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TSA Partners with STLCC to Offer Associate Degree, Certificate Programs

May 12, 2011

The Transportation Security Administration is partnering with community colleges nationally to provide transportation security officers the opportunity to work toward a TSA homeland security certificate and/or associate degree in homeland security or a related field.


The St. Louis TSA office is working with St. Louis Community College on this program, which gives TSA workers the opportunity to take courses at or near their home airport.


“St. Louis Community College was uniquely positioned here to provide this program, and we are pleased that 20 of our officers are completing the second class in the series of three this month,” said Bill Switzer, St. Louis TSA federal security director. “The program allows our officers to advance their education and improve their careers opportunities. It also strengthens TSA by giving the work force new skills and information. The program also can be a jump start for those who want to pursue a degree while concurrently working for TSA. Homeland security is one of the fastest growing majors today, and TSA is positioning its employees to excel among their peers in the field.”


Currently, more than 1,800 officers are enrolled in the program across the country. In spring 2001, classes are available at more than 50 airports with 46 community colleges in 36 states, including Missouri, enabling nearly half of the officers the opportunity to enroll. By fall 2013, the program will be available at all 91 hub airports.


“As the evolution of the homeland security field continues, St. Louis Community College and other institutions across the country are expanding public administration programs and disaster relief training to produce graduates ready to respond to major disasters,” said Ruby Curry, dean of business and human development at STLCC-Florissant Valley. “We look forward to building upon this partnership because our work in combining homeland security-related knowledge and skills into existing curriculum strengthens the work force and benefits the nation.”


Scott Trupiano, a TSA security officer assigned to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, said: “The program offers you a unique opportunity to study your craft while at the same time engage in your craft where you can see the academic and professional rails running side by side. My coworkers are becoming classmates, and you get a nice academic discussion going on in the class and a nice perspective on the field.”


Kalen Reichert, a lead transportation security officer at Lambert, added: "I'm learning more about how my role as a lead TSO interconnects with the Department of Homeland Security. There are many different processes and departments within Homeland Security, and I see this as a chance to get more relevant education for my career."


TSA STLCC Partnership  
St. Louis Community College and the Transportation Security Administration are partnering to offer associate degree and certificate programs for transportation security officers locally. Pictured are, from left, Ruby Curry, dean of business and human development at STLCC-Florissant Valley; Shayna Howell, client development manager for the college's workforce and community development division; Scott Trupiano and Kalen Reichart, TSA security officers who are enrolled in the program; Richard Nelms, St. Louis TSA administrative officer; Robert Jackson, TSA security officer also enrolled in the program; Ashok Agrawal, vice president for academic affairs at STLCC-Florissant Valley; and Bill Switzer, St. Louis TSA federal security officer.