Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) Model Curriculum

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For too many years, the call for a standard fire science curriculum that was national in scope went unheeded. By the second annual conference in 2000, the attendees continued the call and advocated the development and adoption of just such a curriculum by the FESHE programs. This page describes the FESHE model curriculum that can be downloaded for adoption by your degree program.

Associate's Curriculum

Core Courses

A major result of the 2000 FESHE conference was the development of the model fire science associate's curriculum. The FESHE attendees identified six core associate's-level courses in the model curriculum, including:

In 2001, the National Fire Science Curriculum Committee (now called the National Fire Science Programs Committee or NFSPC) was formed to develop standard titles, descriptions, outcomes, and outlines for each of the six core courses. In 2002, the FESHE IV conference attendees approved the model curriculum outlines and the major fire textbook publishers committed to writing texts for some, if not all, of these courses.

Fire science associate degree programs are encouraged to require these six courses as the "theoretical core" on which their major is based. The course outlines address the need for a uniformity of curriculum and content among the fire science courses delivered throughout the country. Many schools already offer these courses in their programs, while others are in the process of adopting them.

Once adopted, these model courses address yet another need: problem-free student transfers between schools. Furthermore, they promote crosswalks for those who apply their academic coursework in preparation for NFPA and EMS standards and certifications.

Non-Core Courses

The NFSPC also developed similar outlines for other courses that are commonly offered in fire science programs. If your school offers any of these "non-core" courses, it is suggested you re-align it to the model. The non-core courses are:

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Bachelor's Curriculum

The FESHE Baccalaureate Curriculum comprises 15 courses:

Core

Non-Core

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Emergency Medical Services Associate's/Bachelor's Curriculum

Established in November 2006, the goals of the National EMS Management Degree Program Committee are to survey the existing academic programs, identify competencies, and recommend courses that meet the competencies. Combined, the EMS Management and Fire Science program committees serve as the two major peer-driven committees responsible for developing model curriculum and degree program recommendations for their respective participating institutions. The FESHE/EMS Management program area is following a national consensus-building plan described in its Inaugural Committee Report.

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Discipline-Specific Concentrations, Courses and Activities

Pre-Fire Protection Engineering

With financial support from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) funded the development of three new model course outlines to enable an associate's level pre-fire protection engineering (FPE) concentration.

The SFPE's subject matter experts worked with members of the associate's committee to ensure the outlines were appropriate for lower-level programs. SFPE seeks to encourage fire science associate's graduates to pursue an FPE bachelor's and urges the two-year programs to offer these preparatory courses as a full concentration or as individual required or electives classes:

Fire Prevention

A discipline-specific group of fire and life safety practitioners, the National Fire Prevention Professional Development Committee (NFPPDC), represents the interests of USFA's Prevention Advocacy Resources and Data Exchange (PARADE) network. It identifies academic and developmental needs of its peers and addresses them through recommended models and curriculum, including creating the Fire Prevention Officer Model, enhancing relevant model courses that address the new NFPA 1037 standard for Fire Marshals and the developing a 3-course concentration in Fire Prevention:

Fire and Emergency Services Safety and Survival

With financial support from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation funded the development of two new model course outlines designed to foster a culture change through education in support of its Everyone Goes Home campaign. Two courses, one associate's and the other bachelor's, build on one another as the student is exposed to the 16 campaign initiatives at the lower-level and develops plans and policies in the upper-level:

Industrial Fire Safety

In 2006, FESHE extended its outreach to the industrial community for the purpose of linking the educational and training needs of its fire brigades with their local two- and four-year fire science programs. Consequently, a discipline-specific professional development committee of industrial fire safety leaders comprising Industrial Fire World magazine and industrial sections of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and National Fire Protection Association was established. The National Industrial Fire Safety Professional Development Committee develops recommendations and plans for this audience that has its own specific needs that FESHE schools can address.

To learn more about the FESHE business model by which all of these products are produced and who comprises all the program and professional development committees, visit the FESHE Business Model and Program/Professional Development Committees page.

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Seeking Curriculum Approval

Many program coordinators have successfully sought approval for the new curriculum by emphasizing the:

Points of contact for each of the courses are provided should you have questions about them.

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A National System for Fire-Related Higher Education

With model lower-level (associate) curriculum outlines developed and established upper-level (baccalaureate) courses available, the major components are in place to move towards a national system for fire-related higher education. This national system for fire-related higher education is important because, as with other professions, a theoretical core of academic courses should be a prerequisite for entering these fields. As more schools adopt these curricula, the fire and emergency services move towards becoming a full-fledged profession.

The efforts of the National EMS Management Degree Programs Committee builds on the work of its national fire science counter-part.

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