Threat Assessment and Management in Schools

Threat Assessment and Management in Schools Online Graduate Certificate

About Threat Assessment and Management in Schools

Take steps to make your school safer for students and employees alike.

School safety is a priority for anyone who works in an educational setting. Learn to identify threatening situations and manage them appropriately with PennWest California's 100% online Threat Assessment and Management in Schools certificate program.

Rooted in the U.S. Department of Education's Safe Schools Initiative, this graduate-level certificate program from PennWest California merges the perspectives of professionals in school psychology and criminal justice.

PennWest California offers this 9-credit certificate program for higher education personnel and K-12 educators, including:

  • School psychologists.
  • School resource officers.
  • Members of threat assessment teams.
  • Principals.
  • Superintendents.
  • Counselors.
  • Professors and teachers.
  • School nurses.
  • Home-school visitors.

Pennsylvania Act 48 professional development credits are available.


Rapid Response: School personnel handle many threatening situations before law enforcement arrives, so knowing how to respond is critically important. Complete this online certificate program in just two terms, summer and fall, to prepare yourself to respond to threats of school violence and keep students safe.

Online delivery: PennWest California’s Threat Assessment and Management certificate program was developed with busy educators in mind. The certificate program is offered entirely online, so you can earn the certificate while also meeting work and family obligations.

Learn more about applying

Credits required to earn the graduate certificate in Threat Assessment and Management in Schools.
Years that California has been preparing students to become school leaders in Pennsylvania and beyond.
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Certificate Benefits

This online graduate certificate program prepares you to identify, assess and manage individuals and groups that may pose a threat. It explores the role of school personnel in preventing and responding to school violence, and it teaches you about laws regarding confidentiality. You’ll find out when school personnel should act to keep students safe and when law enforcement must be called to intervene.

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Program Outcomes

Students who complete the threat assessment certificate program will be better prepared to: Identify explicit threats of violence. Recognize warning behaviors. Identify consultation and counseling models suitable for the school setting. Demonstrate consultation skills in a threat-management context. Respond appropriately to a threat or violent incident at school.


Curriculum and Admission Requirements

This nine-credit certificate program can be completed in two terms. Take two 3-credit courses in summer and one 3-credit course in fall.



Course Credits
CRM 870  Special Topics: Threat Assessment in the Schools  3
PSY 741  Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy 3
PSY 756  Consultation and Group Process 3
Total 9
Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Certificate:  Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.90 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.90 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Certificate:  Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.90 will be reviewed for a decision
    • One-page resume of work and education may be required

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Phone: 1.866.595.6348


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In this online graduate certificate program, you’ll examine threat assessment and management from both a criminal justice and a law enforcement perspective. The 9-credit program encourages you to think deeply about school violence, so you can read the warning signs and react appropriately to individuals or groups that may present a threat.

Dr. John R. Cencich

Faculty Expertise

PennWest California faculty who teach in the online threat assessment certificate program have real-world expertise in criminal justice and psychology. Under their guidance, students grow in understanding as they examine threats of school violence and employ relevant methods and sources in order to respond appropriately.

Threat Assessment and Management Faculty

Dr. John R. Cencich
Professor and Director of the Pennsylvania Center for Investigative and Forensic Sciences

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Dr. Tamare Piersaint
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Kristen Schaffner
Assistant Professor

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