(TNS) — An area college's new online international relations and security degree will offer participants the chance to specialize in cyber security or global security, but that doesn't mean you'll learn how to hack into foreign governments' computers.
Indiana Wesleyan University's (IWU) new degree will focus on giving students the "soft skills" needed to work in an international security environment and to think broadly about a world now interconnected by technology as never before, said Tony Manganello, director of the program in the university's School of Service and Leadership in Marion. IWU also has a satellite campus in Fort Wayne.
The first group of students in the program are scheduled to begin classes April 5, but additional students still can be added, said Manganello, who worked for the U.S. Secret Service for 11 years before moving into the college academic world. Classes for the next group of admitted students are expected to begin in August.
The program is designed as a bachelor's completion degree -- students who have earned an associate's degree or who have completed two years of college can continue on to earn a bachelor's degree in this specialized area, Manganello said. The program also is mainly for adults who are working in a field, such as law enforcement, and who are returning to college either to specialize in cyber or global security or to improve their opportunities for job advancement.
Students must have completed at least 60 hours of transferable college credit hours before enrolling in the international relations and security degree program, he said. To earn the bachelor's degree, they must complete an additional 10 core courses and four specialization courses.
IWU estimates it will take students about 20 months to complete the bachelor's degree courses.
The university currently is the only one in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois offering the program online, Manganello said.
As with other IWU degrees, he is excited about the international relations and security degree integrating biblical principles into the courses. It's a perspective he hopes graduates take with them into the workplace.
The Bible's book of Matthew, Chapter 10, for example, says Jesus Christ sent his disciples out into the world, but he told them they must be "shrewd but innocent," Manganello said.
"I take that to mean there are real dangers out there, but we can be wise and not compromise our moral integrity," he said.
Students who earn the degree will be prepared for jobs in government, the military and law enforcement, Manganello said. They also will be ready for any job with an international component, such as missionary work, working for a nongovernmental organization (NGO), living abroad or working for a company involved in international business.
"These students certainly will know how the world works culturally and religiously and how that goes into IR (international relations)," he said.
For more about Indiana Wesleyan University's new online bachelor's degree in international relations and security, go to this website.
©2017 The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.), distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.