The College of Business Administration has begun work on a ten-module, graduate-level online training program on civil-military relations for the Washington, D.C.-based Inter-American Defense College (IADC). The project brings together the expertise of FIU Online and the Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management to create the program, which is aimed at senior-level military officers across the Western Hemisphere.
“This is the second time we have worked with IADC, an international educational institution operating under the aegis and funding of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Defense Board,” said David Wernick, an instructor in the Department of Management and International Business. He co-authored the first course on national security and defense policy and will coordinate the new project.
Initial course draws high praise and many hits.
In January, 2007, Wernick; Moe Izadpanah, director of FIU Online; Eunbae Lee, instructional designer, who will oversee all of the technical aspects of the new course’s design and development, as she did on the first project; and Felix Martin, an associate professor of international relations with expertise in Inter-American and Iberian studies, met with key figures from IADC at Fort McNair in Washington, DC.
“We sat down with top brass, including Major General Keith M. Huber, chairman, Inter-American Defense Board and IADC director,” Wernick said. “The first course exceeded all their expectations and is having a broad impact, with hits from Latin América, which they had anticipated, plus from Europe and elsewhere.”
Although the content for the new project will be entirely new, the audience will again be senior-level military, and the university team, which also includes Fernando Tazoe, technology research specialist, who will assist with electronic content preparation and conversion, will be able to build on their experiences in creating the first set of modules.
“We have agreed to have the course completed by the end of August, including its translation into Spanish and Portuguese, and to have it online by the fall,” Wernick said. “We will be able to use our knowledge of the format that worked so well with the first course to create the new program, which will examine the challenges that hemispheric governments face in attempting to deepen democratic institutions while managing internal and external security threats.”
Multiple relationships meld.
The project shows how cross-discipline relationships can work to everyone’s advantage.
“We’ll be able to leverage both the knowledge and expertise Dr. Martin and I have on global security issues with the university’s impressive online capabilities,” Wernick said. “In terms of our relationship with IADC, we established our credibility the first time around, working hard and delivering a product they’re really happy with. At this point, we know what IADC is looking for, and they know what we’re capable of, so it’s a good fit, and it’s quite gratifying to start a second project based on the success of the first.”
Knight Ridder Center Director, Ed Glab and Izadpanah recently submitted ideas for two additional graduate-level distance-learning courses to the IADC, focusing on the issues of international money laundering and global energy security.