A servant heart is a pre-requisite
A wall of televisions broadcasting up-to the-minute news, ODOT camera views and weather maps; banks of desks and telephones all waiting to ring. It’s the scene a handful of future emergency managers from Rose State College are walking through at the Oklahoma State Emergency Operations Center housed underneath the State Capitol.
The class of future emergency managers is getting a first-hand look at where and how disasters are managed in the state of Oklahoma. It’s a command center where resources are brought together to serve all communities in times of emergency. Rose State College Emergency Management Professor Jackie Wright believes nothing is more important than this type of real-world experience. “A student must be prepared and not just with textbook knowledge but with hands-on learning,” Wright says. “It really requires a servant’s heart to do this job well, with the knowledge you’re not in the spotlight but everything you do is the firm foundation for resiliency.”
Nationally, most emergency manager positions require an associate or bachelor’s degree as well as training and experience in the field. The number of academic programs offering degrees in the arena has increased from just a few in 1995 to almost 300 today according to publications following the career field.
Rose State College in partnership with the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management, have collaborated to create and offer a one-of-a-kind Associate in Science in Emergency Management degree. The program, which launched Fall of 2016, has recognized nearly four-dozen enrollments and interest grows daily.
State Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood believes there is so much growth opportunity in the emergency management profession. “Quality instruction from the beginning is a necessity for this type of job. To be able to work with Rose State and see this much needed training come to life for future emergency managers is a very positive move.”
“When tragedy strikes our community’s readiness often relies on the emergency management personnel in the field,” stated Dr. Jeanie Webb, President of Rose State College. “Rose State’s program is based on real world experience and that is the differentiator for attracting students from around the region.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a growth rate of 6 percent through 2024 for emergency management as an industry, on par with average growth rates. However, a recent Wall Street Journal article suggests that emergency management may be expanding much more quickly – one of the top five expanding career fields in the country.
Cities are growing, businesses and technology are evolving, and weather is always volatile. Unfortunately, Oklahoma City is no stranger to disasters requiring the efforts of emergency managers across many jurisdictions.
The 63 hour Rose State College degree program contains general education and emergency management courses. Students can choose to take course in the classroom, through interactive teleconference video, or 100% online.
“As a safety professional, emergency management is just another tool in my tool-kit that I can use to help Oklahoma businesses protect their workers, mitigate their risks and ensure they can get back to business after disaster strikes,” says Betsey Kulakowski, a Rose State emergency management student.
Information about the Rose State Emergency Management program can be found by contacting Linda Pryor at 405-765-9232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.