Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Associate level degree in emergency management

I’m attending the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Higher Education conference this week. Many nationally recognized authors and experts are in attendance. It is rewarding experience to hear both practitioners and academics share and compare ideas. I will be writing several blogs when I get backed based on information presented here.

One thought that I want to touch on briefly is offering associate degrees in emergency management. A continuum or pathway for those in the emergency management career field has lagged behind other career fields. Many experts in field have degrees in something other than emergency management. Some may have no degrees at all. Going back for a bachelor’s degree may be unappealing to these individuals for a number of reasons. Offering an associate degrees from a community college presents a cost-effective way for them to achieve their degrees. Community colleges focus on the practical skills, which means individuals new to emergency management, will be able to function more effectively in the field upon graduation. Bachelor’s and master’s level work is more appropriate for those interested in the theory and management principles. What matters the most is providing emergency management professionals a set of options.

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