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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Student Testimonial

Friday, August 4, 2017

Is a college degree achievable?

Thoughts of achieving a college degree have probably crossed the minds of many adults. I, like many others pondered this very same notion. Part of the issue like so many others is self-imposed pre-conceived barriers such as  time, expense, work and family commitments. Another obstacle could be, someone of influence, through no fault of their own, mistakenly drew conclusions based on false information offered no encouragement because they did not see a benefit. Do not be discouraged.  I was always looking for educational opportunities and even ventured a time or two into taking the first steps of inquiry and further evaluation, but to no avail.

Schools, like schools of thought are plentiful. The search for the right school is a struggle much like the strenuous task of enlightenment. Out of the darkness and into the light as one great philosopher Plato put it. There were mistakes and missteps made along the way but they served, in retrospect, as learning opportunities to better position myself to recognize the right opportunity best suited for me. The constant awareness of this pursuit, served my inquiring mind well when the right program seemed to jump off the page while browsing the FDNY Internet page. (Educational Opportunity, Empire State College Emergency Management Residency Program). This notification seemed to be the opportunity I was searching for.

After enrollment, I encountered great professors. They served as catalysts for my enthusiasm in the Emergency Management Residency Program. All the professors possessed unique skills and the classes were interesting, thought-provoking and challenging and upon completion, very gratifying.

It wasn’t until I participated in the FDNY 15-week Fire Criminal Investigator Course, evaluated by National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), that I understood the entire process. This course, along with many other FDNY courses, have been evaluated for college credit recommendations and may be used as transfer credit at approximately 1,500 colleges in the United States.

If you are considering going back to school and pursuing a college degree I hope you seriously consider this worthy goal. It is achievable. There are programs and people in place who can help you along the way. I can assure you that as you work towards attaining a degree at an institution of higher education, the people and professionals you meet along the way towards degree completion will help you achieve that goal.

Matthew Donnelly

B. S. Public Affairs/Emergency Management

SUNY Empire State College

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