Grads from Sheridan program know how to handle an emergency - Metro US

Grads from Sheridan program know how to handle an emergency

Dealing with emergency situations effectively and making sure they don’t get worse is not only a crucial skill in today’s world — it’s a marketable one.

Whether you’re already working in the industry or are interested in making a career out of helping people and communities recover from emergencies, the Emergency Management post-graduate program at Sheridan can help you go from the sidelines to a leading role in managing emergencies.

Peter Larsen, co-ordinator of the one-year, post-grad Emergency Management Program at Sheridan, says the goal of the program is to give students the skills and experience to take charge of any emergency situation and understand how to prepare for the inevitable effectively.

“You can’t necessarily prevent all emergencies from happening, but you can certainly mitigate and recover from them if you have a plan in place,” Larsen said.

Recent emergencies like last year’s tornado in Vaughan that cut a swath of destruction through dozens of homes are a perfect example of the kinds of situations where advanced management knowledge and planning are required to deal with an emergency effectively.

A college or university degree is required to enter the program and classes run from September to April. Courses are organized into a flexible system each semester comprising of two online courses, two one-week intensive courses and two regular classes offered at night. Larsen says the compartmentalized course system makes it much easier for students already working in the industry to upgrade their skills while still maintaining their careers.

“We’ve found that there are a large number of student practitioners who want to beef up their academic side while working,” Larsen said.

Case studies and team-based learning are a focus of the program, a crucial feature Larsen says is intended to allow students an opportunity to practice their problem-solving skills while working collaboratively with others. It’s an intense, immersive program designed with input from Emergency Management Ontario to ensure students get the best possible educational experience directly suited to the real needs of institutions that manage emergencies.

“The program we have is relatively intensive because it has to be. There’s an emphasis placed on teamwork because you can’t work in isolation, you have to work with partners,” he said.

Students are trained in the five most crucial skills of emergency management: mitigation, preparation, prevention, response and recovery and the instructors at Sheridan bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table.

“The faculty teaching the program are well-known in the field, are excellent instructors and have strong academic qualifications as well.

Karen Charles, 53, works for the Canadian Red Cross and was on-site after the 9/11 attacks in New York and the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans in 2005. She decided to enter the Emergency Management Program several years ago because she wanted to learn how to deal with emergencies on a larger scale.

“Now when I’m out negotiating and talking to external groups and agencies, I have the knowledge and understanding to know what their needs are,” Charles said.

For more information, visit sheridanc.on.ca.

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