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Columbia Southern or UMUC?

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  • Columbia Southern or UMUC?

    I was just wondering if anyone could speak on their experience getting their fire science degree online from one of these 2 colleges? I hear both are at the top of the list of online colleges for fire science. Thanks

    -Christopher

  • #2
    I've completed three courses at CSU so far and I've had no problems with their program. I only have eleven more courses left to finish my bachelor's. One thing I like about CSU is that they have two options for education. I am doing what they call an open enrollment. YOu have to have tuition assistance, like mine from the military, to do open enrollment. Open enrollment allows you ten weeks to complete your course. YOu can finish it as quickly as you can/want though. Their other option is a structured temr enrollment. This is the option you'll have to use if you use FAFSA for tuiton.

    Now, for the downside to CSU. CSU is nationally accredited. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, if yo are going to finish your degree through them. THe problem you run into is that most colleges run on the regionally accredidation system. What this means to you if you chosse CSU is that if you decide to change to say Eastern Kentucky University to do a Fire Engineering degree, some or all of your credits that could count for that degree may not be accepted as transfer credit. Typically credit from a regionally accredited school will transfer to a nationally accredited school, but not vice versa depending on the school accessing your transfer credits.

    I chose CSU because when I went to school many, many years ago I didn't really care about college, I was just wasting time waiting to turn 21 so I could apply at Dalton Fire Department. Now that I care my bad GPA limited me to the schools I could apply to. CSU doesn't care what your GPA was at another college, they will only transfer any credit that you have that is a 2.0 or higher. Also, CSU will transfer professional certifications and schooling as well. I got some credit for my F.D. certifications and a lot of credit for Marine Corps classes that I have taken over the past three years.

    Anyway, good luck to you and make sure you do your research on your school. WHat might be a good choice for one person may not be the best choice of school for another. WHatever you do, stick with it and have fun with it.

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    • #3
      Don't forget Eastern Kentucky University! If you're looking for a good F/S degree....that's where it's at!

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      • #4
        To elaborate on the accredited issues, CSU's degrees do not qualify as a bachelor's degree for NFA's Executive Fire Officer program or most Master programs.
        "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
        "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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        • #5
          Yeah when I was in the military I was trying to decide between those two and the lady t the college office highly suggested UMUC because of the accreditation.

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          • #6
            UMUC is the largest regionally accredited university that has been delivering distance education since World War II.

            40,000 students, 6,000 faculty.

            They established a center of excellence for distance education, identifying best practices for both program design and faculty development.

            Of the seven universities that deliver the "Degree At A Distance" BS in Fire Science UMUC has one of the strongest.

            The fire science adjunct faculty are experienced and effective.

            Mike
            UMUC BS Fire Science Management (1984)
            UMUC MS State and Local Government (1995)

            I do not work there

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            • #7
              What He Said.........

              Originally posted by MikeWard View Post
              UMUC is the largest regionally accredited university that has been delivering distance education since World War II.

              40,000 students, 6,000 faculty.

              They established a center of excellence for distance education, identifying best practices for both program design and faculty development.

              Of the seven universities that deliver the "Degree At A Distance" BS in Fire Science UMUC has one of the strongest.

              The fire science adjunct faculty are experienced and effective.

              Mike
              UMUC BS Fire Science Management (1984)
              UMUC MS State and Local Government (1995)

              I do not work there

              OK, Pay attention to the Professor............ He has the straight scoop .....


              (Side Note-Mike... Missed you at the CFSI Bash..........
              Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
              In memory of
              Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
              Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

              IACOJ Budget Analyst

              I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

              www.gdvfd18.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by aromania View Post
                To elaborate on the accredited issues, CSU's degrees do not qualify as a bachelor's degree for NFA's Executive Fire Officer program or most Master programs.
                CSU's is accredited through the "Distance Education and Training Council" not the traditional regional agencies. I know a lot of places won't reconize a degree from a college unless it is a Regionally accredited college. Places have problems reconizing"Distance Education and Training Council" accredited programs because the will give you credit for previous certifications or Life Experience. I would be worried about spending time and money of a degree program that doesn't count. I know if you had a degree from CSU my department wouldn't reconize it. It had to be from a regional acceditation such as "Southern Association of Colleges and Schools."

                Do some research and be sure the program you take meets your needs.

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                • #9
                  I would go with UMUC's program over CSU. I'm about to finish UNCC's program and it is pretty good.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kyhunter42 View Post
                    CSU's is accredited through the "Distance Education and Training Council" not the traditional regional agencies. I know a lot of places won't reconize a degree from a college unless it is a Regionally accredited college. Places have problems reconizing"Distance Education and Training Council" accredited programs because the will give you credit for previous certifications or Life Experience. I would be worried about spending time and money of a degree program that doesn't count. I know if you had a degree from CSU my department wouldn't reconize it. It had to be from a regional acceditation such as "Southern Association of Colleges and Schools."

                    Do some research and be sure the program you take meets your needs.
                    WEll, something I did not know. I guess now I have no choice but to change my school. Stupid tuition assistance office told me the only difference was that regional wouldn't accept national credits. Guess I won't have my bachelors by the time I get out of the Marines after all.

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                    • #11
                      Keep taking your classes. You can still list them on your application. I will check our General Orders and see what it states. I'm 100% sure that my previous department would not reconize CSU's degree.

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                      • #12
                        Irish,

                        If you are close to finishing, I would finish the program before starting another program. Our department pays for 100% of tuition and books if you make a C or better. So you can finish another degree if you get hired here on the deptartments dime.
                        Last edited by kyhunter42; 04-20-2011, 10:11 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kyhunter42 View Post
                          Keep taking your classes. You can still list them on your application. I will check our General Orders and see what it states. I'm 100% sure that my previous department would not reconize CSU's degree.
                          I appreciae it brother, I just have to know before I start these classes because I don't want to take anymore courses that might not ttransfer to a college that will be accepted. FInd out about WAldorf COllege as well. CSU and Waldorf are both owned by the same, well, whoever owns colleges., except that Waldorf is a regionally accreditted college. SO maybe all of my credits will transfer over.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kyhunter42 View Post
                            Irish,
                            I just pulled this from our General Orders on Education Incentive:
                            "The degree must be from an Accredited Institution–specifically, an institution accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations."

                            This if from the General Order on promotional requirements:
                            "A minimum of an Associate’s (two‐year) degree in Fire Science, OR any Bachelor’s (fouryear) degree, as approved by the Chief of Training."

                            So reading what our General Orders state, you will not get the incentive pay for a CSU degree, but it might count for promotion to Captain.

                            If you are close to finishing, I would finish the program before starting another program. Our department pays for 100% of tuition and books if you make a C or better. So you can finish another degree if you get hired here on the deptartments dime.
                            Waldorf College is accreditted by Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). According to their website they're a regional accrediting agency. It would make transferring my credits easier if their regional accreditation is acceptable.
                            Last edited by firefightinirish217; 04-17-2011, 03:09 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I would get some more info about their accreditation from somewhere besides the school itself. Sometime they deceive people by saying they are regionally accredited when they are not. If you are in the military go talk to the college office and they will be able to give you the best non bias info on the colleges. Otherwise if you are not in the military I would find and advisor on the situation. I would also google the school and see what other people are saying about it.

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