Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The hot new degree?

Germanna is considering an associate's degree in Fire Science Technology, a program offered to provide students with a broad-based knowledge of current and future advances in the fire science field. The program is projected to start in August 2012. The college has offered a Fire Science Technology certificate program since 2007.

Would you be interested in pursuing a degree?

Let us know what you think.

Student Survey Link

Employer/Volunteer Agency Survey

Jeffrey Bailey wishes Germanna Community College offered an online Fire Science Technology program when he was starting out as a volunteer at the Brandy Station firehouse in Culpeper County 30 years ago, when he was a 16-year-old, but the Internet didn't even exist then.

In 2007, the 48-year-old Culpeper resident, who's been a career firefighter for two decades, had the chance to pass on what he learned in all those years of doing this dangerous work to students as Fire Science Technology Director at Germanna when the college started a certificate program.

Now Bailey says Germanna is in the planning stages of implementing an Associate's Degree Program in Fire Science Technology. The projected startup is August 2012. "Many of our students have been asking for the associate degree," he says.

"One of the first steps is to find out exactly how much interest there is in this program from two facets," he says. "The first being the potential student body--is there enough support from students and or potential students that want to earn an associate's degree in Fire Science Technology? The second facet is the employers-- including volunteer agencies--would there be a benefit for them to have employees or members that have been through the program, are currently enrolled in the program or are planning on taking the program?" Most students are expected to be active volunteer and career firefighters.

The degree would make firefighters safer in their work, and make area residents safer in their homes.

Thousands of firefighters live in the Germanna service area of Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George, Culpeper, Orange and Madison counties and the city of Fredericksburg. Some of them work as career firefighters in places like Fairfax County and Richmond and also volunteer