Public Safety degree overview

Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety

Move up to leadership and management. The courses in our Public Safety degree program help you enhance your leadership skills and increase your knowledge of policing procedures and court systems. Apply coursework taken at a police academy toward your degree.

About Our Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Program

This major promotes the canopy topic of Public Safety and focuses upon knowledge and skills necessary to maintain social order, protect individual rights, meet public needs, and uphold the laws and institutions of democracy and combat and respond to Terrorism, Forensics and Victim Services as well.  Full knowledge and understanding of the cultural paramilitary structure of the Public Safety professions, is essential for functioning within this structural system or guiding others towards a long and satisfying career path. An understanding of law, justice, governance and working within an ever changing society will enable the student to acquire realization on a variety of community, legislative, judicial, political, and social economic systems.

This program was conceived and designed in partnership with public safety professionals. The Public Safety Administration (PSA) degree stimulates the aptitudes necessary to become a new member or continuing professional within the Public Safety fields of emergency management, fire protection, emergency medical response, Public Safety or environmental health and safety. 

Students can choose from two tracks of study: Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership.

Public Safety Job Opportunities

You will graduate prepared to take on a law enforcement leadership or management role within the organization. Positions you may wish to pursue include:
  • Metropolitan or state police officer
  • Sheriff's officer
  • Private security officer
  • Detective
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Military
  • Secret Service
Discover the Benefits of Ottawa University
  • Generous credit transfer policy – Get credit where credit is due with Ottawa University’s generous credit transfer policy that honors past experience – up to 80 credit hours
  • Rich, established history – For almost 150 years, Ottawa University has educated students for lifetimes of enlightened faith, exemplary service, inspired leadership and personal growth and significance. Today, we remain an inclusive learning community grounded in faith and focused on the career needs of the future
  • Life-friendly online learning options – At Ottawa University, we’re committed to your professional growth and development – no matter where you are in life. That’s why we offer life-friendly degree programs for working adults, military personnel and their families, or anyone looking for a flexible and convenient program that can be completed outside the classroom
  • A supportive learning environment – As an online student at Ottawa University, you will collaborate with and draw upon the expertise and support of faculty members and ministry professionals who are dedicated to your success
If you’re interested in earning a degree in public safety, contact us today. 

For curriculum and course descriptions please download a program overview.

For detailed curriculum and more please visit the University Catalog entry for this program.

Foundation Courses

Servant Leadership in Public Safety | PSA 30100
Provides public safety leaders with the knowledge, skills, and tools for effective leadership within their chosen fields, with a focus on the Servant Leadership model and demonstrating how serving first and leading second, evolves seamlessly.

Ethics, Liabilities, and Rights in Public Safety | PSA 30200
Examines ethics from a public safety profession perspective, including the application of ethical theories to those professions.  Academic themes include public safety prudence, recuperative and restorative justice, legal applications and procedures, sentencing, research, community crime control policies.

Individual Rights: Practices and Systems in Public Safety | PSA 30300
Examines legal theory behind individual rights and their practices and systems application as connected to the public safety profession.  Examines the U.S. constitution as it relates to the public safety function, including statutory law and judicial decisions governing the areas of arrest, search and seizure, interrogations and confessions, self-incrimination, and other constitutional guarantees.

Race, Crime, and Social Policy | PSA 40000
Examines prejudice, discrimination, systems and structures of oppression and effects on public safety in a changing society. Analyzes significance of race, class, and ethnicity to crime perpetration and criminal justice processing, role of racism in treatment of minorities by various components of criminal justice system, evolving public policy resulting from increases in immigration and impact on public safety professions.  Examines hate crimes, laws enacted to combat, and multi-disciplinary approaches to community relations.

Communication Skills for Public Safety Professions | PSA 40100
Examines the importance of acquiring proficient knowledge of and utilization of effective communication skills while working within the public safety profession.  Includes a combination of instructional and interactive learning techniques designed to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of communication.  Students will learn active listening methods as well as diverse measures of effective communication.

Understanding Victimology for Public Safety | PSA 40300
Examines the concept of Victimology and provides information on the fears, emotional distress, physical suffering, and financial loss suffered by victims and witnesses of crime.  Explores victimization, including relations between victims and offenders, interactions between victims and the criminal justice system, that is, the Public Safety profession, courts, and corrections officials, and the connections between victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, businesses, and social movements.

Seminar in Applied Public Safety | PSA 49000
Capstone course that guides student in the integration of functional content areas in the field of public safety.  Addresses public safety issues and applying public safety theories and techniques to problems and cases through a process of decision-making that demonstrates achievement of the learning outcomes.  Prerequisite: Completion of all required courses in the major or permission of advisor.


Law Enforcement Track

Examination of Criminal Justice | PSA 30000
Designed to reinforce officer’s knowledge and understanding of all facets of criminal justice system, sub-systems and how they interrelate (police, defense and prosecuting attorneys, courts, institutional corrections, community-based corrections, and the juvenile justice system.)  Emphasis on criminal justice system as a whole and necessity that its elements be integrated.  Roles and interrelationships of local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies also examined.

Mental Illness Responses and Strategies | PSA 30500
Develops an understanding of the observable symptoms in common types of mental illness and associated criminal behavior.  Explores proper techniques for handling and transporting people who are mentally disturbed and the legal procedures for both emergency and routine mental illness related cases.  Examines the risk factors and warning signs to effectively respond to individuals experiencing mental illness trauma events.

Policing in Today's Communities | PSA 40200
Focuses particularly on police response to the community, recognizing that delivery of police services is much more than law enforcement.  Stresses the skills of communication, intervention, negotiation and mediation.  Ties directly to the expectation that police maintain order and engage in conflict resolution.  Includes dynamics of human relationships and understanding various cultural differences that affect policing. Provides overview of origins, meaning and development of community policing programs. Used role-playing and case studies to enhance learning experience.


Public Safety Leadership Track

Public Safety Administration and Leadership | PSA 30600
Examines public safety administration and organizational problem solving, including the concept that leaders must become skilled in navigating the “change process” which drives organizational vision and assists in its ability to be implemented within the culture of an organization.  Explores topics of employee engagement, resistance to change, and strategies for effective leadership.

Leadership Issues and the First-line Supervision | PSA 30700
Examines first-line supervision, with a progression to mid-level and executive-level leadership, focusing on leadership principles and theories.  Applies popular governance and leadership theories to current issues in the public safety field, such as homeland security, crisis leadership, implementing technology innovations, police ethics, and integrity.

Human Resources for Public Safety | PSA 40600
Examines the larger human resources functions of recruitment, hiring, retention, and training for the public safety agency sector, including the intersection of planning, budgeting, personnel, external and internal pressures, and performance expectations of a public safety agency.  Focuses on larger human relations planning processes within the context of the general movement to “reform” public safety agencies and improve performance in an effort to serve communities more effectively and enhance the public good.

For detailed curriculum and more please visit the Course Catalog entryfor this program.

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