College's online fire protection program ranked No. 4 in nation


An online fire protection associate’s degree program offered by Kilgore College was recently ranked No. 4 on a list of the top 10 such programs in the nation for 2018.

The ranking was given by Online Associate’s Degrees, a web service which helps degree-seekers find the best online programs.

KC Fire Academy Director Mike Simmons said the ranking is based on several factors.

“The program overall is rated on the flexibility, the enhanced curriculum, affordability, the number of courses offered. All of that goes into a point system and then they score us,” Simmons said.

In a KC press release, Simmons attributed the ranking to hard work and dedication on the part of fire academy staff and faculty.

“This recognition is a testament to the work every member of the faculty and staff does each day to stay true to our mission to help our students gain valuable career skills with expert instruction and affordability,” he said.

Simmons said the academy offers instruction for those who want a degree or certification.

“It’s all of the above. We have the associate’s degree and the Texas Commission on Fire Protection basic fire certification is a portion of that.”

Simmons added the online associate’s degree program is identical to the instruction received by students who attend a physical classroom.

“The online program is no different. Instead of students sitting in class, we have an interactive online classroom with interactive lectures. We have test questions embedded in those lectures. The number of hours, the core classes and the skills they learn are all the same,” he said.

According to the press release, the Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Protection at KC is a 60-hour program that includes basic training at the KC Fire Academy.

More information about the AAS degree in Fire Protection can be found at More information about the program is also available from Michael Ferguson, department chair, at


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