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FIRE 2315 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

FIRE 2315 - Introduction to Homeland Security and Disaster Management

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course will provide students with an overview of the concepts of homeland security and emergency management at the local (operational) level as well as the national (strategic) level.  This is a writing and discussion intensive course to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for homeland security/emergency managers for the future.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the statutory authority of local, state, and federal law pertaining to homeland security and emergency management.
  • Understand and describe organizational actions by public safety and related governmental agencies in the homeland security/emergency management context of natural and man-made disasters.
  • Discuss safety and security issues related to homeland security and emergency management situations.  Comparisons will be made between the United States (national) and international (global) perspectives.
  • Describe mitigation, preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery issues in natural and man-made disaster situations within the scope of an all-hazards approach.
  • Describe the leadership challenges and skills demanded by the new multi-agency, multi-discipline collaborative environment (e.g. public agencies, military agencies, and private sector agencies).
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Completion of all Learning Support competencies in Reading and Writing.

Course Topics:
  • Course Topic #1 – The History of Homeland Security
  • Course Topic #2 – Homeland Security Defined
  • Course Topic #3 – Modern Terrorism and Natural Disasters
  • Course Topic #4 – The Development of Homeland Security
  • Course Topic #5 – The Department of Homeland Security
  • Course Topic #6 – Homeland Security Community
  • Course Topic #7 – Anti-terrorism and Counter-terrorism
  • Course Topic #8 – The National Strategy for Homeland Security
  • Course Topic #9 – Homeland Security Threats
  • Course Topic #10 – The Homeland Security Cycle
  • Course Topic #11 – National Incident Management System and Incident Command System
  • Course Topic #12 – Political Responses to Homeland Security
  • Course Topic #13 – Legal Responses to Homeland Security
  • Course Topic #14 – Homeland Security Communication and Technology Issues
  • Course Topic #15 – Domain Security and the Future of Homeland Security
Specific Course Requirements:

There are none for this course.  It is self-sustaining via the textbook and technology requirements.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:


Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Grading Procedures:

Letter grades for this course will be assigned based on the following scale.

Assigned Grade

Point RangeAssigned Grade
2430 - 2700 pointsA
2160 - 2429 pointsB
1890 - 2159 pointsC
1620 - 1899 pointsD
under 1619 pointsF

Graded Items

8 discussions @ 100 points each800
15 quizzes @ 100 points each1500
3 papers @ 100 points each300
Final examination paper @ 100 points each100
Total points2700


Grading Scale:
Assignments and Projects:

Discussion Boards: There are eight (8) Discussion Boards for the course. I will ask a question or two. Make sure to respond thoughtfully and comprehensively. I expect you to use proper grammar and spelling, just as if you were communicating in a professional environment. Be respectful of each other's opinions. There may be situations where one student may not agree with another. After making your initial post to answer the main question, make sure to respond to at least TWO other student postings. Your responses must be contributory to the overall discussion (e.g. don't just write "Good job Sam!" - make sure to engage the other student with your response). The Discussion Boards will open on Mondays at 12:00 A.M. and close the following Sunday at 11:30 P.M. Do not wait until Sunday to post all your responses. A very good way to manage the Discussion Board is to complete your initial post by late Wednesday night and do your two responses to your classmates the next couple of days after.

Quizzes: There will be a quiz for EVERY module/chapter. The quizzes are typically 20 questions each. You may use your textbook while taking the quiz, all of the answers may be found in the textbook, the PowerPoints, and the Discussion Boards. You will have only ONE attempt at the quiz, so make sure to budget your time wisely when you take the quiz. You will be given two hours to complete the quiz. Doing well on the quizzes will set you up to be VERY successful in the course. The quizzes will open at 12:00 A.M. EST on Mondays and close at 11:30 P.M. on the following Sunday.

Major Papers: There will be four (4) major papers for the course; one of the four papers will be during final examination week. Each of the papers will be submitted via Dropbox. Detailed information on this process can be found in each of the case modules. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Class Participation:

Regular login access to the class is required in order to pass the class.  If a student misses a deadline, it is his/her responsibility to contact the instructor regarding missed assignments.  Excessive lack of participation will lower the student's final grade, typically evidenced by missed assignments.  If a student continues to be non-engaged with the class, they may receive an "F" for the course.  The instructor will contact students that are not participating via e-mail. If extenuating circumstances cause a student to miss coursework, the instructor may consider the situation; this may include a written proof of a valid excuse..

Late Policy:

Late assignments are typically not accepted.  A late assignment will be docked a full letter grade for the first full week being late, and subsequent letter grades for each additional week.  It is encouraged that students keep up with their assignments in order to be successful. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on December 18, 2017