Indiana State University’s department of criminology and criminal justice will officially launch its new program in intelligence analysis as early as 2019.
The program, which was developed with input from employers in the field and alumni including a former Navy intelligence officer and police chief, former FBI executive, retired NCIS official and former CIA officer, will be broader than terrorism and will incorporate courses in other departments and colleges. Students will learn essential skills that can be adapted widely in fields where employees are needed to collect, evaluate and process information to arrive at a proper decision using research methods.
“Our approach will use structure analytic techniques, because we tend to make decisions based on what makes sense to us and neglect what we’re not expecting to see,” said DeVere Woods, chair of the department of criminology and criminal justice. “An analytic model forces you to look at alternative explanations and evaluate the information in a different way.”
The intelligence analysis major has been brewing within the department of criminology and criminal for about three years when faculty were approached by Indiana State alumnus Bob Casey, ‘80, head of global security for Eli Lilly and Company and former deputy assistant director of intelligence with the FBI.
“Basically, after a 30-some year career in the FBI and law enforcement, the biggest need (Casey) saw was training in intelligence analysis,” Woods said. “I have a law enforcement background, and I knew this was a growing trend in criminal justice, but none of us who met with Bob felt we were in a position to try and launch a program. I started talking to other departments in the university, and I got some support. We let the idea percolate for a while, but the more people I talked to outside the university, the more I heard that this is something that should be done.”
The major also draws on the strengths of the department and will enrich the curriculum.
“The intelligence analysis major draws on our faculty expertise in criminology and criminal justice, and builds on and enhances some of the most important skills developed in foundational studies courses as well. These include critical analysis of sources, use of evidence and argumentation,” said Chris Olsen, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It will also be a new major that’s on the leading edge of the field and will keep our department of criminology and criminal justice among the most innovative and respected in the region and, in fact, the nation.”
After being assigned in 2003 as a senior official at the FBI headquarters to help develop the bureau’s post-911 intelligence capability, Casey saw firsthand how professionals trained in intelligence analysis could benefit the field.
“The discipline of intelligence analysis is about research, critical thinking, analytic skills and giving weight and evaluating credibility of disparate pieces of information from all kinds of sources in support of forward-looking decision making,” Casey said. “There is a space between not knowing anything about topic or knowing everything and that space is intelligence. Sometimes it’s incomplete, fragmented, purposely deceiving or, in some cases, deliberately hidden, but that is its nature.”
Casey said a major in intelligence analysis could translate to careers in U.S. intelligence agencies, federal, state or local law enforcement, military intelligence, with corporate security departments to support global security operations or business intelligence positions in corporations.
“Someone may not want to carry a badge and gun but still want to support the law enforcement or national security mission of the U.S., and (intelligence analysis) is an area that allows them to do that,” he said. “As long as we are living in era of national security threats of all types, like terrorism, cyber, hostile foreign intelligence activities, gangs and traditional criminal threats, I don’t see career opportunities in intelligence analysis dissipating.”
The launch of an intelligence analysis program allows Indiana State to tap into a growing portion of the criminology field, where jobs are expected to increase rapidly.
“Graduates from the program will be able to collect and analyze data to help policymakers and others make decisions about issues such as crime prevention, risk assessment, threat assessment and terrorism,” said Mike Licari, provost of Indiana State. “Graduates will find jobs in the private sector, a variety of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as the military. Experiential learning, a hallmark of Indiana State University, is a key component of program. ISU is excited to launch the intelligence analysis program in order to respond to student interest as well as workforce needs in the state and nation.”
The program received approval from the university last spring and the Indiana Higher Education Commission over the summer.
“We deliberately built the program so it would crossover with our current criminology offerings, because we’ve had students graduate from our program and go into intelligence analysis,” Woods said. “We put together some tracks to address military needs, criminal justice needs, some general government and private sector needs and students will decide what direction they want to go.”
Other intelligence analysis program exist around the country, but Woods said the market for such a program is often underestimated, and Indiana State’s employer feedback makes it a career-ready major for students.
“(Indiana State) is as tuned into the job market as anybody and offer a career-ready degree because we are tuned into the criminal justice market and are expanding that market to include military and public and private sector,” he said. “We have been successful by keeping close ties with people who know what is going on in the field, and that’s what we did with this program. We went out to our market and asked what they need and how we can make things better.”
Story by Communications and Marketing.