeland Security Certificate, students must complete Introduction to Homeland Security; Intelligence Analysis & Security Technology; and Transportation and Border Security.  The education process includes discussions and research.  Jim Plank, a Transportation Security Officer at Tulsa’s airport spoke about that process during the certificate ceremony.  He said, “We had spirited discussions about current events and presented scenarios about how they might affect our mission.  We covered topics such as legal and ethical considerations in transportation security, the future of transportation and border security and using technology to counter threats.”

The partnership between TCC and TSA began in the spring of 2012 with the first group of TSA employees at Tulsa International Airport and classes were held at the airport.  TCC is one of 88 community colleges across the country participating in the nationwide training program along with 114 airports. There are currently more than 3,800 students that have participated nationally.

A TSA study shows the employees participating in the Tulsa program exceed the regional and national rate when it comes to retention, attendance, participation and completion.  To date, the retention rate for students entering the Tulsa program is 97% (as measured by students who take a course and go onto take another within a 1 year time period).  The certificate completion rate in Tulsa is 94%.

Homeland security is one of the fastest growing disciplines today and through this program and partnerships with community colleges like Tulsa Community College, TSA is positioning its employees to excel among their peers in the field.

PHOTO: (seating l to r) Kim Wade, LTSO; Bobby Young, LTSO; Laura Vasquez, STI; Alice Forte, LTSO

(standing l to r) Dr. John Gibson, Tulsa Community College Northeast Campus Provost; Jim Plank, TSO; Jeff Slavens, TSO; Michael Scislowicz, TSO; John Martin, TSSE; Chuck Johnson, TSM; Penny Crider, Finance; William Harrell, TSO; Mark Alexander, STI; Randall Hall, TSO; Carlton Doakes, BDO;  Buzz Morrill, Teaching Instructor for Broken Arrow Police Dept.; Stephen Cortright, TUL FSD