The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and Columbia Southern University (CSU) are partnering for the 13th year to support volunteer responders by offering two scholarships to NVFC members to help them further their education in the fire and emergency services. Each scholarship will cover up to 60 credit hours towards one online degree program.
CSU offers a wide range of accredited degree programs, including fire science, fire administration, occupational safety and health, and more. The university offers many online learning options designed to accommodate the busy life of a volunteer firefighter or EMS provider. Scholarship recipients may pursue an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.
Emergency medical services
“Online learning has been instrumental to help our first responders continue their education, especially over the past year,” said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. “We thank CSU for their continued support of our volunteers and the opportunities they provide to help these men and women enhance their skill sets and better serve their communities.”
Our partnership with the NVFC ensures that we continue to teach a relevant, indispensable curriculum"
“As a university whose students and alumni are actively involved in their community fire departments, it is imperative that we stay connected to organizations like the NVFC,” said Chief Keith Padgett, CSU’s fire and emergency medical services academic program director. “Our partnership with the NVFC ensures that we continue to teach a relevant, indispensable curriculum to volunteer and career fire professionals.”
Achieving educational goals
Since 2009, this scholarship has helped many NVFC members launch their careers and advance their position in the fire and emergency services. To date, 24 NVFC members have been able to achieve their educational goals through the partnership.
To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:
- Be a member of the NVFC. If one is not currently an NVFC member, they should learn about membership benefits and join for just $18
- Be a volunteer responder
- Complete the CSU/NVFC Scholarship application
- Submit a 500-word essay on this subject: ‘Explain how the opportunity to continue your education through this scholarship will advance your participation in the fire and emergency services or enhance your ability to contribute back to the emergency services community'
- Provide at least one letter of recommendation (from a teacher or someone at the fire department one reported to directly)
- Must not have previously earned a scholarship through CSU or the NVFC
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED), and be able to provide a transcript
- Be able to begin coursework within 90 days of the date of the award
- Maintain a 2.0 undergraduate GPA or 3.0 graduate GPA
- Remain in good standing with CSU and NVFC throughout the degree program
- Maintain continuous enrollment in the CSU degree program for the duration of the scholarship
- Current CSU students must already meet these requirements to be considered
The deadline to apply is August 25. An NVFC scholarship committee will select the winners, and recipients will be announced in October 2021.