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Disaster Preparedness & Community Resilience Certificate

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Program Overview

The post-baccalaureate certificate in Disaster Preparedness & Community Resilience Among Vulnerable Populations will serve as a multi-disciplinary program that will bring together a diverse group of disciplines that account for the Departments of Criminal Justice, Journalism and Media Studies, Psychology, and Civil & Environmental Engineering and Industrial Systems &Technology. This program will cover the basics of disaster preparedness and mitigation, effective risk communication, in addition to the behavioral and social science aspects to assess the mental and emotional impacts before, during, and after a disaster. The program will aim to provide students with the basic knowledge, skills, and motivation to take actions to reduce their vulnerability so that they remain safe. Students will be introduced to topics that include disaster preparedness, building community resilience among vulnerable populations, psychological trauma associated with disasters, risk communication, and be offered hands-on experiences through state-of-the-art simulation exercises. This certificate program is ideal for employees of emergency management agencies at the local, state, and federal levels, law enforcement officers, media/journalists, mental health professionals, health care professionals, community managers, community-based organizations, engineers, educators (k-12), university employees, administrators, and staff, etc.  This program is 100% online.

Designated certificate course credits may be transferable to the Technology Education, Journalism and Media Studies, and Criminal Justice (pending further approval by respective program designees).

Program Goals and Objectives

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Identify all the essential components of disaster management preparedness for vulnerable populations and underserved communities;
  • Determine knowledge of the administrative role of the Emergency Manager and safety personnel;
  • Define resiliency and individual and community preparedness and recovery initiatives;
  • Understand the technology applications used in the functions of Emergency/Disaster Management;
  • Understand the psychological impacts of disasters and strategies to aid in resiliency;
  • Identify media sources and strategies for concise and correct communication for timely emergency notifications and alerts; and Understand the public safety concepts of managing both man-made and natural disasters

Who Can Apply:

  • Educators (K-12 and higher ed)
  • Emergency Managers
  • First and Last Responders
  • Local, State, and Federal Employees
  • Public Health Employees
  • Environmental Scientists
  • Information Security Officers
  • Business Owners and Consultants
  • Media Journalists
  • Safety Personnel

Qualifications For Admission

  • Candidates who plan to enroll in this post-baccalaureate certificate program must apply for admission to the Jackson State University Graduate School. The program requires a
  • G.P.A. of 2.0 for admission
  • No GRE Requirements
  • No internship or practicum

Admission Requirements

  • A master’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale) on the master’s degree
  • A completed Specialist program application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Acceptable evidence of the applicant’s writing ability as determined by a writing sample completed under the supervision of the screening committee
  • A successful interview with the program screening committee
  • A recommendation for admission by the screening committee
  • A satisfactory GRE score
  • Student must hold a valid teaching license

How To Apply

  • Complete JSU Graduate Admissions for Certificate Program (under the Psychology Department)
  • Additional application requirements:
    • Three letters of recommendation.
    • An official transcript from an accredited institution(s)
    • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifies your educational goals and expectations of the program; please be aware that the University’s academic policy on plagiarism applies to your statement of purpose
    • Professional resume


Submit your online application to the Jackson State University Division of Graduate Studies at:


Call  601-979-2455 or email for additional information.


For further information, you may contact Dr. Dawn McLin at or Dr. Jessica Murphy and

 Course Offerings (Courses may be updated upon which students will be notified of updated offerings):

 This certificate program is comprised of existing courses currently offered at JSU.


  1. Core Courses: (12 hours)


ITEM 403/503 Disaster Management

PSY   418/518 Seminar: Psychology of Disaster

CJ 483 Disaster Theory

MC 550 Seminar: Communications Media and Issues in Society.


  1. Elective Course ( 6 hours): Elective should be taken in consultation with the Program Coordinators.


PSY 720 Cross-Cultural Psychology

PSY 722 Psychology in the Urban Environment

CJ 483 Disaster Theory (currently a special topics course to be changed to a regular course for Undergraduate/Graduate)

CJ 580 Trauma and Resilience (currently a special topics course to be changed to the regular course for Undergraduate/Graduate

CJ 483 Homeland Security (currently a special topics course to be changed to the regular course for Undergraduate/Graduate)

CJ 520 Legal and Ethical Issues in CJ

MC 520 Minorities and Women in Mass Media

MC 529 Legal and Ethical Aspects of Mass Communication

MC 571 Public Relations Practice

MC 506 Seminar-Urban Affairs Reporting

TE 500 Seminar and Workshop

TE 601 Selection and Organization of Subject Matter

PHS 535 Behavioral Change Program Strategies

PHS 501 Public Health and Behavioral Science