FEMA Independent Study Program-Anyone doing them?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jimwe, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. jimwe

    jimwe Member

    I'm about 15 courses into FEMA's Online Independent Study Courses and am wondering if anyone has done them. I can't use them for credit; they're only for undergrad credit. At this point, I'm taking them more for resume purposes-but am learning a lot. I've done the professional series as well as some general ones. I plan to take the majority of them somewhere around 30-40.

    The other thing I was wondering if they have helped anyone else gets a job in Emergency and Disaster Management. What were the interviewer's comments, if they made any? I'm still in Korea and have the free time to do them. But want to return soon and find a job in this field. I was hoping to get some coments from someone in this field.

    Just curious-at least they're free! Your tax dollars at work!:)
  2. beholdweb

    beholdweb New Member

    Hi Jimwe,

    I'm not in the field. But I have taken the seven courses that make up the professional development series so far and have thoroughly enjoyed doing them. The material is quite lengthy and in-depth and I actually felt that the information was useful from a general business/management point of view as well.

    I finished the last of the seven PDS courses on December 26th and got the certificate a couple of days ago (not twelve weeks as they indicated on the site). What the heck! It is free and I had time available over the holidays so I decided to go ahead and do them. It's an extra certificate that may or may not come in handy at some point.

    I am considering whether or not to convert a few of them into RA credits via TESC or Frederick Community College. But even if I don't end up doing that, I learned a lot from doing them and, just from a personal development perspective, it was worth it.

    Take care,
  3. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    I used to be close to the field (Chapter CEO of a Red Cross Chapter and Disaster Education Trainer):

    At the local level of emergency management; These courses will be of minimal help getting into the field but will be required additional training once you're in. They do provide the core of knowledge that you need to work in the field -- basic information that you should be conversant with.

    More important than this type of training is some hands-on real-time experience in service delivery during a disaster operation.

    Several organizations offer some really good volunteer ops that can get you that experience. Some require a 3 week commitment in the field (the conditions suck really bad) -- it is worth it as a life experience. I can honestly say that I was very humbled by a couple diaster operations and that one changed my life direction.

    Many local community emergency management directors have a team of volunteers they call on when needed. Serving with that team will get you the "foot in the door" as well as access to the the "butt-in-the-seat" training available from FEMA, NFA, and your state.

    Those who refuse to get into the profession by the volunteer service route often find getting in very difficult. The management position requires administration of volunteers and it's hard to sell that you can recruit and manage a volunteer team when you've not been there yourself.

    Many folks apply for management level positions in EM without field experience. This isn't an entry level kind of gig -- local EMs coordinate fire chiefs and police chiefs and NGO CEOs. Those who get the gig without field experience are often short lived in the field.

    If you're interested in a local (county level) management position, keep in mind that these are few and far between and the incubants don't leave very often.

    My observation is that most turn-overs happen following a badly managed disaster operation -- there should be some jobs open in the Katrina impact areas.
  4. Kaboom

    Kaboom New Member

    Since I am employed in the law enforcment field as a supervisor (sergeant), it was manditory a few months ago in my agency to take intro to Incident Command Systems (ICS 100), and National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) through FEMA. I had recieved 40 hours of ICS a few months prior through the State of Oregon Office of Emergency Management, so I ripped through both courses rather quickly.

    Since I am in a DBA program (RA), credits from either course is of no value. If you are employed in government, social services or health/emergency care the knowledge, skills and gained abilities are priceless.
  5. Carlos M. Lorie

    Carlos M. Lorie New Member

    I have completed 30 courses and I think they did help me get a promotion at work, however I can't say for sure. I recommend these courses to people because they look good on the resume.
    I may use them for a second BS from TESC in Human Services.
    They accepted just about all of them.

    Good luck

    Carlos M. Lorie
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2006
  6. Cauble_TXSG

    Cauble_TXSG Member

    I have completed all but 7 of the FEMA courses. I tend to do them in waves, and I am sure that I will finish them off sometime in Q1. At the moment I am focused on completing some Army DL and National Fire Academy DL courses.

    My intentions were to use the classes for college credit towards an associate degree in EM.

    I can tell you that following my Katrina / Rita deployment, many contractors were eager to offer me contract employment. Knowledge of FEMA was critical, and showing proof of course completions was sufficient to meet that need.

    I suspect that when you get back to the world, and are looking for your next career you will find there are opportunities out there and the FEMA courses will help. I recommend that you become an associate member of your home states emergency management association. Start making contacts, and talk to local emergency managers about what they are looking for in a potential employee.


Share This Page