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Academic Partners

The RDPC is comprised of six academic institutions that possess extensive experience and unique capabilities in serving the rural emergency response community. Each institution develops U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA-certified training programs to be delivered to communities across the Nation.

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), in Richmond, Kentucky, is a regional comprehensive university that enrolls over 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The College of Justice & Safety is EKU’s Program of Distinction. The College, one of five within the university, has 45 full-time faculty and approximately 1,600 students. The College houses the International Justice & Safety Institute, the Kentucky Center for School Safety, the Justice & Safety Center, and the Training Resource Center in addition to three academic departments that award degrees in assets protection/security, corrections/juvenile justice, criminal justice, emergency medical care, fire safety, loss prevention and safety, police studies, and homeland security.

East Tennessee State University (ETSU), located in Johnson City, Tennessee, is a research-level, accredited academic institution with nationally-known community partnering approaches which promote rural health professions and education programs. Founded in 1911, the university has grown to over 15,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Composed of nine colleges, five of which are within the Academic Health Sciences Center, ETSU offers doctoral degrees in Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Physical Therapy as well as programs at the master and bachelor levels in nursing and public and allied health. ETSU places a large percentage of graduates from its medical, pharmacy, and nursing schools in rural communities - among the highest percentages in the Nation, in fact. ETSU's Center for Experiential Learning provides real-time patient simulation for training first responders, medical, and nursing students. ETSU's Academic Health Sciences Center for the East Tennessee region provides comprehensive educational, research, and service programs in the health sciences that advance the health and wellness of people throughout Tennessee and Southern Appalachia as well as rural populations around the world. The Colleges of Public Health and Nursing incorporate disaster preparedness and response training for their students and provide for rural first responders as well as health professionals and future medical practitioners. Support for the RDPC falls under the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at ETSU.

North Carolina Central University (NCCU), located in Durham, North Carolina, was chartered in 1909 and opened its doors to students in 1910 as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua. In the following years, the school’s name changed to National Training School in 1915, Durham State Normal School in 1923, North Carolina College for Negroes in 1925 (making it the nation’s first state-supported liberal arts college for African-American students), North Carolina College at Durham in 1947, and finally North Carolina Central University in 1969. NCCU has been a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System since 1972. Its mission has been to prepare students academically and professionally to become leaders. NCCU is a comprehensive institution, which offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 100 fields of study, and awards graduate degrees in an estimated 40 disciplines. With nearly 9,000 students enrolled, the historically black university is diverse.

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) and the Institute for Corporate and Public Safety (ICPS), located in the nation’s fifth fastest growing metropolitan statistical area (Bentonville, Arkansas), is a comprehensive training institute working with the public and private sectors to better prepare for and respond to emergencies ranging from small fires to large mass casualty incidents. With cooperation from its three primary corporate partners, Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt Transportation, ICPS courses are designed to meet the preparedness needs of both the public and private sectors. ICPS is currently implementing U.S. Department of Homeland Security-certified courses nationwide with working relationships with community colleges, universities, businesses, and chambers of commerce. ICPS has either hosted courses or had online course participants from throughout the United States, including 27 states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. territories, and the armed forces.

The All Hazards Training Center (TAHTC) at The University of Findlay provides customized education, training, and information-transfer programs that focus on environmental, safety and health (ES & H) issues as well as security management and emergency/disaster preparedness. Since its inception in 1986, the training center has trained over 125,000 people coast-to-coast and awarded academic degrees to more than 1,150 people. In 2008 alone UF trained more than 11,500 people in over 480 classes at more than 215 different locations in 20 states and Canada. UF is the only institution that integrates ES&H and Emergency/Disaster Preparedness training and the opportunity to earn BS & MS degrees. TAHTC formerly conducted business as the School of Environmental and Emergency Management (SEEM) at The University of Findlay.

The Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) is a University of California, Davis program that is a training partner of the NTED, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is tasked with the development and delivery of DHS certified courses on Agroterrorism. WIFSS is developing and delivering training for local frontline response teams to strengthen their capability to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from agroterrorism or other major disasters in the food systems in their communities. The overall goal is to enhance national security by strengthening preparedness of the frontline responders to assure that there is capacity to respond early and effectively and in coordination with state and federal agencies. The training curriculum is an all hazards approach. To date, WIFSS has trained over 8,000 participants, in approximately 160 communities and 33 states nationwide.