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College credit for firefighter training/academy
#1
I've been doing research to see if college credit can be obtained for firefighter academy training and certification. I wanted to post what I found here so that others can hopefully find this via google search.




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College credit for firefighter training
02-12-2005, 08:44 AM
This question came up on one of the recurring college degree threads – can I get college credit for my fire training/experience?

Short answer – probably not for initial certification training.

Generally, a state agency regulates local fire service training/certification. The “Pro-Board” - National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications was created as part of the NFPA’s professional qualification standards for firefighters (NFPA Standard 1001, 1041, 1021, etc.) The ProBoard They have been around since the 1970’s. In general, only state training programs (or their delegated authorities) have ProBoard certification.

Harrisburg Area Community College (in Pennsylvania http://www.hacc.edu/PROGRAMS/Career/...ci_aa6630.html ) is the only college with it's own ProBoard certification. It is the result of meeting a special need within the commonwealth.

A second, Oklahoma State University based, organization also accredits fire service training. Created in 1991, the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress was formed because colleges and universities educate beyond state borders. http://www.ifsac.org/

The Department of Defense is one of the largest purchasers of fire service certification training. They require that the vendor providing the service be either Pro Board or IFSAC accredited.

The requirements to provide training that is ProBoard or IFSAC accredited is important but NOT THE SAME as requirements for education that leads to college credit.

THERE ARE FIVE ELEMENTS THAT MUST BE IN PLACE TO MAKE FIRE TRAINING ELIGIBLE FOR COLLEGE CREDIT.

1) The fire training is similar/identical to a college course of study. For example, some colleges offer a hazardous materials course that prepares the student to take the certification exam/skills to meet the NFPA 472 requirements for Hazardous Material Technician.

2) The instructor meets the academic requirements of the college. The minimum requirement is established by the regional accreditation organization. For example, Northern Virginia Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

SACS minimum: Faculty teaching associate degree courses not designed for transfer to the baccalaureate degree: bachelor’s degree in the teaching discipline, or associate’s degree and demonstrated competencies in the teaching discipline.

NVCC requires: For occupational/technical positions, a Bachelor’s degree with a major in the discipline to be taught and 2 years of full-time related occupational experience are required.

3) The delivery of the fire training is in an academically appropriate environment. A wide-ranging requirement that includes test integrity, a course syllabus/document that is consistent with the college course, appropriate classroom space and educational materials. I used to teach fire science classes at an industrial fire station where the classroom area was the kitchen table. No audiovisual resources and constant interruptions by others using the kitchen. We no longer teach college classes at that facility.

4) The fire training course meets the educational objectives of the college course. A three-semester hour college course represents 48 instructor-student class contact hours in a lecture format. Firefighter (and paramedic) skills sessions are considered lab classes. Lab time does not count much towards the class contact hours (4 hours of lab time a week = 64 lab hours a semester = 1 semester hour of credit).

5) There is an academically valid end-of-course evaluation instrument. A final exam.

Some colleges use appropriately qualified instructors, such as a state-certified hazmat instructor with a bachelor degree, to deliver a class that concludes with BOTH state certification and college credit.

PREEXISTING CREDIT FOR FIRE TRAINING

Some fire training organizations have had their courses evaluated by the American Council of Education. The American Council on Education They publish a huge National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs that lists college level credits for training programs.

Go to http://www.acenet.edu/clll/corporate...ating_orgs.cfm

Note that the following fire service organizations are on the list.

Fire and Rescue Training Institute, University of Missouri
Fire Department of New York City
Georgia Fire Academy
Illinois Fire Science Institute
International Association of Fire Fighters
Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute
National Emergency Training Center (EMI)
National Emergency Training Center (NFA)
New York State Academy of Fire Science
Texas Engineering Extension Service
U.S. Army Safety Center, The Texas A&M University, Texas Engineering Extension Service

If you take ACE accredited classes from these organizations, they can send a transcript of your training to your college for credit consideration. For example, the old two-week residential NFA Chemistry of Hazardous Materials program was evaluated by ACE as a four-credit science-with-lab course. Some NVCC students were able to use that course to satisfy the science requirement for their AAS Fire Science degree.

LIFE EXPERIENCE PORTFOLIO

Many colleges and universities provide an opportunity for the adult (over 25 years old) learner to apply prior training, experience, jobs, etc. in place of college classes. The general model is that the student will register for a course where he/she will develop a lifetime portfolio. The goal is to demonstrate that you have satisfied the course requirements through your life experiences.

In most cases, you will still have to register and pay tuition for the college classes you are "writing out of."

[INDENT][INDENT][INDENT] Source: Firehouse Forums
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Talking with my own instructor, it seems the reason the academy and certification isn't worth credit is because the community colleges want money. It's the same book even. When you search ACE, some departments have had their courses evaluated for college credit... so check your state. >ace

There is one last thing I would like to share. When doing the free TEEX courses, I noticed they had some fire and rescue courses, some of which are worth ACE credit. Possibly something to look into. TEEX.org

Hopefully this info can help!
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#2
There are two other sources of credit I did not mention in the main post for certain reasons.

