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Office of Academic Engagement Convenes Third Annual National Seminar & Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education

By Trent Frazier, Executive Director for Academic Engagement

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in coordination with The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has concluded the third National Seminar & Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education (NTTX).

The NTTX is a series of campus-based events to test and promote campus resilience and emergency preparedness. The series brings together higher education leaders, as well as federal, state and local government representatives to participate in workshops and work through a designed hypothetical emergency scenario. Nearly 375 leaders representing various campus functions from more than 90 institutions of higher education from across the country attended the exercise.

Speakers at the 2016 National Seminar & Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education

Photo by Adriana Solis Martinez, MA / The University of Illinois at Chicago

The 2016 event at UIC focused on campus violence, including active shooter scenarios and other threats that specifically impact the higher education community. Participants gained insight into planning, preparedness and best practices for overall resilience in the academic community when faced with campus violence. Attendees participated in workshop sessions, as well as a tabletop exercise that included participant role play in response to a simulated act of violence on a campus.

Participants at the 2016 National Seminar & Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education

Photo by Adriana Solis Martinez, MA / The University of Illinois at Chicago

With support from our Federal Emergency Management Agency partners, UIC, the 2016 planning team and all participants, the 2016 NTTX was a great success, serving as a unique planning tool for partners in academia to ensure community safety and security in their communities. As we move into the planning stages for the 2017 event, we will be engaging the higher education community to submit their nominations for potential host sites and event themes for consideration for next year’s event.

Visit the NTTX page to learn more, or contact the Office of Academic Engagement at AcademicEngagement@hq.dhs.gov.

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