Course Overview

This course will provide an overview of emergency management. Students will learn the categories of disasters, the government agencies that assist with crisis management and the essentials of responding effectively to a crisis.  The for-credit version of this course is designed for students pursuing an undergraduate major in Healthcare Administration from the College of Professional Studies with an interest in emergency and crisis policy, planning, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.

In this course, students will study the history and evolution of emergency management, four main categories of emergencies, the role of government leadership in declaring emergencies and the impact of declarations, national emergency planning, government emergency management agencies, the impact of September 11, 2001 attacks and other disasters on emergency management, risk and hazard assessment and analysis, comprehensive emergency management plans, organizational responses to emergencies and incident command.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University credit or noncredit transcript.

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the four main categories of emergencies.
  • List and describe two government emergency management agencies.
  • Describe the disaster management cycle and list the four phases of the cycle.
  • Describe the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System.
  • Create an emergency management plan.
  • Identify two official certification agencies for emergency management training.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: HCA 320 / SCN 157

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore*, junior or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate. 
*Rising sophomores are only eligible for the noncredit version of this course.

Credit: 3 credits or Noncredit


  • Credit: A-F
  • Noncredit: Pass/Fail



  • Residential: $4,695
  • Commuter: $3,766


  • Residential: $4,095
  • Commuter: $3,166

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus2-Week Session I: Monday, July 8 – Friday, July 19, 2024MTWThF;
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
3 credits or NoncreditOpen
Summer College – On Campus2-Week Session II: Monday, July 22 – Friday, Aug. 2, 2024MTWThF;
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
3 credits or NoncreditClosed

Course Requirements

Required Supplies

Students will need access to a computer/laptop for out of class work related to article links and video interview links.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students will participate in lectures, classroom discussions, video presentations, and scenarios/tabletop exercises each day of the course. There will be at least two emergency management professionals as guest speakers.  There will also be at least two field trips (e.g. The Onondaga County 911 Center, the Onondaga County Emergency Operations Center, Syracuse University Department of Public Safety) during each two-week session.

Out of class work will include reading the course text (available in the Syracuse University on-line library), reading emergency management related articles (links will be provided), and watching video interviews of local emergency management professionals.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College – On Campus activities to meet and connect with other students! Check out our On Campus Experience page for more information!

Faculty Bios

Anthony Callisto, Jr.

Anthony Callisto, Jr. (Tony Callisto) is a criminal justice, organizational development and labor relations consultant.  He retired in June of 2021 as the Senior Vice President for Safety and Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Syracuse University where he provided executive leadership in all areas of campus law enforcement, safety and security, emergency management, and risk management.  He served at Syracuse university for 15 years. He also retired from the Onondaga County Sheriff’s office in 2006, after a 25-year career, where his final 10 years were served as Chief Deputy.  He led the administration and operation of the Onondaga County Justice Center jail, sheriff’s office research and development, training and staff development, and accreditation. Callisto is a past president of the Central New York Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Jail Association, and the Food Bank of Central New York.  He is an expert in criminal justice management and operation, program development, incident investigation, prisoner transportation, building and event security, public safety/criminal justice facility design and technology, new facility transition and campus community policing.  Callisto is a certified and active police and corrections instructor and curriculum designer. He has consulted for the US Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections and the American Jail Association and he is a former Contributing Editor for Corrections Manager’s Report.  He has written over twenty published articles related to criminal justice topics and co-authored one peer reviewed book.

In Collaboration with Dr. Neil Katz, Callisto has been a consultant and trainer for the Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, conducting assessments, interventions and training in Conflict Resolution, Interest Based Negotiation, Mediation, Communication Skills, Labor Relations, Management and Leadership.  His consulting practice, Callisto Consulting, has clients in several states offering a wide variety of criminal justice, emergency planning, organizational development, negotiations and labor management services. Callisto holds an Associate in Applied Science in the Administration of Justice from SUNY Onondaga Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Columbia College of Missouri, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.   He is regularly called upon as an expert witness in federal and various state court cases on criminal justice matters and is currently a consent decree compliance monitor in a case involving a large upstate New York sheriff’s office.  He has been an adjunct instructor for the Criminal Justice program at Columbia College of Missouri for over 20 years, teaching and developing both undergraduate and graduate courses.  He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Syracuse University College of Professional Studies, where he teaches an undergraduate course in Leadership and developed and teaches an undergraduate course in Emergency Management.

In his personal life, Tony Callisto plays saxophone, trumpet and trombone in a local band, The Horn Dogs (, is married to his wife of 37 years, and has three adult children and two grandchildren.