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  1. #1
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    Default best online degree

    Well here goes, i've gone to school in the past mainly for vocational courses, auto mechanics, diesel, etc, also completed a semester firefighter academy, I now work for a small department, we are paid. and Im interested in possibly going back to school. 100% online of course considering I work full time and wont call off work to go to school, i've only been at my department for 5 months so Im not sure what they do for tuition wise, I do however get financial aid so that would have to be acceptable in the program, Im mainly interested in attaining an associates or bachelors in emergency services, that way I wont be limited only to firefighting or only to emt, I love both equally.

    whats some good online colleges to enroll in for this? read a lot about columbia southern university, I want something that will transfer anywhere though and is noticed everywhere, Im mainly wanting a degree for the future as I understand a lot of new recruits are coming in with educations already, would be nice to get mine while I work therefore making myself more valuable.


    or would I be better off just getting more certs, paramedic, fire 2 etc?
    Last edited by jamesh23; 03-23-2013 at 02:04 AM.


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  3. #3
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    those are great thank you for the help! does anyone know of any online training certifications I can get for free or relatively cheap? up to $100 or so, Im trying to get as many certs and learn as much as possible thanks

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    Maybe not what you are looking for but free


    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/nfa/nfaonli...wse/index.shtm

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    Also contact your state rep for any Nfa Courses in your state

    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/pocs/index.shtm

    Check the different courses to see where they are held;;

    http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/nfacourses...ule/off-campus

  6. #6
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    I am currently attending CSU in pursuit of the BFS (Bachelors in Fire Science), I earned an Associates through a local community college (AAS in EMS), at the same time earning my Paramedic NREMT cert.
    I have found that all my classes transferred to CSU, all I have to work on is major classes. It makes it seem a lot easier.

    If you plan to attend CSU prepare to use APA all the time and for everything, they have an obsession for it. Many professors overlook content for APA formatting, I don't how good that is for a degree in FS, but it will definitely help you if you ever have to write a Psych paper.

    Also attention to detail is crucial in theses courses, specifically the Major (Fire Science) courses. The professors are all firefighters (at least the ones I've had thus far) and all of them are very well versed in the profession, which is great for real life experience. It can also be a hindrance due to their bias of certain things.

    Anyway I like the ability to take classes online and CSU seems to provide a very structured program. All the courses are modeled the same, so you never have to worry about knowing a schedule. They are all the same, with the exception of subject matter and paper length.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesh23 View Post
    those are great thank you for the help! does anyone know of any online training certifications I can get for free or relatively cheap? up to $100 or so, Im trying to get as many certs and learn as much as possible thanks
    Not certs but free training and you can relate it to suppression. In that some cover how and why fire spreads and other related items

    http://www.cfitrainer.net/

  8. #8
    Forum Member FiremedicMike's Avatar
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    The thing to remember about CSU is that their credits transfer almost nowhere. Your BEST bet for an online degree is to get one from a REGIONALLY accredited (I know national accreditation sounds better, but it's not) university, most preferably one with an actual established brick and mortar school that happens to have extended into an online program. One example would be here local to me which is the program at Columbus State with direct linkage into Ohio University (Columbus State actually has direct linkage with several collages, I just chose the OU program). The price is very cheap (overall cost will be about 1/4 of what a complete bachelors from CSU would cost) and I have credits that will readily transfer ANYWHERE.

    Not that I hate on CSU, I just really don't like how they roll into firehouses and pimp their overpriced tuition for credit hours that are proprietary to themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremedicMike View Post
    The thing to remember about CSU is that their credits transfer almost nowhere. Your BEST bet for an online degree is to get one from a REGIONALLY accredited (I know national accreditation sounds better, but it's not) university, most preferably one with an actual established brick and mortar school that happens to have extended into an online program. One example would be here local to me which is the program at Columbus State with direct linkage into Ohio University (Columbus State actually has direct linkage with several collages, I just chose the OU program). The price is very cheap (overall cost will be about 1/4 of what a complete bachelors from CSU would cost) and I have credits that will readily transfer ANYWHERE.

    Not that I hate on CSU, I just really don't like how they roll into firehouses and pimp their overpriced tuition for credit hours that are proprietary to themselves.
    Any college or university is typically "overpriced" these days, to attend a local community college where I live costs 194.00 per credit hour, and CSU is 200.00 (undergraduate) per credit hour. CSU pays for the books at no cost, and almost every school Ive been to charges outrageous prices for books (sure you can find them online for cheaper, but you still have to come out of pocket). To go to a brick and mortar school you are required to spend gas money and times are set in stone, with CSU you have the luxury (for the most part) of doing the work on your own time.
    If its price that is the issue I think they are fair, now the accreditation issue is another thing. That's something I never really looked into.

  10. #10
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    Got my 4 yr through western Illinois university

    All online with partnership through NFA

  11. #11
    Forum Member FiremedicMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeachFFOBX View Post
    Any college or university is typically "overpriced" these days, to attend a local community college where I live costs 194.00 per credit hour, and CSU is 200.00 (undergraduate) per credit hour. CSU pays for the books at no cost, and almost every school Ive been to charges outrageous prices for books (sure you can find them online for cheaper, but you still have to come out of pocket). To go to a brick and mortar school you are required to spend gas money and times are set in stone, with CSU you have the luxury (for the most part) of doing the work on your own time.
    If its price that is the issue I think they are fair, now the accreditation issue is another thing. That's something I never really looked into.
    Last price I saw was $300/hr, which is almost double OU and triple CSCC. They may have adjusted the prices.

