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The Role of Colleges and Universities in Building Community Resilience to Disasters


The Role of Colleges and Universities in Building Community Resilience to Disasters

Abstract: 

A variety of disasters and ongoing terrorist threats have commanded the attention of the American public and the institutions that serve them. As a focal point for education at the local level, colleges and universities are in a unique position to help individuals, neighborhoods, businesses, and local governments to prepare for and respond to mass casualty events. Moreover, institutions of higher education have the potential to contribute significantly to personal and community resilience to mass trauma.  This paper describes community resilience and introduces the Community Assessment of Resilience Tool (CART)©, a community intervention that is both a measure of community resilience and a method for initiating community resilience building. As one example of how higher education can become involved in developing and enhancing community resilience, CART can be used in conjunction with service learning and practicum experiences. It can also be used in traditional and interdisciplinary social science courses that address disasters, community assessment and competence, social psychology, sociology, political science, public policy, urban planning, current affairs, future studies, economics, history, geography, and research methods. CART activities can be designed for work at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Pfefferbaum, Rose. 2009. "The Role of Colleges and Universities in Building Community Resilience to Disasters." National Social Science Journal (June): 102-109. http://www.nssa.us/journals/2009-33-1/2009-33-1-14.htm

START Author(s): 
Rose Pfefferbaum
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