in the fall of 2011, an NRC committee will review a draft curriculum and associated materials developed by the NDIC. The committee will produce a letter report offering advice and recommendations regarding the suitability of the draft curriculum as a basis for producing desired learning outcomes for intelligence professionals who participate in the proposed Master of Science and Technology Intelligence degree program in the School of Science and Technology Intelligence.
The NDIC is an institution of higher education accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It is authorized by the U.S. Congress to award both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, to conduct and disseminate research related to national security and intelligence activities, and to engage in outreach activities. The NDIC currently offers a bachelor of science in intelligence (BSI) and a master of science in strategic intelligence (MSSI). It also offers certificate programs in various regional and topical study areas. One such specialization is a certificate in foreign denial and deception (Studds et al., 2011). The NDIC serves both military and civilian members of the intelligence community. It is currently housed at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) headquarters facility in Washington, D.C.
Created in 1962 as the Defense Intelligence School, the NDIC has evolved in response to the emerging needs of its constituency and as directed by its board of visitors (NDIC, 2010; NDIC, 2011a). Most recently, in 2010, it was directed to create a school of science and technology intelligence and to develop a master of science and technology intelligence degree program (NDIC, 2011a). The curriculum under review by the committee is the material developed in response to that directive.
When a new degree program is developed by the NDIC, the program must be shown to meet four distinct criteria. First, it must be shown to be necessary. In other words, the degree program must meet an unmet need that is essential for the execution of the applying agency’s mission. Second, it must be shown to be unique. It cannot duplicate existing programs that could be satisfactorily used to meet the identified need. Third, it must meet the standards for graduate degree programs met by non-federal institutions. And finally, it must allow for academic freedom for the faculty and the students so that research and classroom activities are free from undue influence and are unbiased by either job or mission (Studds et al., 2011, p. 8).
From May to August 2011, the committee met and considered the material presented by the NDIC. A committee meeting was held in May, when materials were presented and the committee was able to question the faculty and administrators of the NDIC. After the meeting with the faculty and administrators, additional material was collected to provide a comparative sampling of other curricula. Because this is a unique offering in a unique setting, there is no exact replica to examine. However, curricula similar in scope and nature were reviewed, representatives of the client population were interviewed, and the program goals were examined.
Detailed review comments regarding the curriculum in general and the syllabi provided to the committee are included in the next sections of this chapter. The committee’s discussion first reflects an overview of what was provided to the Committee and then the findings and recommendations follow.
A review of the curriculum reveals that it is both unique and necessary. Comments from current members of the S&TI community revealed a true dearth of structured educational programs to create leaders in S&TI for the intelligence community. There is a distinct difference in the educational needs of S&TI leaders and S&TI analysts. Whereas analysts are required to be