Purdue Global launches new partnership with Los Angeles County Fire Department

Purdue Global launches new partnership with Los Angeles County Fire Department
Purdue Global launches new partnership with Los Angeles County Fire Department

Current student and fire captain leads the charge on new initiative to provide degree credits for department staff

LOS ANGELES and WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Global student and Los Angeles County Fire Capt. David Parigan has a passion for the fire services and education — passions he combined to spearhead a partnership between Purdue Global and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A Ventura County native, Parigan began his career in the US Marine Corps. After serving as part of the initial invasion during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Parigan saw an opportunity to shift his career focus as he began taking fire technology classes and prerequisites for paramedic school.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Fast-forward 17 years, Parigan, now a fire captain, enrolled at Purdue Global with the goal of finishing his degree. While teaching the Company Officer Series for Aspiring Fire Captains, Parigan noticed that many firefighters had a plethora of classes taken over the years, whether through the department or at various colleges in person or online.

“These firefighters spend time on their days off to better educate themselves, seeking ways to grow and master their craft in the fire service,” Parigan said. “The consensus was that most firefighters wanted to finish their degrees; however, it can become overwhelming with the amount of options available to complete a degree.”

Thanks in large part to Parigan’s efforts, Purdue Global’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has launched a new education affiliation with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The partnership allows for the department’s training courses to be turned into college credits and offers tuition discounts for employees and their spouses.

“Our collaborations are an integral aspect of the Purdue Global mission to provide adults opportunities for higher education as an extension of Purdue University’s land-grant mission,” says Shane Kelley, associate dean in Purdue Global’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “In partnering with potential employers, we aim to develop a reciprocal relationship where current students can land their dream careers, and partner employees and their spouses can begin or continue their educational journey.”

The collaboration was initiated when Parigan contacted Kelley about the Company Officer training program that Parigan teaches and asked if it could be translated into college credits. After a review by faculty and the Prior Learning Resource Center, Purdue Global — Purdue’s online university for working adults — provided 16 Purdue Global college credits in the Bachelor of Science fire science program. This ultimately saves a student time and money while earning a degree.

“I am excited for this collaboration with Purdue Global in creating a pathway for firefighters who have completed the California State Fire Marshal’s Company Officer Series to help bridge the gap, getting one step closer to obtaining a degree in various fire and emergency management undergraduate or graduate programs,” Parigan said.

Having just celebrated its centennial, the LA County Fire Department is home to more than 3,200 employees, serving and protecting over 9.8 million citizens in Los Angeles County.

The Purdue Global fire sciences degree program has 17 active chiefs and assistant chiefs from across the US as part of its faculty.

Kelley says university partnerships such as the one between Purdue Global and LACFD are growing in popularity nationwide. According to a 2024 report by the online and professional education association UPCEA, university and organization partnerships benefit both parties. Kelley agrees, sharing that the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has more than 600 partnerships with employers — 192 of whom hired Purdue Global graduates in the 2022-23 academic year.

About Purdue Global

Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults who have life experience and often some college credits. It offers flexible paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, military service and previous college credits, no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and supported by Purdue University. For more information, visit https://purdueglobal.edu.

About LA County Fire Department

LA County Fire Department was established in 1923. Celebrating more than 100 years of service, the department is home to more than 3,200 employees, proudly serving and protecting over 9.8 million citizens in Los Angeles County — all while adhering to our core values ​​of caring, courage, commitment, community, integrity and teamwork.

Writer/Media contact: Adam Bartels [email protected]

Sources: Shane Kelley, David Parigan

 
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