Call it vocational education for the 9/11 generation.

The nation’s first comprehensive high school homeland security program, a three-year course to help kids land jobs in the growing anti-terrorism industry, is in its infancy in .

The program, started at Maryland’s Joppatowne High School with 61 sophomores, provides “an opportunity for kids to see relevance to being in school,” says Frank Mezzanotte of the Harford (Md.) County Public Schools. “It gives kids additional options.”

Students have toured a Coast Guard command center, visited a county detection center, practiced emergency response in a fictional town called “Joppaville” and heard an Iraqi-born speaker explain cultural differences between Americans and Middle Easterners.

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