For Immediate Release - Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date: October 21, 2010

The Transportation Security Administration Selects Southwest Tennessee Community College to Train Transportation Security Officers

Denise Reading, President of Global Corporate College, announced that Southwest Tennessee Community College has been selected to participate in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Associates Program. This program is designed to offer educational opportunities to Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) employed by the TSA. Through this program, the TSOs will take college credit courses, initially leading to a TSA Certificate of Achievement. Participation in the TSA sponsored program will also provide the TSOs an opportunity to begin their journey toward achieving academic success with an associate degree.

Global Corporate College, in conjunction with Careers in Transition, has been contracted to work with the TSA Educational Programs and Partnerships Office to deliver this program around the country. In this first phase, more than 50 colleges have been selected to partner with local airports across the country. Southwest will work as a team with Global Corporate College and the Memphis Airport to promote and implement the program.

Elizabeth M. Assink, director of educational programs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration, visited Southwest in June to discuss the possibility of the college's participation. Dr. Larry Edwards, training coordinator, and Federal Security Director Kevin G. McCarthy of the Memphis International Airport accompanied her.

TSA oversees security for 450 U.S. airports plus highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems, pipelines, and ports. The agency employs more than 50,000 TSOs (screeners) nationwide. "They make up the large majority of the officers that check at the airport," said Thurston Shrader, associate professor of Business Administration and coordinator of the Homeland Security Program for Southwest. "They even provided security during Memphis in May, said Shrader. Undercover TSOs rode the trolley."

Southwest Interim Dean Brenda Smith and a strategic team have been working on this opportunity with Judy Jarrell, Program Manager for Global Corporate College. The college is scheduled to start delivering these courses to TSA in the Spring semester 2011.

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For more information contact: Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247, bjrayner@southwest.tn.edu, Farris Bldg., Room 1002, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134