Higher Education Learning Plan now covers more than 500 online courses at ESC
Volunteer firefighters now can have up to 100 percent of their tuition costs for online courses at SUNY Empire State College's Center for Distance Learning funded by the Firemen's Association of the State of New York Higher Education Learning Plan.
"By partnering with Empire State College, we are ensuring that more of our volunteer firefighters have access to higher education while at the same time providing lifesaving services to their communities," said FASNY President James Burns. "Our HELP program has been an integral tool in recruiting and retaining new members. This new partnership will make our program even more robust."
"By including Empire State College in the HELP program, FASNY has dramatically expanded access for volunteer firefighters to earn an associate degree online," said Meg Benke, acting president of Empire State College. "Special thanks go to Jim Burns and his team at FASNY, college alumnus and former volunteer firefighter Richard Wishnie, Empire State College Professor Jim Savitt and the college's Office of Academic Affairs for their hard work in making this arrangement possible."
Launched in 2011, FASNY established the HELP program to assist volunteer fire departments in attracting and retaining more members. Under FASNY HELP, a student/volunteer firefighter who hasn't already achieved an associate's degree or higher will be eligible to have up to 100 percent of his/her tuition reimbursed in exchange for maintaining good grades and fulfilling service requirements as a member in good standing in one of New York's volunteer fire companies.
The program covers courses at all 29 SUNY community colleges throughout the state and has seen hundreds of students receive tuition reimbursement. FASNY HELP is made possible through a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More information and an online application form are available here.
Founded in 1872, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 92,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York state. For more information, visit fasny.com or fireinyou.org.
SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor's and master's degrees from the State University of New York.
In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.
The college offers more than 500 courses and complete degree programs online through its Center for Distance Learning. The college also educates students face to face at more than 35 locations in the state of New York. Its 66,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.