Erie’s Black Family Foundation made a gift of $55,000 this week to the Mercyhurst College Institute for Intelligence Studies (MCIIS).
The MCIIS will use the gift to help meet the needs of this growing institute at Mercyhurst. The college’s intelligence program began in 1992 with 14 undergraduate students. This year, enrollment will reach 225 undergraduate and 50 graduate students from throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
The intelligence program has produced 200-entry-level qualified graduates, 98 percent of whom are working in the intelligence fields in government and the private sector.
MCIIS also offers a graduate certificate program in the Washington, D.C., area to 60 professionals from Booz Allen Hamilton and the Department of Homeland Security. This off-campus effort will continue to grow with the introduction of distance learning courses this September. Another 300 students, separate from the main campus, are expected to enroll.
MCIIS enjoys close working relationships with the Kent Center at the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency and the Joint Military Intelligence College of the Defense Intelligence Agency. It is also exploring joint ventures with several colleges and universities, including Johns Hopkins University. It recently created the MCIIS Press to address the lack of textbooks in this field. Three books were published over the summer.
In thanking Samuel “Pat” Black III for the gift, MCIIS Executive Director Robert J. Heibel noted, “The future offers many exciting opportunities for MCIIS, both in the Erie area and nationally, as an acknowledged key player and model in the development of future intelligence studies programs to meet America’s growing needs.”