After a site visit in December, the state accrediting committee unanimously voted to renew the program’s five-year accreditation.
SAN MARCOS — The Fire Technology program at Palomar College—which includes the widely recognized Fire Academy in San Marcos—is on track for re-accreditation after unanimous approval by the Statewide Training and Education Advisory Committee (STEAC) on Jan. 8.
Palomar College Fire Academy Director Dave Miller said the committee visited Palomar in December as part of the process of renewal that takes place every five years.
With STEAC’s approval, it’s likely the accreditation will be officially renewed in February by the State Board of Fire Services, a 17-member advisory board to the California State Fire Marshal, Miller said.
“It’s the accreditation we need so that our students are employable by the fire services once they’ve completed the program,” he explained. “Putting together this package for the state was a team effort, with many different Palomar College staff members from Fire Technology. We appreciate the college’s support for what we do, and the opportunity to keep our accreditation.”
The accreditation gives Palomar College the ability to issue Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, Fire Officer and other related certificates—the credentials that graduates show when applying for jobs at fire departments in California.
“Congratulations to our Fire Technology team on a successful re-accreditation for one of our core public safety programs,” said Interim Superintendent/President Dr. Jack Kahn. “The quality of this program is consistently recognized by fire services in the region, and this approval goes to show the level of dedication and professionalism shared by all of our faculty and staff.”
Fire Technology is the umbrella academic program that includes a variety of classes leading to an Associate Degree in Fire Technology. Students typically complete some or all of the supporting courses before applying to join the Fire Academy, said Miller, who in addition to directing the academy also serves as an Assistant Professor.
“The report that we submitted was a little over 200 pages, and it basically looks at all aspects, from our college offerings to our Fire Academy to our resources,” Miller said. “They came down to our training grounds and walked through, making sure we have all of our equipment. They also look at things like diversity, both among our students and our faculty. It’s all-encompassing.”