National security studies minor approved

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Classes will begin this fall

UVU had a long-term vision of going after a national security studies program, according to the director of national security studies and assistant professor, Ryan Vogel. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and University approved the accreditation and certificate of proficiency for a national security studies minor beginning this fall.

Vogel says that a wide range of majors would complement the new minor, ranging from the usual political science and criminal justice students, to computer science and behavioral science students.

“No one else was doing this in the state or even in the region and [UVU] took advantage of that and invested in it. UVU had a lot of vision going after this kind of program,” said Vogel, who teaches courses on national security and international law. “It gives us a good niche.”

According to a UVU press release, the institution is one of the only schools in the state that has a program focused on national security.

“The national security studies minor will give students seeking baccalaureate degrees the opportunity to specialize in the national security field, while the certificate is aimed at existing professionals who are looking to enhance their professional experience or specialize in the national security field,” said UVU spokesperson Layton Shumway in a press release.

Last month, cybersecurity students secured second place at the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in Denver, Colorado. Along with the new minor, students will be able to pursue a Master’s of Science in cybersecurity this fall. Vogel says the national sector, both public and private, is expected to grow. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s official website, there are currently half a million job openings in fields such as cybersecurity.

“We live in a world that’s just very complicated and just very dangerous,” he said. The program could help students understand global conflicts.

According to UVU’s center for national security studies website, “Whether students are interested in counterterrorism, homeland security, intelligence gathering and analysis, foreign relations, law and politics, diplomacy, or international development, our office provides students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities needed to succeed in these and related professions.”

Security issues are important in a national and a local level, these are issues that are not going away, said Vogel. The school currently offers 30 courses in national security and related topics.