Trident Technical College is offering a program this fall in Homeland Security Management, the first of its kind in South Carolina.

The college developed the two-year, associate degree program with input from local law enforcement officials, including those in the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and the emergency management offices in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, said Shawn Livingston, head of Trident Tech.’s criminal justice department.

Students who earn the degree could use it in a variety of fields, Livingston said, including airport security, emergency planning and intelligence.

Katelyn Bridge, 19, is one of about a dozen students who already are enrolled and plan to begin the program in the fall. She also currently is enrolled in the school’s criminal justice degree program, so will earn two associate degrees at Trident Tech. She ultimately wants to be a police officer, after completing a four-year degree at Charleston Southern University.

The Homeland Security Management degree “will help me prepare for every situation possible,” she said. And having the degree might make her stand out when she applies for jobs.

Livingston said the program grew out of a contract with the Transportation Security Administration. Last year, Trident Tech conducted a three-course training program for TSA employees, Livingston said.

Trident Tech leaders did a survey of potential employers of graduates of the two-year program before launching the degree, Livingston said. “We learned all these folks would be employable in a whole host of positions.”

The Charleston area needs people trained in homeland security issues, Livingston said, because it the home of a large container port and the Navy Brig. But students also could pursue careers in the corporate sector, he said. “There’s a lot of interest in this field. It’s exciting.”

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.