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Certificate in Pragmatic Situational Awareness

Improve your ability to make decisions under stress.

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Pragmatic Situational Awareness Certificate Overview

A finely tuned awareness of emerging threats and danger in times of stress, turmoil, and tension is a vital skill for responders faced with making split-second and potentially life-saving decisions. 

This advanced practice certificate in pragmatic situational awareness is designed to support public safety, private security, first responders, and risk management professionals to develop their understanding of the factors that can impact situational awareness. The expanded knowledge is applied to improved and rapid risk management response and decision-making. 

The certificate will examine and deconstruct a series of case studies in contexts such as workplace violence, school shooter incidents, officer-involved shootings, and others. These scenarios will be used as the basis for students to apply theory into practice.


Program Highlights

Entirely Online

The program is offered online giving you the flexibility to complete your coursework virtually and from the location of your choice.

Evidence-Based Expertise

Work and study with the field’s top professionals, helping to build your expertise in evidence-based skills that support enhanced strategic decision-making.



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Degree Information

Curriculum Plan

Course 1: Situational Analysis of Behavior

This course provides a foundation for the interpretation of covert behavioral and environmental stimuli through each of the different aspects of non-verbal behavior, including biometrics, kinesics, proxemics, geographics, heuristics, and atmospherics. The course covers applications for analyzing non-verbal behavior in contexts such as deception detection, interviewing, crisis intervention, investigations, threat assessment, risk management, law enforcement, conflict resolution and critical incident response.

Course 2: Decision-Making in Complex Situations

This course provides a foundational understanding of the factors that contribute to and hinder rapid decision making, decision making under stress, and decision making in rapidly evolving complex situations. It examines the respective and combined roles of cognition, physiology and behavior on the decision-making process, as well as the impact of feedback, group dynamics, stress and situational awareness. The course covers applications of decision making in complex situations such as those encountered by military, law enforcement and other first responders, organizational leaders, risk managers, threat assessment personnel, crisis responders, critical incident commanders and similar roles.

Course 3: Communication and Human Factors in Crisis and Conflict

This course addresses communication and human factors as they relate to crisis management, effective mediation, and conflict resolution. The course incorporates challenges to effective communication caused by interpersonal, intrapersonal, intergroup or intragroup conflict, and the role of communication in resolving such conflicts. The focus is on the human, psychological, social, cultural and emotional aspects of conflict and effective communication strategies, including the roles of gender, ethnicity, race, religion, culture and generation. It also addresses concepts such as group processes, identity, needs, cooperation/competition, and barriers to effective communication in conflict or crisis contexts.

ASIS International Logo

These courses and certificates qualify for ASIS Continuing Education Units.


Links and Downloads

School Performance Fact Sheet


Frequently Asked Questions


Is this course taught online or on-campus?

The certificate program is offered online. All classes and coursework can be completed virtually from a location of your choice.


Are scholarships and financial aid available?

Yes, there are private and public scholarships to help you meet the cost of your education and Alliant offers institutional scholarships for many of our students. Learn more about these scholarship opportunities here. Additional financial aid is available for those who qualify in the form of loans, grants, federal work study, and military aid. Learn more in our Financial Options Guide.


Why Alliant

At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and to promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve lives. We offer an education that is accredited, focused on practical knowledge and skills, connected with diverse faculty and alumni, and aimed at the student experience.

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CSFS is dedicated to graduating rigorously educated and trained professionals who impact society, public opinion, and policy by applying science in preventing, investigating, and mitigating conflict and violence. CSFS is a corporate partner of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and many of our advanced practice certificates are eligible for continuing education credit.


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