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Emergency and Disaster Management Certificate

Emergency and Disater Mahamenent Certificate at Harper College

Earn a certificate in emergency and disaster management 

Program facts  Liberal Arts icon

  • Credit hours: 30
  • Stackable to degree: Yes
  • Potential job outcomes: 
    Emergency manager

Get an introduction to the emergency and disaster management field with this 30-credit-hour certificate program. Develop the skills and knowledge needed to work in a variety of emergency management roles at local, state and federal levels. Upon completion of this program, you’ll be ready to seek full-time employment in the emergency and disaster management field. You may also choose to continue your education and complete Harper’s AAS in Emergency and Disaster Management.

Take classes in emergency management, incident management systems, social dimensions of disaster, ideologies of terrorism, emergency services safety and a selection of elective courses. Get hands-on experience training in Harper College’s on-site lab, which enables you to walk through realistic emergency scenarios, use communication equipment and practice working in different roles within a chain of command.

Certificate program requirements

This 30 credit-hour certificate program is intended to meet the needs of men and women in emergency management roles at the local, state and federal levels to enter the emergency management career field. Opportunities for graduates include Emergency Manager Specialist, Emergency Services Manager, Emergency Management Planner, Emergency Operations Director, Environmental Compliance Planner, and Emergency Disaster Coordinator.


A grade of C or better in all EMG courses in required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits
EMG 101 3

Description: Provides a foundation overview of emergency management. Students will examine the need for emergency management, processes and elements involved in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

EMG 107 3

Description: Introduces students to the Emergency Management System and elements involved which include incident command, unified command, and incident action planning. Emergency management systems which will be examined will include the Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Managing post incident critiques and evaluations also will be explored.

EMG 150 3

Description: Provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge in public information, education, community relations, communications and involved elements including writing, public speaking, and understanding the media. The course content will also introduce concepts of volunteer program utilization and maintenance.

EMG 155 3

Description: Introduces students to the various aspects of sociology and recovery from disasters. Topics will include aspects of a disaster such as behavioral and organizational responses to disasters as well as the impact of the media. Students will study the concept of building a disaster-resistant community. This course will also cover topics related to terrorism such as a terrorist sociological analysis, the dimension of terrorism.

Prerequisite: EMG 101 with a grade of C or better.

EMG 253 3

Description: Examines the various analytical approaches to the study of terrorism. Students will be exposed to the ideologies and composition of known terrorist groups, review terrorist tactics and examine police and governmental responses to reduce or eliminate the incidence of terrorism.

FIS 260 3

Description: Provides a foundation of knowledge and understanding of safety as applied to emergency services. Examines the need for safety in the everyday performance of all aspects of their jobs and gain an understanding of the essential elements needed to reduce accidents and injuries.

Electives: Select at least 12 credit hours from the following courses:

A grade of C or better in all EMG courses in required for all students.

Number Course Title Credits
EMG 103 3

Description: Presents differences in personal values and interpersonal influence styles, and to apply situational leadership behaviors in emergency management. The course content reinforces existing management skills required for building an emergency management system.

EMG 131 3

Description: Introduces students to the field of emergency services dispatching and provides an overview of its components and responsibilities. As such, it will provide the foundation for statewide competency as a public safety telecommunicator as outlined by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) in its Public Safety Telecommunicator Training and Standards document, Basic Level Training Curriculum (September 1996).

EMG 151 3

Description: Provides students with the skills to develop plans and policy as an Emergency Management Specialist. Examines the concepts of writing an emergency operations plan and the elements necessary for inclusion in the plan (all-risk hazard planning).

Prerequisite: EMG 103 with a grade of C or better.

EMG 153 3

Description: Introduces students to various means of hazard analysis used to prioritize response activities, allocate resources, and specifically request other resources to save and sustain lives. Students will examine the need for mitigation programs and discuss the appropriate methods to implement various mitigation programs.

Prerequisite: EMG 101 with a grade of C or better.

EMG 201 3

Description: Examines globally how disasters are on the increase, impacting communities and nations with grave social and economic consequences. Studies the international response to disasters which is convoluted, at times chaotic, and always complex. Students will learn about shifting socio-economic situations, unplanned urbanization, environmental degradation, climate variability and change, geological hazards, and the struggle for scarce natural resources. Because disasters increasingly impact the global economy and the sustainable development of developing countries, the student will learn how to apply international emergency disaster management.

Prerequisite: EMG 101 with a grade of C or better.

EMG 205 3

Description: Introduces students to different aspects of crisis exercise design and evaluation. Students will identify specific needs to adhere to federal or state directives pertaining to required exercises, to utilize proper training strategies and to identify performance gaps. The course will include exercise design and group dynamics, conducting an exercise, analyzing the results, conducting a critique and implementation of corrective actions and recommendations.

Prerequisite: EMG 151 and EMG 153 with grades of C or better.

EMG 231 3

Description: Builds upon the foundation laid through EMG 131 and provides students with specific knowledge required to professionally handle emergency as well as non-emergency calls for service in the public safety environment. At the conclusion of this course, students will possess a basic understanding of the role, responsibility and equipment utilized by telecommunicators to accomplish their mission.

Prerequisite: EMG 131 with a grade of C or better.

EMG 251 3

Description: Exposes students to various aspects of select problems in emergency management including environmental, funding and political issues. Students will learn about local governments and jurisdictions, the political process, support agencies, crisis management for business and industry and contingency planning. This course will also address long-term incidents and professional development.

Prerequisite: EMG 101 with a grade of C or better.

EMG 299 1

Description: Provides practical emergency management experience in a supervised professional setting focused on the integration of theory and practice. Actual experience in various phases of emergency management will be provided through mutually agreed upon cooperative projects with government and industry.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in EMG 205, EMG 251 and EMG 253 with grades of C or better.

FIS 121 3

Description: Explores the theories and principles of how and why fires start, spread, and are brought under control. Students will be able to relate the principles by which fires spread with the appropriate methods of control.

FIS 132 3

Description: Reviews basic chemistry, storage, handling, laws, standards and fire fighting practices pertaining to hazardous materials. Emphasis on identification, labeling, handling, firefighting, and mitigation of hazardous materials emergencies. Students who wish to satisfy the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshall Certificate Requirements must successfully complete this course as well as the required practical skills evaluation prior to taking the state examination by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (A.H.J.).

FIS 230 3

Description: Enables the student to acquire a basic knowledge of the law in specified subject areas that directly or indirectly affect fire and emergency services by providing basic knowledge of the methodology through which to locate, read and comprehend various statues, regulations, and cases that are the framework of the law.

FIS 250 3

Description: Studies the recommended practices for protection of industrial properties and processes from fire, explosion and damage specific to certain types of public and private industry; including fire and accident prevention programs, identification of special hazards, fire protection equipment and systems, handling of emergencies, the development of policy, rules, and regulations, the inspection and investigation of accidents, and standardized record keeping.

FIS 270 3

Description: Provides students with a primary focus on the operations-level situations to which fire service rescue squads are called. Focuses on various complex rescue scenarios that firefighters are exposed to on a regular and on-going basis. Conforms and meets NFPA Standard 1670 on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue incidents.

Prerequisite: FIS 100 with a grade of C or better.

Related programs

Students interested in emergency and disaster management may also be interested in:


Next steps

For more information about emergency and disaster management courses, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.