The first class of graduates took the spotlight Thursday during a special commencement celebration for Butler Community College’s partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.
TSA has partnered with community colleges nationwide to provide Transportation Security Officers the opportunity to work toward a Homeland Security Certificate and/or an Associate Degree in Homeland Security or a related field.
“I feel that the TSA Associate Program adds value for myself and for the TSA,” said graduate and Transportation Security Officer Quyen Nguyen. “I know that the time and effort I spent will benefit me in my current position at the TSA and in my future career.”
Butler’s classes began in February 2011 at the airport. The program offers three classes: Introduction to Homeland Security, Intelligence Analysis & Security Technology and Transportation and Border Security. Officers receive a TSA Certificate of Achievement upon successful completion of the three courses.
The TSA Associate Program allows TSA officers the means to advance their education and improve their career opportunities. At the same time, the program strengthens TSA by giving the workforce new skills and information. This program is a jump start for officers who want to pursue a degree in higher education while concurrently working for TSA.“We’re proud of this first class of 12 graduates here at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport,” said Keith Osborn, TSA Federal Security Director for the state of Kansas. “It’s not easy to work and go to school at the same time, but they’ve all taken the initiative to pursue a course of education while strengthening their work skills. Homeland security is one of the fastest growing majors today, and TSA is pleased to offer this program to help position its employees to excel among their peers in the field.”
Currently, more than 2,800 TSA officers are enrolled in the program across the country. As of spring 2012, classes were available at 80 airports with 67 community colleges in all 50 states. By fall 2013, TSA hopes to expand the program to make give all of its officers the opportunity to enroll.