As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, the climate of catastrophic disasters and terrorist incidents continues to place demands upon professionals in the field of emergency management. This case study explores the perceptions of former graduate students, clients, and professors in gaining insight into how essential client-based service learning is to the preparedness of emergency management professionals enrolled in a Master of Public Administration in Emergency and Disaster Management program. The study assesses the use of this pedagogy by conducting in-depth interviews, focus groups, and observations. Limited research is available on the application and impact of client-based service learning as part of the current delivery practices found today in emergency management masters curricula.

Findings offer direction in future delivery practices and the challenges that occur among student, client and institutions of higher education offering emergency management programs. Students apply scholarship through the implementation of learned theories to practical problems for organizations in emergency preparedness planning. Client organizations and graduate students collaborate and share resources to produce common goals in the form of deliverables such as reports, plans and assessments.


Thomas J. Carey, III

Thomas Carey, Ed.D., is an Adjunct Professor at both Monmouth University and Metropolitan College of New York. He instructs undergraduate students in the foundations of intelligence in homeland security policy and practice at Monmouth University. At the Metropolitan College of New York, Dr. Carey develops curriculum and instructs graduate students in the applications of hazard analysis, disaster preparedness and recovery procedures. His research interests include the utilization of client-based service learning and experiential learning pedagogies in emergency management and homeland security curricula. In 2016, Dr. Carey was awarded the Exemplary Performance in Service Award by St. John Fisher College for originality and appropriateness of leadership research, as well as the technical competence for his dissertation work. Additionally, this research was presented at the 18th FEMA Higher Education Symposium in Emmitsburg, MD. Dr. Carey has spent 23 years in the NYPD as a supervisor in various investigative and training assignments. His combined military service includes 27 years in the New York Army National Guard and U.S. Army achieving the rank of Sergeant Major. He is also a combat veteran of the Operation Iraqi Freedom campaign. His professional career includes work as an operations and intelligence manager, emergency manager, project manager, counter-terrorism liaison and police instructor. Professional Certifications held include the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) awarded by the American Society of Industrial Security and the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) awarded by the International Association of Emergency Managers.

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The Utilization of Client-Based Service-Learning in Emergency Management Graduate Curricula for the 21st Century

Suggested Citation

Carey, T. J. (2018). The utilization of client-based service-learning in emergency management graduate curricula for the 21st century. Journal of Homeland Security Education, 7, 13-28, https://jsire.org/the-utilization-of-client-based-service-learning-in-emergency-management-graduate-curricula-for-the-21st-century