Firefighting is a dangerous profession, and one that is especially important in the western half of the United States where wildfires run rampant each year. The state of Colorado is home to seven colleges that offer programs in fire science. Five of those colleges are community colleges that offer associate degrees in addition to certificate and advanced learning programs.
Aims Community College
According to the program's website, the fire science program at Aims is the only program in Colorado accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, or IFSAC. Aims offers separate Associate of Applied Science, or A.A.S., degrees in fire office leadership, fire science technology and public safety leadership. All A.A.S. programs are 2-year programs. Aims also offers 10 different certificate programs in fire science, ranging from one to two semesters in length.
Community College of Aurora
The Community College of Aurora offers A.A.S. degrees in both fire science technology and fire service management, in addition to several certificate programs that take several semesters to complete. They also offer a fire academy program that can be completed in one semester. The college claims that program credits are transferable to most colleges in Colorado, and that they are "currently working on articulation agreements with specific universities to ease the transition to a four-year school."
Pikes Peak Community College
Pikes Peak Community College offers only one version of the fire science degree -- an A.A.S. in fire science technology -- which the school claims prepares those with "little or no experience with the firefighting profession for entry-level positions in the fire service industry." However, they offer an option for experienced firefighters to earn credits for "knowledge gained through experience and training" by way of their Fire Science Credit for Prior Learning Program.
Pueblo Community College
Pueblo Community College offers an A.A.S. in fire science technology, as well as a fire science certificate program in a 21-credit hour format. Both programs boast open enrollment and a mix of "traditional classroom instruction, independent study, and hands-on training in conjunction with local fire departments." Students can then apply credits earned in the certificate program toward the A.A.S. degree if they choose.
Red Rocks Community College
The A.A.S. in Fire Science Technology program at Red Rocks Community College offers concentrations in "EMS/paramedic, wild-land firefighting, hazardous materials, codes and ordinances, fire investigations and fire service management." And once you've completed the fire science degree, you can earn an A.A.S. in fire service management after completing six additional courses. The college also maintains a partnership with Regis University, which allows students to transfer credits toward one of nine available Bachelor of Applied Science degree programs at that school.