UMA Approved for Two New Academic Programs

The University of Maine at Augusta is offering two new, one-of-a-kind online degree programs to train students for careers in fields pertaining to public safety, one that began this summer and another that will be offered in the fall.

Students can pursue an online Master of Science in Trauma-Informed Emergency Management and an online Associate of Science in Community Policing. Both degrees rely on existing courses, but allow students to receive higher credentials and more education and training to better prepare them for maintaining community safety and well-being.

Master of Science in Trauma-Informed Emergency Management

The 30-credit Master of Science in Trauma-Informed Emergency Management, which launched this summer, is the first graduate program in emergency management in Maine and the only one in the U.S. that is trauma-informed. According to program coordinator Kati Corlew, “The program not only provides students traditional emergency management and preparedness training, but also teaches them how to plan for and help people deal with the mental, psychological, emotional and cognitive trauma they experience during crises.”

“The program not only provides students traditional emergency management and preparedness training, but also teaches them how to plan for and help people deal with the mental, psychological, emotional and cognitive trauma they experience during crises.”

The new graduate degree will support aspiring and existing emergency managers, crisis workers, counselors, town planners, school administrators and professionals in other related fields. Students can choose concentrations in community resilience, data analytics, mental health, and emergency management and preparedness; similar to the 16-credit Graduate Certificate in Trauma-Informed Emergency Management introduced in 2021. Faculty from UMA and other University of Maine System institutions will teach classes for the interdisciplinary program, which also includes a new capstone course. Corlew, also an associate professor of psychology, says students pursuing the master’s degree automatically earn the graduate certificate.

“There’s definitely a growing interest from employers for trauma-informed emergency management professionals,” Corlew says. “When people experience trauma in a crisis, they behave differently, so we need people who can respond to it as it happens. It also helps with preparedness, which can reduce risk and increase resilience to minimize trauma.”

Associate of Science in Community Policing

The 60-credit Associate of Science in Community Policing, which will be offered this fall, teaches future and active law enforcement professionals how to foster relationships with the people they serve to build trust, provide comfort, prevent crime and minimize the fear of it, says Noel March, justice studies lecturer and director of the Maine Community Policing Institute at UMA. It is the first degree dedicated to community policing in the U.S., March says.

The degree program builds on the existing certificate and micro-certificate offered at UMA. It uses existing courses and an interdisciplinary approach to instruction that can provide students with knowledge in law, substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, hate crimes, community resilience, communication, cultural competency, women and gender studies, American history, computer science, and art. 

March says providing students a diverse educational background will make them “more holistic and well-rounded criminal justice professionals.” By offering the degree program online with asynchronous curricula, March also says he hopes the program will reduce enough barriers to attract prospective students from across the country.

“This new credential will offer students an enhanced skill set and knowledge to contribute to the safety and well-being of society,” he says.

“This new credential will offer students an enhanced skill set and knowledge to contribute to the safety and well-being of society.”