Disaster and Coastal Studies

Professional Certifications

The Division of Social Sciences offer the certification in the following areas. The professional certification is open to students of other disciplines.

Interdisciplinary Certificate Program in Disaster and Coastal Studies (DCS)

The interdisciplinary Disaster Coastal studies (DCS) certificate program will provide students across the institution the opportunity to study preparedness, rescue, and mitigation to address disaster emergency and efforts to develop resiliency among the coastal community in a multidisciplinary context. The focus of this certificate program is to strengthen student careers in public safety, emergency management, community and research planning, and public-policy making. The certificate will create well-informed and socially-committed professionals able to use holistic, humane, and integrated strategies to mitigate the impact of disasters and assist Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to build more resilient communities. The twelve (12) credit hour interdisciplinary certificate in Disaster and Costal Studies (DCS) is open to degree seeking students across the institution’s majors. The certificate will emphasize the social science, natural science, and planning dimensions of disaster awareness and impact reduction. The DCS certificate conforms to the mission and vision of Tougaloo College by emphasizing a multidisciplinary and policy-relevant approach to a major 21st century challenge that will also confer competitive career advantages to students. The certificate consists of four (4) courses including forty (40) hours of practical internship experiences with local, state, federal agencies, or NGO’s. The DCS Certificate program is housed in Sociology and Social Work Department.

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Required Core Courses: (3 courses)

DCS 201 Introduction to Natural and Manmade Disasters 3 sem. hours
DCS 320 Emergency Preparedness Response and Planning 3 sem. hours
DCS 400 Internship 3 sem. hours
Required Electives: (1 course)
Students have the option to choose one course from the following:
COP 211 Public Relations Writing 3 sem. hours
PSY 328 Health Psychology in Disaster Preparedness 3 sem. hours
POL 317 Public Policy & Legal Issues in Disaster Preparedness 3 sem. hours
SWK 331 Social, Community Organizations and Disaster Preparedness 3 sem. hours

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: Disaster Coastal Studies

DCS 201: INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL AND TECHNOLOGY. (Co-listed as NSD 201)  This course is designed to give a broad overview of Natural Disaster and modern tools like GIS to study Natural Disasters. This interdisciplinary course provides a background of the understanding, motivation, implementation, impact, planning, and implications of Natural Disasters. These will include Hurricanes, Floods, Drought, Landslides, Earthquakes, Wildfires, Tornadoes, Tsunamis, and Climate Change. The course will also discuss specific applications which can be used for policy planning and mitigation of Natural Disasters. This class is suitable for College students, interested in gaining a fundamental knowledge of Natural Disasters, getting hands on training in GIS, pursue a certificate in Disaster Coastal studies, and learning about future prospects in this field. Lectures and assignments provide the primary means of learning. Class presentations, class participation, class projects and tests will allow the students to demonstrate their understanding of the material. Credit: 3 SEMESTER HOURS.

COP 211: PUBLIC RELATIONS WRITING. This course is designed to help students develop the writing and editing skills necessary to succeed in public relations. Students will create effective, strategy-based public relations materials in a variety of formats, for an existing business or organization in the community.  This course is also designed to have students think critically about current events, including disasters natural and manmade, and how they relate to public relations practice. It will explain the requirements of the media and how to best incorporate the media to the advantage of the organization, and the importance of determining what will make the strongest visual or textual impact. Prerequisite: Must complete one of the theme areas of the General Education. Credit: 3 SEMESTER HOURS.

POL 317: PUBLIC POLICY AND LEGAL ISSUES IN DISASTER PREPAREDNESS. The course will present concepts and basic descriptive information about the public policy process in the executive and legislative branches of government and actions of the judicial branch in court cases as it relates to disaster preparedness. This will include examining the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s legal requirements, responsibilities, laws pertaining to emergency management, and actions based on these laws. Focus will also be placed on analysis of public policies and understanding of the procedures and requirements in emergency management. Prerequisite: POL 111 (majors). Non majors must complete one of the theme areas of the General Education. Credit: 3 SEMESTER HOURS.

DCS 320: EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS RESPONSE AND PLANNIG. This course introduces students to the field of Disaster Preparedness.  Students will be gain competency to the terminology, policy, planning, and management issues that arise in preparing for and responding to disasters.  Course will help students to develop an understanding the role of the organizations in assisting individuals and communities affected by disasters during both immediate and long term recovery. The course will examine case studies from current events and past disasters. Credit: 3 SEMESTER HOURS.

PSY 328: HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY IN DISASTER PREPAREDNESS. The course focuses on psychological factors (e.g., stress, individual differences, and personality) and environmental events (e.g., disasters) that can affect mental and physical well-being as well as relationships between patients and practitioners. It emphasizes the role of psychologists in the assessment and treatment of mental and emotional problems and the promotion of lifestyle changes, health, and recovery from disaster (e.g., dealing with psychological sequelae of disasters). Prerequisite: PSY111 and PSY112 (for Psychology majors). Non majors (must complete one of the theme areas of the General Education) offered every even spring semester. Credit: 3 SEMESTER HOURS.

SWK 331: SOCIAL, COMMUNITY, ORGANIZATIONS, AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS. (Co-listed as SOC 331). The course will investigate the nature of complex social and community organizations such as business, industry, and government. Students will apply key social theories for bringing effective community‑based social action.  Special attention will be given to community-based disaster preparedness, recovery efforts, and management strategies. Students will be familiar with the strategies to build resilient community, community-mindedness and cooperative relationships between disaster victims and recovery organizations. How disasters lead to rapid social change will also be explored. Prerequisite: SOC 111 or SWK115 (for Sociology majors). Non majors (must complete one of the theme areas of the General Education). Credit: 3 SEMESTER HOURS.

DCS 400: INTERNSHIP.  An educationally- directed practice experience in disaster management agencies with trained site supervisor. Focus will be placed upon the application of the theoretical knowledge in real-life situation. Prerequisite: must complete the 2 core requirements. Credit: 3 SEMESTER HOURS.