    And I was referring to brick and mortar schools who had expanded into online programs. By the time I'm done with my bachelors I'll have only been required to go to school for a handful of 2 hour labs to go along with a single class (Chem 100). If I was REALLY committed to not going to school, I believe there is an online option that requires I purchase a chem kit and keep it at home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremedicMike View Post
    Last price I saw was $300/hr, which is almost double OU and triple CSCC. They may have adjusted the prices.

    And I was referring to brick and mortar schools who had expanded into online programs. By the time I'm done with my bachelors I'll have only been required to go to school for a handful of 2 hour labs to go along with a single class (Chem 100). If I was REALLY committed to not going to school, I believe there is an online option that requires I purchase a chem kit and keep it at home.
    I currently attend CSU and the classes for undergrads according to the papers I receive the classes are 200.00 they do increase significantly for graduate classes and doctorates (but they don't have a fire science major that I am aware of).
    I have heard of take home chem labs and other related subject material, but I have never experienced that. When I went full time to a brick and mortar the experience was definitely better in the aspect of hands on and real conversation with professors, CSU lacks that.
    CSU is good for some and not for others- of course if I had the ability I would much rather go to a brick and mortar and avoid online, but...

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    First, a disclaimer. I got my undergraduate degree from a well known regionally accredited school that had developed an online program that was suitable for my management ambitions. That being said, I'm starting to change my perspective on the NA vs RA debate, and apparently a lot of other people are as well. I may eventually get my graduate degree from an NA school as a result.

    The NFA has recently announced that they'll start accepting NA degrees for acceptance in to the EFO Program. It's a slow roll-in, but I think it's within two years they'll be accepting any NA degree but the classes and school will be checked out to make sure they're not a diploma mill.

    The second thing that started to make me think differently about NA degrees was when we recently lost our city administrator to retirement. We're a good size city and it's a high paying job, up to $150,000 a year and requiring a graduate degree in public administration as a minimum. As an MPA is something I was considering pursuing, I asked our HR director if they would accept a degree from a nationally accredited school. She just rolled her eyes at me and said, "We don't care about that debate and most of my colleagues don't either. If they've got an MPA, we don't care whether it's from an NA or RA school as long as it's not a diploma mill."

    So, it's something to keep in mind. I don't know anything about this CSU, but what it comes down to is what you're going to do with it. If you're getting an undergrad and you know you want to get a graduate someday, it's probably best to stick to RA for flexibility or at least realize you may be stuck going to a NA school to get your graduate. If the degree you're pursuing is a terminal degree, meaning you have no intention of ever going higher, stick with what is accepted by your employer (or your field), what is affordable, and what gives you the education you're looking for. As a masters would definitely be a terminal degree for me, I may very well look at NA schools just because the price is typically a lot less and there are some good schools that you can find.
    Last edited by Chief_Roy; 05-10-2013 at 10:33 AM.

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    Well said........

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    Upper Iowa University offers numerous online undergraduate degrees, including Fire Science. UIU accepts transfer credits from other accredited institutions as well as experiential learning credit for those with life experience that might apply to the desired degree. For more information on UIU and their online programs check out the following links:

    Upper Iowa University online programs page: http://www.uiu.edu/distance/online/index.html

    Upper Iowa University FREE online application: https://my.uiu.edu/ics/_portletview_...script_Content

    Upper Iowa University - Distance Education Twitter account: https://twitter.com/UIUDistanceEd

    Upper Iowa University - Distance Education Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/UIUDistanceEd
    Last edited by UIU_Peacocks; 05-29-2013 at 02:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UIU_Peacocks View Post
    Upper Iowa University offers numerous online undergraduate degrees, including Fire Science. UIU accepts transfer credits from other accredited institutions as well as experiential learning credit for those with life experience that might apply to the desired degree. For more information on UIU and their online programs check out the following links:

    Upper Iowa University online programs page: http://www.uiu.edu/distance/online/index.html

    Upper Iowa University FREE online application: https://my.uiu.edu/ics/_portletview_...script_Content

    Upper Iowa University - Distance Education Twitter account: https://twitter.com/UIUDistanceEd

    Upper Iowa University - Distance Education Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/UIUDistanceEd

    And you are accredited with??

    And hours will transfer??

  18. #18
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    Default CSU online

    I currently attend CSU ( Columbia Southern University). I am obtaining my Bachelor's of Science in Fire Science and then my Master's in Emergency Management. The professor I have so far for my major classes know exactly what they are teaching and have personal experiences about the topic. It is very helpful to get a different perspective that way. It is $200/ credit hour ( usually 3 credit hours per class). Courses are 8 weeks long for me, some others are 5 weeks long. They have a lot of different student help sections to help students with papers, research, etc. All my courses from my local community college transferred so all I have to complete are some of my major requirements. And if you can find your department or association on their learning partners list, you get 10% off tuition. That comes in handy, and if your department isn't on the list, you should try and apply to be a learning partner. CSU is also a brick and mortar school but mainly a online focus for them.

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    Upper Iowa University is regionally accredited with the North Central Regional Accreditation.

    Once UIU receives your previous college transcripts they will review them and create your degree plan to let you know exactly how many credits are transferring in. You can also submit an experiential learning portfolio to gain credit for life experience.

  20. #20
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    I am currently enrolled at Eastern Oregon University in their Fire Service Administration (BS) program. EOU is a brick and mortar, regionally accredited university within the University of Oregon system. They do not charge out of state tuition and the prices are extremely modest at about $160/credit after fees and other misc. costs. The FSA program is completely online, though they do offer hybrid courses in Portland if you live in the Northwest.

    At the very least, check it out.

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