DMACC Announces Major Expansion of it's Partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to Provide its Associates Programs to Employees

Posted 4/19/2017

​The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is expanding its partnership with Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) to provide for credit homeland security courses to TSA employees in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

It encompasses 285 airports across the northern half of the United States. The program offers employees the opportunity to work toward a Certificate of Achievement in Homeland Security and/or Associates Degree in Homeland Security or a related field. The expanded partnership is part of a major consolidation of institutions offering the TSA Associates Program courses.

“As a result of proven responsiveness, flexibility and quality of instruction, DMACC was awarded this significant responsibility,” said Fred Stein, TSA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Training and Development. 

DMACC’s Homeland Security Certificate offers three courses focusing on the best practices and the latest techniques to deter terrorists including:

  • Introduction to Homeland Security
  • Intelligence Analysis and Security Management
  • Transportation & Border Security

“This brings national prominence to DMACC’s outstanding Criminal Justice Program,” said Rob Denson, President of DMACC. “We are respectful that TSA has put its trust in the College. It is also a tremendous compliment to Program Chair Jessica Cole and DMACC’s outstanding Criminal Justice program, one of the finest nationally.”

“The curriculum of the Homeland Security Certificate is interesting and engaging,” said Dawn Smith, TSA Supervisor who recently transferred to Des Moines. “The classes help me better understand the bigger picture of law enforcement and protecting the public. I’ve enjoyed the learning experience.”

The Certificate Program is open to full and part-time TSA employees who have been employed at least six months. The tuition will be paid for by the TSA. DMACC courses will be offered to more than 22,000 TSA employees.  Once the TSA employee successfully completes the nine credit certificate, he or she may move on to other homeland security-centered courses or pursue a two-year DMACC Criminal Justice degree in the Homeland Security concentration.

“We’re making additional changes so after finishing their Homeland Security Certificate the TSA employee can continue their education with DMACC. It’s part of our goal to provide a very student-centered experience,” said Professor Jessica Cole, DMACC Criminal Justice Program Chair.

DMACC launched its homeland security emphasis five years ago by offering the classes to 112 TSA employees based in Central Iowa. The new announcement will more than double the
size of DMACC’s Criminal Justice Program. Denson said the TSA expansion means the College will be hiring four new, full-time Criminal Justice Professors.

“We helped TSA achieve their goal of making the Homeland Security Certificate available online to employees across the country,” said Cole. “DMACC is well positioned to educate TSA employees. We will also be creating an internal team from admissions to advising for them,” said Cole.

She noted that TSA trains its employees on screening procedures and other security skills, but DMACC’s emphasis in professional development offers a broader perspective that aims to improve their critical thinking skills.

American Public University, based in West Virginia, will offer the Homeland Security Certificate to TSA Employees in the other 14 states. 

Homeland Security is part of three other DMACC Criminal Justice majors including; Law Enforcement, Electronic Crime Investigation and Corrections.

About TSA
The Transportation Security Administration was created to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security. For more information about TSA, please visit

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is a public institution serving the educational and career training needs of students around the world and is committed to their lifelong success. DMACC offers 252 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 70,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses, five learning centers and online. Thanks to college-wide innovation, accreditation and affordability, DMACC ranked 10th on Value Colleges’ “Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges in the U.S.”  For more information, please visit

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