Officials from Kentucky State, Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky universities announced on Dec. 3 a grant and partnership agreement for the Bluegrass State Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence.
The event, which was held at the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security FUSION Center in the Transportation Cabinet Building in Frankfort, included KSU President Raymond M. Burse, MSU President Wayne D. Andrews and Dr. Allen Ault, dean of the College of Justice and Safety at EKU, as speakers.
The Bluegrass State Intelligence Studies Consortium was formed to address the urgent need to increase the number of students from Kentucky and nearby states who are aware of and prepared for intelligence community careers.
The focus will be on curriculum development and the development of undergraduate and graduate certificates.
The innovative center targets a population of motivated but underprepared students who are potential intelligence community employees. Additionally, this proposal is unique in that it includes a Homeland Security Intelligence initiative to foster increased interchanges among academic institutions and regionally based federal, state and local intelligence agencies.
The speakers from all three universities emphasized the agreement’s positive impact on enrollment, employment opportunities and the intelligence community.
“Eastern Kentucky is very excited about the opportunity to partner with Kentucky State and Morehead State in expanding our universities’ intelligence and national security programs,” Ault said. “This is a superb opportunity for us to both increase enrollments at all three schools and better prepare our students for future employment.”
Burse commented on the partnership among the universities. “It sends a strong message in terms of the level of cooperation that exists between our institutions and that we are all focused on improving and enhancing opportunities for students who are enrolled and matriculating at our institutions,” he said. “For us at Kentucky State to have this opportunity to enhance our certificate program as well as the scholarship opportunities for our students – but more importantly, the jobs that follow in completion of those programs – represents a major achievement for us and what we are all about.”
“What we are about in public higher education is to provide access to important programs and services that will enrich the lives of our students and improve their capacity to enter into a career that makes sense,” MSU’s Andrews said. “We want to keep our country safe. It starts in our communities as well as our commonwealth and throughout the nation and the world.”
The long-term goal of this project is to provide students with research, scientific, technological and analytical skills, which when combined with their academic disciplinary backgrounds will ensure the IC has a diverse, highly qualified and motivated pool of applicants from Kentucky and nearby states.
The center will have flexibility in continuing support to faculty and student research; student scholarships for study abroad, international exchange and internships; and funding for workshops and other outreach activities. Consortium members also will continue to seek additional outside grant funding targeted toward intelligence studies programs.