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Online Bachelors Advice

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  • Online Bachelors Advice

    So looking for some advice on what college to pursue for Public Admin/Fire Science for my Bachelors degree.

    A little about me, I'm 27 years old, career firefighter and in PERF for 6 years. The city I work for will offer me tuition reimbursement, so I think it would be dumb not to pursue a degree. I've got a little over 1 year of general education courses that I would like to transfer in to somewhere. I've also heard the possibility, that colleges will give you "life experience" credits, or credits for state certs.

    Not entirely sure, what I would use my degree for at this point. Id like to think I would pension out at 56 years old with 32 years of service with a 3 year drop and go be a chief somewhere. But in life things happen, so I want this degree as a back up plan/ something I could potentially do on my off days.

    There are two guys from my department that are a few credits away from graduating from Columbia Southern University, and highly recommend it. The college seems to be backed by hundreds of departments, that send their guys there. It sounds good in theory but scares me with their National Accreditation. Is that something potential employers look at, or would prevent me from getting a job? I realize the problem is transferring into another college that does not accept national accreditation, but I would just get my masters at CSU if I wanted to continue.

    Also is the U.S. Fire Administration's Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) program that colleges boast, any more beneficial than a standard program?
    EKU is IFSAC certified, how important is that if I wanted to go work out of state (work in Indiana)?

    Schools Ive looked at are Columbia Southern, Eastern Kentucky University, Kaplan, Grand Canyon University and Cogswell University.

    Key points I'm looking for;

    Life Paced, start classes when I want. Only one I've seen market this is Columbia Southern
    All Online, don't want to have to fly out or be on campus for a few weeks out of the year.

    Sorry for the long post and appreciate any help or suggestions

  • #2
    Make sure that the school is accredited--other than that, it is personal preference. All you mentioned are pretty good (except Cogswell, never heard of that one so I can't comment on it).

    I like Columbia Southern University for it's flexibility and it's ease of use though EKU was a close second. Also the book grant is really good. One thing though, don't underestimate these classes. They are not brutally hard but they are a huge amount of work. You will be writing a lot! A LOT!

    Overall CSU is pretty awesome.
    Last edited by fallujahff; 05-27-2016, 04:08 PM.
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder


    • #3
      I earned my bachelors from Cal State Long Beach in Vocational Education and my Masters degree Public Administration. When I selected a college I had concerns regarding some of the colleges that were not accredited. My belief is that you are going to work very hard wherever you go. Why not go to a place that is going to raise eyebrows and not one that you have to justify.

      Case in point; my counterpart earned his Bachelors from USC. I know that my Bachelors from CSULB is not nearly as recognized as his. It's just the way it is. So, you evaluate for yourself what the diploma is worth when you have it in your hand. It's important to realize that not all have the same value.

      Paul Lepore
      Division Chief
      Paul Lepore
      Division Chief


      • #4
        I think that you need to assess what you want the degree to do for you. Are you using it for officers promotion only or do you eventually aspire to make Chief? For me, a Bachelors Degree in Fire Science is great for someone who only wants to go as high as a shift officer. If your hope is to use it for a Chief level position, I would consider a degree in Management or Business. Also, look at the degree requirements of the departments that you are interested in. Some departments will not accept a Bachelors degree from a "Nationally" accredited university like Columbia Southern. A regionally accredited program is accepted everywhere. Nationally accredited programs are not held to as high of a standard academically as the regional schools.
        I have but one ambition in life and that is to become a firefighter.


        • #5
          Somewhere you may to look is Liberty University. They offer a 100% online BS in Fire Administration as well as a MS in Public Administration. They are regionally accredited, classes are 8 weeks long, and books are included. They also offer a tuition discount to first responders of 25%. That puts tuition somewhere around $295 per credit hour.


          • #6
            OP, how's things? My BF is thinking about doing the same stuff as you described. But he's not sure this is gonna work. On the other hand, my stepbrother made it not so long ago. He's not a fireman, he's an IT specialist. He wanted to obtain a Cisco certification and started to take online classes and read all kinds of books. After a half of a year he obtained 2020 Cisco Certification and became a certified engineer. I told my BF about this story, but he said that it's not the same. He has doubts about online education anyway. Maybe your story will make him understand that he's wrong.
            Last edited by JoanneFraser; 07-27-2020, 06:57 AM.


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