5 key Element in The Strategic Intelligence in National Security Major at Patrick Henry College
by Jackson Katanic
The New Front in Terrorism
In the modern age of cyber-warfare, terrorism, and smart missiles, intelligent and moral leaders are needed more than ever. The past has proven that leaders who cannot make wise and just decisions quickly when entrusted with power can utterly devastate a nation. Patrick Henry College created the Strategic Intelligence in National Security Major for this very reason—to create leaders to make these kind of decisions with intelligence and biblical wisdom.
5 Key Elements in National Security
The Strategic Intelligence (SI) Major at Patrick Henry College incorporates five elements to make it a unique program: a classical core curriculum, professional preparation, special projects, moral imagination, and internships in Washington, DC.
The program is certified by the International Association for Intelligence Education, making Patrick Henry College the second-ever undergraduate institution and the only Christian institution to achieve this honor. All the five elements work together to help SI majors inform important decisions.
An Interconnected Curriculum that is Broad and Rich
The classical core curriculum and development of moral imagination help students become strongly-grounded decision makers. Patrick Henry College’s core curriculum is designed to give all its students a firm, well-rounded comprehension of the world and its history. This comprehension powerfully influences strategic intelligence by helping graduates make theologically and philosophically informed choices, along with simply making them better people. Surprisingly, the Bible contains a profundity of information that applies to intelligence, how it can fulfill the goals it needs to while also not compromising on morality. Many other works help students to understand how to apply biblical morality better. Special emphasis is put on Edmund Burke’s concept of “moral imagination,” in which one uses moral knowledge to reason through a potentially complicated situation and come to the right answer. Patrick Henry College demonstrates in all its programs that ancient and classical principles apply as much today as they did in the past.
Most of Patrick Henry College’s majors place emphasis on real-world practice and internships and the SI major is no exception. Students begin their real-world experience in strategic intelligence by getting involved in what are called special projects. There are many options students can pick for special projects but they all involve doing intelligence work using real information from real sources. These kinds of work may involve reporting military movements of terrorists, smuggling information, or creating computer programs to analyze information. Patrick Henry College gives students access to geospatial information, military movements, border security, and other intelligence so students can get experience in what it’s like to be an actual intelligence officer. These projects especially focus on teamwork and leadership. Most students in special projects work in teams and are expected to be able to present their work professionally and coherently. While many other undergraduates who go into intelligence only get such experience after graduation, Patrick Henry College SI students can get experience in intelligence very early and have a leg up on competition.
Highly Competitive, Professional Internships
Along with special projects, Patrick Henry College SI students also get opportunities to get into highly sought-after internships, the highlight of the program. These internships can include places like the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other major government intelligence agencies. What is highly unusual about these internships is how students are able to get clearance to get into these organizations at very young ages. Most Patrick Henry College students who land these internships are only in their sophomore or junior years! There have even been freshmen who have obtained them before. Other internships they obtain include positions at humanitarian centers combating human trafficking or even private intelligence agencies, among many others. One specific track of SI known as Cyber-intelligence allows students to intern at cyber-security companies or government agencies, getting experience in cyber-related intelligence work such as combating illegal online trading.
Patrick Henry College graduates from the SI program have gotten positions in 13 of the nation’s 16 federal intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, and US Army intelligence. One reason for this is the early experience Patrick Henry College students get in the SI program that was mentioned earlier. There are only a few undergraduate institutions around the nation that offer specifically strategic intelligence programs. Thus, there are very few individuals graduating with prior experience in the intelligence field and the gap needs to be filled.
Highest Standards of Excellence
While Patrick Henry College’s academic standards are among the highest in the nation, the SI program’s standards are even higher for one to get into and stay in the Strategic Intelligence program. Along with the regular writing assignments for admission to the school, students must also submit an SI-specific written application and be interviewed orally. They also must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to stay in the program as well as complete all of the analytical training requirements.
Business Case for Entering the Field of Intelligence
Some students considering the SI program at Patrick Henry College may be afraid of getting a degree in a specific field that they will not end up using. However, the program is greatly applicable to other fields outside of intelligence. Many Patrick Henry College alumni of the SI program have gone on to various other fields, especially business management. The intense training in analysis, teamwork skills, and technology use gives SI students an upper hand in general workforce skills. Even if their extensive knowledge of intelligence is not put to use in their career, their many other skills they acquire from the program will be. Alumni can also utilize the cyber-intelligence track to go into all sorts of computing fields, including cyber-security, data analysis, programming, and others. Many SI majors have gone into private-sector cyber-security as this is a lucrative field as well as a much-needed one for the modern workforce.
To conclude, the Strategic Intelligence Major at Patrick Henry College is a powerful degree for teaching students to analyze and use intelligence-based skills. This is not only for a pragmatic approach to getting a great job in the workforce, but also for achieving a higher purpose: to glorify God in a desperately secular field. The need for both ingenious strategists and strong Christians has grown greater than ever in the intelligence field. Thus, the SI major is designed to train up both simultaneously to defend the nation and to bring God all the glory.Read More →