Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Union Institute & University Announces New Degree Program for Los Angeles Firefighters

Program in Public Administration, in partnership with the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, is tailored to fit firefighter’s busy schedule

LOS ANGELES - Union Institute & University today announced a new bachelor’s degree in public administration designed to fit the needs of Los Angeles area firefighters seeking to continue their education while remaining on the force. The program, in partnership with the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC), is similar to Union’s degree programs in Criminal Justice Management, a highly-popular program that has enabled many police officers to advance in their careers.

“For many years, firefighters have longed for a degree program that would reward them for their long hours of duty related training – Drill Tower, specialized training, and California State Fire Marshal courses,” said Jon McDuffie, UFLAC 1st Vice President. “The Union public administration program is one that we believe UFLAC members and fire department civilian personnel will find as a perfect fit.”

The regionally-accredited program offers on-site programs at sites near firehouses or close to home, cutting down on commuting time, and giving learners the opportunity to network with other firefighters. In addition, the program offers four-unit courses that are able to be completed in eight-week sessions, and firefighters can earn credit for continuing education courses they took prior to attending Union.

Very few universities offer degrees for firefighters, said Battalion Chief Patrick Butler. “Union has tailored the courses to meet the unique needs of a firefighter. For example, classes are held on site in the morning, because that’s when firefighters are getting off work after their 24-hour shift.”

Butler, also a reserved deputy sheriff, earned a degree in criminal justice from Union. After many of his colleagues at the firehouse expressed an interest in going back to school, Butler approached the LA Center and the UFLAC about creating a program specifically for firefighters. Public Administration, said Butler, was an idea track of study because “today’s firefighters are involved in community relations, local municipal government, public education, and business management,” said Butler. “We do a lot more than put out fires.”

“There are a lot of opportunities for firefighters (once they get their bachelor’s degree),” said Butler. “A lot of doors start to open. Not only is there the financial bonus that firefighters receive for having a degree, but there is also the opportunity to change your thinking. The program enhances critical thinking skills and presents new concepts and new ideas of learning. It helps firefighters do their job.”

For more information about the new program contact: Vanessa Lopez, Director of Admissions, phone: 1-800-486-8328, or email: Vanessa.lopez@tui.edu.

No comments: