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From DHS Office of Academic Engagement

Lessons Learned from the 2016 National Seminar and Tabletop Exercise

February 14, 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) supports the DHS mission by building, improving and leveraging relationships with the academic community.

Through this ongoing series, read how OAE actively engages with the academic community in the United States and leads initiatives related to international students, among other key focus areas.

In November 2016, DHS’s OAE and FEMA jointly hosted the National Seminar and Tabletop Exercise (NTTX) event at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Part of the DHS Campus Resilience Program, this annual event brings together federal partners, university leaders and subject matter experts to participate in workshops and work through an emergency management scenario.

The theme of the 2016 event was campus violence with an emphasis on an active shooter scenario. This year’s exercise sparked important conversations about how to ensure campus safety incorporates the entire school’s community, including international students.

One lesson to come out of the exercise is that colleges and universities can better prepare for emergencies and other unplanned events by incorporating specific procedures for international students into their campus emergency preparedness plans. This includes proactively reminding international students to keep important documents, like their passport, visa and other documents, in a place that is both secure and accessible.

For more information on NTTX and other campus resilience resources, visit DHS’s website. OAE also is in the early planning stages of the 2017 NTTX event. To volunteer event topic ideas or to learn more, email


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