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online degree and information management


Office of Public Relations: Bill Studenc, Director; Randall Holcombe; John Kenyon (828) 227-7327 or 227-7122

DATE MAILED: Oct. 1, 2004                                                                                          CONTACT: John Kenyon
                                                                                                                     Office: (828) 227-3085
                                                                                                                     Home: (828) 456-1157

                                                                                             WESTERN TO OFFER ONLINE DEGREE
                                                                                                 IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

          CULLOWHEE – In response to a growing need for emergency management professionals in the Western

North Carolina region and the nation, Western Carolina University has announced the creation of a new online

bachelor’s degree program in emergency management, set to begin in January 2005.

          The curriculum will consist of a series of 12 courses, presented back-to-back over the course of two years.

All courses will be offered via the Internet.

          The program is designed to prepare graduates to assume leadership positions in the field of emergency

management in government, non-profit agencies and the private sector.

          Students in the program will focus on “preventing, mitigating, responding to, or recovering from natural,

man-made or technological disasters,” said Bernard Dougherty, director of Western’s emergency management


          The interdisciplinary curriculum will address legal, social, procedural and technical developments, and

will reflect the application of evolving knowledge and standards in emergency management.

          Western is one of only a small number of four-year academic institutions in the United States to offer a

bachelor’s degree in emergency management. The on-campus version of the program began last year.

          “While the on-campus program benefits the next generation of emergency managers, it doesn’t meet the

needs of working professionals who lack a four-year degree but are currently employed in the field of emergency

management or a directly related area,” said Dougherty.

          “Due to the unpredictable nature of disasters, coupled with the fact that many of these individuals are

assigned to rotating shifts or are located far from the Western campus, they are unable to enroll in traditional

classes,” said Dougherty. “This program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals.”

                                                                     - MORE -

                               420 H.F. Robinson Administration Building -- Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723-9017

        Admission to the program will be limited to a maximum of 30 professionals who have at least one year of

experience in emergency management or a directly related field and who have already earned at least 60 college

credit hours.

        For more information, visit the emergency management degree program Web site at or contact Dougherty at (828) 227-2328.


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