This year, the California State Firefighters' Association (CSFA) announced a partnership with Brandman University to offer a bachelors of arts in applied studies (BAAS) developed specifically for California's firefighting community.
We recently sat down with Chancellor Gary Brahm of Brandman University and asked him what adult working professionals need to know if they are considering a return to school.
Chancellor Brahm told us that not everyone follows the traditional path of high school to four-year college and a Bachelor's degree by age twenty-two. In fact, almost fifty percent of the nation's students enrolled in college today can be described as 'non-traditional.' A non-traditional student is defined as an adult over age twenty-five who works full or part-time while attending school online or at night, and simultaneously manages a family and career responsibilities.
The reasons for earning a degree are clear, but how can working adults expect to attend school, hold down a full-time job and raise a family all at the same time?
The importance of a college degree has never been greater than today. Unfortunately, access to many college programs has become restricted and challenging for most people. With its singular focus on non-traditional students, Brandman is a smart investment for working professionals who want a quality education. Brandman is a private, non-profit institution that is a part of the Chapman University System. We were created to focus solely on the unique needs of adults who work and have other responsibilities in addition to school. We blend Chapman's heritage of academic excellence with a progressive curriculum and myriad of support services designed to set non-traditional students up for success academically and in the working world. For example, we offer an innovative curriculum model that we designed specifically to address the unique needs of the non-traditional student. The engaged learning model is called iDEAL. It combines traditional classroom instruction with dynamic, collaborative e-learning activities. Also, we're conveniently located with 26 campuses throughout California and Washington and offer many programs entirely online. And with nine eight-week sessions per year, students can finish their degree program faster than they might at a traditional college or public institution where budget cuts and overcrowding make it almost impossible to finish on time.
In summary, we have designed the entire Brandman experience around the needs of the working adult. We know this model works because we have very high graduation rates. Nearly seventy percent of our students complete their degrees. That is twice as high a completion rate as the largest private university in the country.
How Can Adults with Bills and Financial Responsibilities Afford a College Education?
Adults face numerous challenges when deciding if going to school is feasible. Motivation may be plentiful, but the biggest obstacle is often financial. In harmony with the university's values, Brandman is committed to providing resources, financial and otherwise, that will help make college possible for every adult who is determined and qualified. CSFA members who pursue a degree at Brandman will enjoy a tuition discount valued at approximately $900 per course. In addition, more than sixty percent of our students receive some form of financial aid to assist with the cost of tuition. Federal grants, loans and scholarship funding may be available to those who qualify.
Who is the "Typical" Brandman Student?
There really is no "typical" student at Brandman University. Students come to Brandman to complete an undergraduate degree, Masters or doctoral program, or supplement their education with a certificate program. Many students come directly from community college through the university's Early Advantage Program which allows a seamless transfer, something that is nearly impossible to do at a public university. In addition to Brandman's agreement with the California State Firefighters Association, we have a strong military and veteran student population that dates back more than fifty years and is supported by special programs that assist with a smooth and successful transition to civilian life.
In conclusion, what else can you tell us about Brandman?
Brandman University was established in 1958, and is a private, non-profit institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Formerly known as Chapman University College, Brandman is very proud to be a part of the prestigious Chapman University System, but unlike Chapman in Orange, is solely dedicated to serving non-traditional students. Brandman educates more than 10,000 students annually in 200-plus undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate, credential and professional development programs in arts and sciences, business, education and health, both online and at our 26 campuses throughout California and Washington State, with the home campus located in Irvine, California. To find out more, visit www.brandman.edu/csfa or call (800) 581-4100.