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Answering the Call

Fire Science Program coming to WCCC

A new program is coming to Western Colorado Community College in Fall 2021. Responding to input from local and regional businesses and community leaders, WCCC will offer a Fire Science Technology program.

Students will be able to complete a two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Completing this program will enable students to get into the workforce quickly with the skills to get hired and do the job, explained Brigitte Sündermann, vice president for community college affairs. The AAS degree can give students a leg up if they decide to go on to a four-year degree later or are looking to move into a role of increased responsibility or management as they progress in their careers, she added.

“We hear from community members and businesses, and we do regular check-ins around the region to find out what’s the highest employment need,” said Sündermann. “As a community college we can take some of the training burden off the employer and deliver workready candidates.”

Responding to WCCC inquiries, more than 90% of fire agencies in Mesa County reported that they expect to expand their workforces, and more than 60% said they are currently having difficulty finding qualified candidates.

“Today’s emergency agencies depend on new technology, and our graduates will enter the workforce knowing that technology,” Sündermann said.

As is true with all WCCC programs, Sündermann expects students in this program to be a mix of recent high school graduates, non-traditional students and likely some who have already been working in the field but want to expand their knowledge base. She expects a maximum enrollment of 20 students in this program per semester.


Written by Deborah Dawes