BU to count first responder service for general education

BLOOMSBURG—Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will now recognize students who serve their communities as a first responder by enabling them to count their service toward their general education requirements

Students who are first responders, such as volunteer firefighters, EMTs, or fire police, can register for a co-curricular learning course that counts toward BU’s citizenship general education requirement.

Coinciding with National EMS Week, May 20-26, BU’s new “First Responder” course was approved May 21. While counting towards general education requirements, the course has zero academic credits, so the student-first responder does not have to pay tuition or fees. The only additional requirements of the course are for students to log their service hours and give an educational talk or presentation about their experience, according to Toni Trumbo-Bell, professor of chemistry and biochemistry who created the course proposal. Each semester of the course, which can be repeated, counts for one of two required “citizenship” general education points.

BU has approximately 15 students who are volunteer firefighters with the Bloomsburg Fire Department, according to Scott McBride, Bloomsburg Fire Department chief who is also BU’s fire and safety coordinator

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,600 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.