The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Higher Education and Professional Practice


Master Plan Amendment: Rochester Business Institute, A.A.S., Homeland Security Specialist


February 27, 2004


Approval (Consent Agenda)


Rochester Business Institute needs the Regents approval of a master plan amendment to authorize its first program in the discipline area of Social Sciences


Goals 2 and 4






Rochester Business Institute, Rochester, seeks approval of an amendment to its master plan to authorize it to offer a Homeland Security Specialist program leading to an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.).  Master plan amendment is needed because this would be the Institute’s first program in the discipline area of the Social Sciences.  The Department has determined that the proposed program would meet the standards for registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education if the Institute hires the faculty proposed.


Recommendation: I recommend that the Regents take the following action:


VOTED, that the master plan of Rochester Business Institute, Rochester, be amended, effective March 23, 2004, to authorize the Institute to offer an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in Homeland Security Specialist.  This amendment will be effective only until March 31, 2005, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.

Rochester Business Institute

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.), Homeland Security Specialist


Academic Review


            A. Institutional Information.  The Regents authorized Rochester Business Institute, Rochester, Monroe County, to award the Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree in March 1976 and the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in November 2003.  Founded in 1863 to train men and women in business vocational education, the Institute offers associate degree programs in the disciplinary areas of business, the health professions, and the physical sciences.  It is owned by the Rhodes Business Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Corinthian Colleges, Inc.  In the fall of 2003, it had 1,173 full- and part-time students.


            Rochester Business Institute proposes this program as the community’s first degree program in homeland security. It states that the program will increase its academic strengths and provide it with the opportunity to recruit from a student pool that has shown interest in applying for such a program.  The program is already offered at other Corinthian Colleges schools, where it has been extremely successful. According to the Institute, this will result in an enlarged and stronger student population that, upon graduation, will meet the needs of Rochester and Monroe County employers and students searching for training in this discipline. The Institute believes it also will also result in a substantially stronger and more diverse faculty who can make significant contributions to its other degree programs.


            B. Curriculum.  The curriculum has two basic components: college core requirements (44 quarter credits in computer science, English composition, college algebra, psychology, sociology, literature, critical thinking and environmental science) and 52 quarter credits of core subjects, including security principles, planning and procedures, domestic and international terrorism, emergency services and fire operations, tactical communications, security investigations and security supervision.  Sixteen courses would be new. 


            All curricula at Rochester Business Institute are characterized by a significant amount of “hands-on” experience. That is the case with this program; most of the courses in the major, as well as the cognate areas, have extensive experiential learning components. A second significant aspect is the ability for students to train in a professional setting in a new Homeland Security Specialist laboratory.


            C. Students.  The admissions requirements for students entering the Homeland Security Specialist program are similar to those of the Institute’s other degree programs: a high school diploma or GED and a passing score on the CPaT examination.  In addition, due to the sensitive nature of the homeland security courses, student applicants will be required to pass a Basic Security Clearance for admission to the program.




            The Institute projects that students entering this program will have characteristics similar to its present students. They will come from predominately working class to middle class families and include a high percentage of first-time college entrants from these family groups. They will have a great interest in the security field and have as their primary goal to enter the paraprofessional work force, especially in their home area.


            On the basis of surveys, Rochester Business Institute anticipates enrolling 50 students in the program’s first term (Summer 2004) and having an enrollment of 450 in the summer of 2009.


            D. Faculty.  In the fall of 2001, Rochester Business Institute had 13 full-time and about 40 part-time faculty members.  That year, the ratio of FTE students to FTE faculty members was 25.7:1.  The Institute intends to hire a department chair who holds a master’s degree and has ten or more years of experience in police, fire, or military security management and two to four full-time and four to six part-time homeland security faculty members who have master’s degrees and five or more years of experience, for a total of seven to 11 faculty. It has identified two potential faculty members with appropriate academic and professional qualifications and experience who would become the department chair and one of the full-time faculty if the proposed program is approved. 


            E. Resources.  Laboratory space is being designed and equipped specifically for this program and will be adequate. The Institute states that it has increased library holdings in the areas of general security, intelligence, and emergency procedures and that it is committed to purchasing new laboratory equipment and to expanding its library acquisitions in the first year and adding a continuing line item in the library budget dedicated to resources for the Homeland Security Specialist program.


            F. Program Registration. The Department has determined that the proposed program, if approved, would meet the standards for registration in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education if the Institute hires the faculty proposed.


Planning Review


            G. Need.  According to Rochester Business Institute, there are no other associate degree programs in the Genesee Valley Region focusing on homeland security.  It states that the program would fill a local and national need for individuals trained in the multi-security tasks of homeland security. It notes that employment prospects in the homeland security field have grown dramatically in the aftermath of 9/11.  In addition, government and private agencies are seeking candidates with training in this specialization.  The Institute states it was approached by the New York State Police to aid in recruitment activities aimed at ensuring a more diverse work force. In addition, State Police officials, as well as other government and security employers, have shown interest in participating in its career fairs and other outreach to the security community.  The Institute sees the program as aiding in this effort as well as expanding the pool of security professionals in the homeland security field.


            Rochester Business Institute surveyed employers in the Rochester area regarding the proposed program.  They noted growing opportunities in both public and private security-related employment.


            H.  Effect on Other Institutions.  While the proposed program would have a focus on homeland security, it would be categorized in the subject field of Police, Law Enforcement, and Correction Technologies.  In the Genesee Valley, four institutions offer associate degree programs in that subject field: Corning Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Genesee Community College, and Monroe Community College (at both its main campus and its Damon City Campus).


            A canvass was conducted of all colleges and universities in the Genesee Valley Region.  No institution raised concerns about, or objections to, the proposed program.