Could Higher Education Be In Your Future? A New Approach to the "Finish Line"

Dennis L. Rubin and Edward Kaplan report on a pilot project to provide an interoperable, competency-based system of professional development


A universal truth in the fire and emergency services is that working toward obtaining college degrees and career certification don't seem to mix well. One would think that obtaining a college degree and completing career certifications would go hand and hand; however, sometimes the obvious is not...


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As the department travels this difficult, but important journey, there will be lessons learned that will benefit all of those agencies that follow. In the District of Columbia, current and future fire officers will know what skills and knowledge are essential for successful management and leadership and what options they have for accomplishing them â?? just once.

"The department would like to publicly thank Mr. Ed Kaplan and his staff at the National Fire Academy for this wonderful opportunity of being a leader in this process," Rubin said at a recent public meeting. "We can't wait to provide the results and help make corrections to make the path smoother for the ones to follow."

For more information, visit http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/nfa/higher_ed/index.shtm.

DENNIS L. RUBIN, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is chief of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. He holds a bachelor of science degree in fire administration from the University of Maryland and an associate in applied science degree in fire science management from Northern Virginia Community College, and is enrolled in the Fire and Emergency Management Administration program at the graduate school of Oklahoma State University. Rubin is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officers Program, is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and has obtained the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFOD) from by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He is an adjunct faculty member of the National Fire Academy since 1983. ED KAPLAN, MPA, is the chief of the Education, Training and Partnerships Branch of the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy, where he has served since 1979. Until recently, he was the education program specialist responsible for the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) and the Degrees at a Distance programs.