The Intelligence Program at Mercyhurst College, now Mercyhurst University, launched in 1992 under the direction and initiation of Robert Heibel. After being turned down by Penn State Berhend and two other institutions, Heibel presented an intelligence education concept to Mercyhurst President Dr. William Garvey, who agreed to set up one of the first programs of its kind.
In order to develop a curriculum, Heibel consulted with intelligence professionals, including the Canadian Mounted Police and Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada, and combined his experience on Latin America created an History of Intelligence and an Intelligence Communications class. Within the History Department, a concentration developed which would be open to students in their junior year. Dr. Allan Belovarac, Chair of the History Department said “it should appeal to individuals who seek to be team members in an action-oriented environment, and for those seeking entrance into law school.”
The Research/Intelligence Analysis Program (R/IAP) outlined six goals for student skills development: the ability to read one foreign language; a broad understanding of U.S. and world history, government; a proven ability to produce written and oral reports and assessments, based on research, correlation and analysis; familiarity with the use of a large computer database; a general understanding of statistical methodology and macroeconomics; and the successful completion of an internship as an analyst with a suitable agency or organization.
Fourteen students entered R/IAP and those with two-year degrees prepared to receive their degree as R/IAP concurrently developed by 1994. During the first year, Lt. Gen (Rtd) Charles Cunningham, then the Commandant of the Defense Intelligence College, visited to assist with curriculum development. Mercyhurst only had two computers at the time, both of which belonged to R/IAP.
Expect each year of the intelligence program at Mercyhurst over the next few weeks in short articles and feel free to email James at firstname.lastname@example.org for any inaccuracies or further detail to be included in revised publications.