California State University adds distance-learning degree programs

California State University adds distance-learning degree programs

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), is offering a distance learning bachelor of vocational education (BVE) degree program. It offers fire service professionals involved in human resource development and training the opportunity to complete a bachelor`s degree through a combination of classroom instruction, videotape lecture, and on-site visitations. Firefighters and other fire service professionals applying for admission to the program may be able to earn up to 40 units of academic credit based on experience they have acquired on the job.

Among the program`s requirements are the following:

124 semester credit units,

at least seven years of occupational experience that includes a minimum of 1,000 hours of teaching experience,

Fire Instructor 1A and 1B certification from the California State Fire Marshal`s office (or equivalent for applicants from other states) or a community college teaching credential and at least 56 transferable units in lower division credit (liberal arts and general education courses).

Candidates who have met all lower division credit requirements will have to complete only 10 comprehensive courses in the major discipline. The courses will cover such areas as cultural diversity awareness; personnel management, analyses of case studies of fires from the perspectives of cause/origin, prevention, and command structure; and management of human resources.

The BVE also offers skill development in the area of teacher training.

The CSULB distance learning program is now offered at the following sites: the San Francisco Bay area, Contra Costa County, Orange County, and Humbolt in California; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; and North Carolina. For consideration as a host site for the program, departments must provide a training facility and a list of prospective program candidates.

The BVE program is directed by Dr. Paul Bott, department chair; Dr. Richard L. Ressurreccion; and Jane Twiss and is supported by the University College Extension Services and several prominent fire service professionals.

CSULB has also recently developed a master of arts degree that emphasizes emergency management. At press time, it was in the accreditation phase.

“As we approach the turn of the century, the need to balance on-the-job experience with formal education is on the rise,” observes Dan Madrigal, a deputy fire marshal with the Huntington Beach (CA) Fire Department, who has a BVE degree and a master`s degree in occupational studies and is a master instructor and a faculty member in the BVE program at California State University in Long Beach.

For information on the degree programs, contact the Occupational Studies Department, California State University, Long Beach, (888) 999-9935.

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