Swainsboro, GA. October 15, 2014
Today, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved East Georgia State College’s new Bachelor of Arts degree in Fire and Emergency Services Administration. The new degree is the second bachelors degree program for the College. According to EGSC President Bob Boehmer, “East Georgia State College's mission includes offering targeted bachelors degrees. ‘Targeted’ means degrees designed to meet specific workforce needs. This new bachelors degree does exactly that. It will create the opportunity for firefighters and emergency response professionals to earn a high quality bachelors degree at in-state tuition rates while continuing to work as full-time first responders. East Georgia State College is proud to be able to serve our fire fighters and government professionals while they continue to serve us."
Not only is the new degree a unique and much-needed program, it also offers in-state residents an educational opportunity not currently available. For both in-state and out-of-state students, the program costs are much more economical than programs offered at online, for-profit universities. The new degree is designed to provide firefighters, emergency services professionals, and others interested in public management with the skills necessary to assume roles in supervision within all branches of government. The focus of the program is not on the technical and physical aspects of firefighting, but on the fiscal, public management, and communication training required to direct fire departments, related emergency services, and other governmental agencies. The program also helps fulfill the East Georgia State College strategic mission as an access institution providing a better-educated workforce in Georgia.
The degree program will be offered in a flexible format to help students from many backgrounds. According to Dr. Lee Cheek, Dean of the Social Sciences Division at East Georgia State College, “While experience and formal education are required for professional advancement in fire and emergency services, specifically, and government service, generally, place bound personnel are often unable to commute long distances, travel out of state to attend programs, or unable to afford out of state tuition for such programs. In other words, many people are often denied opportunities for advancement. As a result of these obstacles, many firefighters and emergency personnel do not pursue advanced degrees, and some supervisory positions requiring advanced degrees are filled by out of state applicants. The goal of our degree program is to target such students with an affordable on-line program. The objectives are to create a new career pathway for fire and emergency services personnel and to provide a needed pool of qualified graduates with the advanced credential necessary to fill supervisory and management positions.”
The degree program will begin in fall 2015. Anyone interested should contact Dr. Lee Cheek at 478.289.2048.