School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


David Holder


active killing, active shooter, campus safety, hybrid targeted violence, resilience


Education | Higher Education


The effects of active shooter resilience training programs on university students' perceptions of personal safety should be understood through evidenced-based research. A quasi-experimental post-test only control-group design study was conducted to assess this potentially lifesaving educational activity. A convenience sample of 136 randomly assigned undergraduate students at a large private university participated in the study. One group completed a U.S. Department of Homeland Security active shooter resilience training program, a second group completed a private active shooter resilience training program, a third group completed both training programs, and a fourth control group received no training before the assessment. The Student Perception of Personal Safety Survey measured students' sense of personal safety and self-preservation response strategies associated with targeted violence. Each training program was found to have a positive influence in at least one of the measured variables (safety, fear, and resilience). The analysis of two broadly diffused active shooter resilience training programs narrowed a considerable gap in evidence-based research. The positive resilience building influence of the studied training programs merits further research at the primary, secondary, and higher education levels. Persistent active shooter events suggest a need for greater urgency among educational leaders, policy makers, and public safety leaders to implement training programs that build resilience. Effective training, such as the programs examined in this study, may limit the lethality of future attacks.