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Fire Science Program Opens Next Month

Lindenwood University has approved the first phase of a new cutting edge Fire Science degree program for Eastern Missouri.

The program is a cooperative effort between the St. Charles City Fire Department and the St. Charles County Fire Protection Association. Graduates of the program, uniquely designed to accommodate the challenging firefighter schedule, will receive a Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Management.

Phase One of the program begins immediately and is for firefighters who already possess an AAS, or have nearly completed their AAS, said Dan Nieland, manager of corporate partnership at Lindenwood. The first classes will be offered for the Spring 2004 Quarter, which starts April 3.

Nieland said the university is evaluating a second phase that would involve the initial two years usually associated with a traditional AAS degree program. He expects to launch the program in late 2004 or early 2005.

Nieland said the university has hired Robb Watkins of the St. Charles City Fire Department to administer the program and to teach. Watkins has 14 years of experience as a firefighter and is one of the architects of the programs, Nieland said.

“Robb has invested countless hours putting this program together,” Nieland said. “We couldn’t have anyone better.”

Watkins is an EMT-paramedic with an MBA degree. He is captain and training officer for the St. Charles City Fire Department. Watkins received his AAS in Fire Science Technology from East Central College in Union.

To enter the program, Nieland said students must have graduated from a state-approved fire academy. Those who have earned an AAS Degree or partial degree are eligible to apply to the program.

Classes are scheduled to be held on Mondays and Tuesdays at the Lindenwood University O’Fallon, MO location and the St. Charles City Fire Station No. 2. Students will be allowed to attend either class to accommodate the firefighters’ schedules, Nieland said. Each class is worth nine hours of college credit and runs for a 12-week term.

Nieland said Lindenwood will credit a certain number of hours for the AAS degree. To complete the BS in Fire Science Management degree, he said 54 credit hours in General Education courses and 36 hours in core Management courses will be needed.

For more information on the program, call Watkins at 949-4104 or email him at

Lindenwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301