Vision of the EMHS Program

Our vision is to positively impact the community and create leaders within the emergency management and homeland security fields.

Mission of the EMHS Program

The Emergency Management and Homeland Security Graduate Certificate program seeks to provide the highest quality graduate emergency management and homeland security education to current and prospective public, private, and nonprofit sector students. Innovative instruction is provided through a mix of face-to-face and online curriculum, and faculty work with students in conducting scholarly and applied research in the areas of emergency management and homeland security. A blend of theoretical and practical knowledge is a strong component of the program that is demonstrated through service learning projects, internships, and hands-on training with the local emergency management community.


As a program, the EMHS program adheres to the values set in place in the University of Central Florida Creed. These values include:

  • Integrity: We practice and defend academic and personal honesty.
  • Scholarship: We cherish and honor learning as a fundamental purpose of our membership in the UCF community.
  • Community: We promote an open and supportive college environment by respecting the rights and contributions of every individual.
  • Creativity: We use our talents to enrich the human experience.
  • Excellence: We strive toward the highest standards of performance in any endeavor we undertake.

The EMHS program also has additional values based on the College of Community Innovation and Education and expectations of faculty and students:

  • Collaboration: We work to promote collaboration with practitioners in the area to create a more well-rounded educational experience for our students and opportunities for growth for our faculty.
  • Diversity: No matter what race, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexuality, we strive to create a welcoming and open program for all who study and work with us.
  • Expansion of Knowledge: We value learning for both our students and faculty. Each experience should teach something new and forward the profession.
  • Professional Excellence: We work each day to expand the fields of emergency management and homeland security and improve their standards of practice.

The Strategic Planning Process

The Emergency Management and Homeland Security Advisory Board, faculty, staff, alumni, and students actively participated in this process to guide the direction of the program. Participants completed an assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the EMHS program. They then identified strategic issues facing the program and organized them into four goal areas.

Committees were formed around each goal area to create objectives, strategies, and indicators. The Emergency Management and Homeland Security Advisory Board reviewed and approved the plan in June 2014. The plan reflects nearly a year of work and efforts by multiple stakeholders who are dedicated to UCF’s EMHS program. The objectives and indicators of the four strategic goals are discussed at each Advisory Board meeting.

Strategic Plan 2014-2019

The EMHS program’s current goals and objectives include the following:

Goal 1: Establish a quality curriculum that integrates experiential learning, related to the program’s core competencies.

  • Evaluate the minor and graduate certificate curriculum for experiential learning; utilize the established curriculum maps to adjust course syllabi, based on the core competencies, to integrate one service-learning project.
  • Develop new contracted community partnerships to assist with the development of internships and service-learning projects.
  • Require basic FEMA course completion for admission into advanced internships.
  • Develop a research fellow program for graduate students, utilizing the Advisory Board as placements/mentors, in partnership with the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management.
  • Strengthen the partnership with the regional private/public entities to collaborate on emergency management opportunities.

Goal 2: Create and expand reliable funding sources to enhance the mission of the program.

  • Establish a funding account.
  • Increase the amount of outside funds received.
  • Create a student scholarship fund that will be specifically for program students.

Goal 3: Increase awareness and recognition of the program.

  • Increase student participation in UCF, local, state, and national research gatherings.
  • Integrate assignments into the curriculum that are able to be utilized for submission to publications (academic and non-academic).
  • Increase the amount of Ph.D. students involved in publishing in the EMHS field through independent studies, fellowships and research assistantships.
  • Create a marketing plan for outreach to high school students, incoming undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Generate influential and statistical marketing materials that targets graduate students.
  • Create an alumni database and social media pages.
  • Gather alumni video/written testimonials to emphasize the success of the program on social media sites.

Goal 4: Establish partnerships with private, public, and nonprofit agencies.

  • Communicate the importance of UCF’s EMHS program to the community.
  • Collaborate with community partners and EMHS students/staff to participate in public drills that demonstrate the importance of emergency management.
  • Create strong community partnerships.