May 11, 2024

By Janice Phelan
Communications and Marketing University of Central Missouri-Missouri Innovation Campus

University of Central Missouri graduate Peter Brisbine is among the many students saving time and money through UCM’s credit for prior learning program

Through this program, university officials can award credit for prior learning outside of the traditional transfer of credit from one academic institution to another. Examples include credit earned through Advanced Placement, military service, work experience and certifications. 

Brisbine received his bachelor’s degree in Crisis and Disaster Management (CDM) during May 2024 and also earned an undergraduate certificate in emergency management in 2018. He is currently employed as a local preparedness coordinator supervisor and state CERT coordinator at the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. 

While working in the IT field, Brisbine began looking for an educational program that would help him make a mid-life career change while being flexible enough to allow him to continue working full time. 

“Enrolling part time at UCM allowed me to progress quickly along my academic path,” he said. “The online program also provided the needed flexibility for my wife and I to relocate to Albuquerque for her job after 20 years in Saint Louis.” 

He earned 15 hours of credit by completing the FEMA Professional Development Series, National Emergency Management Basic Academy and All-Hazards Incident Management Team courses. 

“Fifteen hours represents significant cost savings,” Brisbine said, “and the option to receive credit for prior learning makes completing the program both easier and faster.”

Brisbine learned about the credit for prior learning opportunity from Brenda Fuhr, UCM student transition and engagement manager. 

“My academic advisors were genuinely invested in my success as a student undergoing a mid-life career change,” he added. “They provided insightful advice, paid close attention to details and took the time to fully understand my motivations and concerns about successfully completing my degree.”

Brisbine said he appreciated the Crisis and Disaster Management program at UCM as well as having the ability to participate in a one-year internship with the City of Albuquerque’s Office of Emergency Management during the pandemic.

“The CDM program is a superb foundation for anyone starting a career in emergency management,” he said. “It offers a comprehensive emergency management curriculum, with particularly beneficial courses like Catastrophic Readiness, Disaster and Society, and the Research Project. These courses enhance understanding of the psychological aspects of disasters, both from the perspectives of responders and those affected by disasters, emphasizing the importance of a ‘whole community’ approach. This focus equips emergency managers with the skills and knowledge necessary to build relationships with all community partners, ultimately aiding in the development of a more resilient community.”

For more information about UCM’s Crisis and Disaster Management program, visit this webpage. The university’s credit prior learning webpage can be found at this link.

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