Mercy College’s Criminal Justice: Homeland Security Program is just one more example of how the College is preparing students for successful careers after graduation.
In this program, Mercy students can earn a B.S. in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security. Students study risk management, terrorism, security crisis management and more — in addition to the foundations of criminal justice.
With the rise of terrorist attacks around the globe, along with both natural and human-caused disasters, skilled homeland security professionals are in high demand. Mercy’s program prepares students to succeed in a wide variety of roles, including federal agent, counterterrorism analyst, foreign affairs officer, homeland security investigator, policy researcher and corporate security manager.
“Many federal laws and policies were created when the federal government formed the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11 — along with new agencies — and that's what created so much opportunity in this field,” said Brian Kelly, Ed.D., visiting assistant professor. “The need for people trained in homeland security is not going away. If anything, there’s only going to be more opportunity.”
Years after its founding, Mercy’s program is taught by experienced practitioners such as Kelly. He spent his career working in homeland security for county, state and federal government agencies and as an investigator in the private sector. He has 17 years of teaching experience and came to Mercy in 2018. “Mercy’s program is robust and high-quality,” Kelly asserted. “And I believe that Mercy has an edge on the other programs I’ve seen out there, even on a national level. I’m looking forward to seeing where it can go from here.”
Inspired by the events of 9/11, Mercy College launched the Corporate and Homeland Security Department in 2006 — the first program of its kind in the area. At the time, New York State Senator Vincent Leibell III called the program “cutting-edge” and provided funding from the New York State Public Protection Budget.
The Criminal Justice: Homeland Security Program attracts veterans who want to continue to serve this country. The program’s specialized curriculum helps them explore new career opportunities and find new ways to apply the knowledge and skills they gained in the military as they transition into the civilian workforce. Mercy was recognized as a Best of the Best College in 2019 by U.S. Veteran Magazine for its many efforts to support veterans, which include providing dedicated PACT advisors, flexible study options, and affordable tuition that can be covered in full by Post-9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits.
Recently, the program moved within Mercy College from the School of Business to the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and was renamed the Criminal Justice: Homeland Security Program. “This concentration is making the criminal justice program even more current,” said Mary Cuadrado, Ph.D., program director of the Criminal Justice Program. “We’re focused on promoting the program as this concentration is going to attract an entire new group of students we weren’t connecting with before.” Students are responding already — with 10 new enrollments in the Criminal Justice: Homeland Security Program within the past year. “And I’m expecting those numbers to increase,” Cuadrado said.