Emergency Preparedness

(18 semester hours)

The Graduate Certificate in Emergency Preparedness is designed for public health, environmental health, occupational health, and emergency professionals along with managers and educators who need to upgrade their skills in the area of protecting people in emergencies. HEA520 provides a solid preparation in fundamental skills such as epidemiology and public health practice, while ENV530 allows the student to learn how to identify, measure and control environmental hazards. ENV545 and ENV551 expand the student's knowledge about risks and how they are measured, modeled and communicated. ENV570 and 575 focus on the specifics of emergency preparedness and on the mitigation of the risks of chemical and biological hazards.

Further Information


The 18-credit certificate consists of the following courses:

  • HEA520: Public Health Epidemiology
  • ENV530: General Environmental Health
  • ENV545: Risk Assessment
  • ENV551: Environmental Toxicology
  • ENV570: Emergency Preparedness
  • ENV575: Bioterrorism & Public Health

All courses are taught in convenient evening and/or condensed formats, ideally suited to the working professional.

Additional Requirements

All students must hold a valid 40-hr certification in Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.120) and a valid certificate in First Aid/CPR at the time of award of the Emergency Preparedness certificate from WCU. These certifications are available at WCU or may be obtained elsewhere.


  • Dr. Charles Shorten earned his Doctorate in Environmental Systems Engineering from Clemson University. He holds a Professional Engineer (PE) license from the Commonwealth of PA. Dr. Shorten has over ten years of experience with hazardous materials planning with the Chester County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
  •  Dr. Neha Sunger is an environmental engineer with interests in human health risk and exposure analysis. Prior to joining WCU in the fall of 2014, Dr. Sunger was a post-doctoral research fellow at The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI. During her post-doctoral fellowship, she designed computer-based exposure analysis programs to enhance rapid screening of industrial chemicals for human health safety.
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