The first is the International Association of Fire Fighters. They have a few ace approved courses in HazMat and terrorism response. The reason I didn't list them is because you have to request them to come to your department and they have to give the class. Additional info

The second source is FEMA IS (Federal Emergency Management Agency: Independent Study). I didn't include this because TESU doesn't accept the credits. However, they do have ACE approved courses and you will have to check with your college to see if they accept them. Additional info
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#3
The reason that SOME colleges don't accept SOME certifications for credit, is because most colleges will only accept transfer credit from other colleges. Since most training doesn't fall under those guidelines, then there is no way to get the credit over to them. It's not on a college transcript to be sent.

Any colleges that will accept ACE-approved courses will take anything you can get onto an ACE transcript. It's just a matter of where they can put them into the degree plan.

I don't think most college administrators are just jerks who don't want to give credit. I just think most aren't out-of-the box thinkers, don't understand how things work, or only know how to go by the rules.
TESU BSBA in HR, 2018
WVNCC BOG AAS,
 2017
GGU Cert in Management, 2000

EXAMS: TECEP Tech Writg, Engl Comp 2, LA Math, Public Rel, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int Alg, Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
B&M COURSESPalomar CollMission Coll, Golden Gate Univ, San Jose State Univ
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#4
dfrecore Wrote:The reason that SOME colleges don't accept SOME certifications for credit, is because most colleges will only accept transfer credit from other colleges. Since most training doesn't fall under those guidelines, then there is no way to get the credit over to them. It's not on a college transcript to be sent.

Any colleges that will accept ACE-approved courses will take anything you can get onto an ACE transcript. It's just a matter of where they can put them into the degree plan.

I don't think most college administrators are just jerks who don't want to give credit. I just think most aren't out-of-the box thinkers, don't understand how things work, or only know how to go by the rules.

Yeah I totally agree, they're not jerks my any means. Unfortunately, in the state I'm in, the "academy" is pretty much the exact same material (and books) as the area of study for a associates in fire science. I think they tried before to make it worth credit (that could be accepted by state schools) but it failed because of the community colleges. This was probably long before ACE or anything like that. This thread is directed at other FFs who may be searching whether or not it's worth credit though.
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#5
(03-06-2017, 01:19 PM)Thank you for posting this. I recently was trying to dig up information on how I can figure out all the certifications that I have gotten over the past 32 years to transfer into actual college credits. I attempted to call the local college to which the man on the phone told me since I wasn’t a student there he would not help me. I then attempted to call the University that I had attended years ago to try to get the same answer  to which again I was told they refused to help me because I was not a student there. There was no one out there to actually ask these questions. It’s ridiculous how these people are supposed to be there for your service yet do not want to provide any information to you. I have 32 years of experience and more certifications than I can think of yet I am on aware of how to transfer them into actual credits . The funny part is I wasn’t actually trying to get them to give me the credits for it I just wanted to know what they would be equivalent to and no one would help me with that information. It ever Denteley was beyond them which I have to say pisses me off! Thank you though for putting down all of your investigative work. And as you say some people  don’t think out of the box and I have to agree with you on that my experience and my certifications should count for something don’t you think?  Joeman200 Wrote:
dfrecore Wrote:The reason that SOME colleges don't accept SOME certifications for credit, is because most colleges will only accept transfer credit from other colleges.  Since most training doesn't fall under those guidelines, then there is no way to get the credit over to them.  It's not on a college transcript to be sent.

Any colleges that will accept ACE-approved courses will take anything you can get onto an ACE transcript.  It's just a matter of where they can put them into the degree plan.

I don't think most college administrators are just jerks who don't want to give credit.  I just think most aren't out-of-the box thinkers, don't understand how things work, or only know how to go by the rules.

Yeah I totally agree, they're not jerks my any means. Unfortunately, in the state I'm in, the "academy" is pretty much the exact same material (and books) as the area of study for a associates in fire science. I think they tried before to make it worth credit (that could be accepted by state schools) but it failed because of the community colleges.  This was probably long before ACE or anything like that.   This thread is directed at other FFs who may be searching whether or not it's worth credit though.
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#6
Sorry if I missed it but what state? It may not make a difference with firefighters but I know with police it makes a big difference which state.
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#7
You aren't "owed" college credit just because you have experience (even a lot of experience) in something.

I think your best bet is to try several things:
1) see if any of your certifications are in the ACE database
2) contact a couple of schools that take a lot of ACE credit and have a Fire Science degree (AMU/APU is the only one on my list)
3) if no ACE, see if you can figure out how to PLA your credits, especially UL
4) AMU/APU has a Fire Science Management degree, both through their regular online format (120cr, course-by-course) and as a competency-based program called Momentum.  To do Momentum, you need to already have an AA/AS degree to start the program, so that would mean getting an inexpensive associates from somewhere (COSC may be the cheapest, I'm not sure, but you don't want an AAS, you want an AA/AS).  The good thing about Momentum is that you'd probably have a really easy time doing the courses quickly, because of your experience.  At $2500/16-week term, you could finish in 1-2 terms.

If I were you, I would list any actual college credit here (if you have any) and any ACE credit you have (if your certs are worth any) and then get a plan in place to get the AS from COSC, and then go to AMU/APU for the momentum program.
TESU BSBA in HR, 2018
WVNCC BOG AAS,
 2017
GGU Cert in Management, 2000

EXAMS: TECEP Tech Writg, Engl Comp 2, LA Math, Public Rel, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int Alg, Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
B&M COURSESPalomar CollMission Coll, Golden Gate Univ, San Jose State Univ
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