Common Questions

  1. How do I turn in my fire classes for credits at Polk State College?

    Polk State College will only accept the following fire certificates issued by Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, These State Fire Certificates have passed the Pearson VUE exam, a third-party, testing center that is considered the “Gold Standard” for this process.

    Fire Officer I
    Fire Officer II
    Inspector I
    Inspector ll
    Investigator or Investigator l

    Minimum Standards (Certificate of Compliance)

  2. Will my Minimum Standards (Certificate of Compliance) count for credits?

    Yes! “Certificate of Compliance” Firefighter II/Minimum Standards applies towards 3 credits in the elective category. This state certificate has to be the one issued by the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training (BFST). It will NOT accept certificates issued by the technical schools or academies.

  3. Is there additional cost for the articulation of the fire certificates into credits?

    There is no additional cost to the student for Polk State College accepting or processing these credits into the Associate in Science in Fire Science Technology Program.

  4. Can the articulated fire credits apply towards a different AS degree at Polk State College?

    No. These fire credits can only be applied to the Associate in Science in Fire Science Technology degree.

  5. Can the Fire Science Technology AS degree be used towards a four-year degree?

    Yes! Once a student achieves the AS Associate in Science in Fire Science Technology degree, all 60 credits can be applied towards a higher degree, such as a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration.

  6. When looking at the curriculum document for this degree, which chart (A or B) applies to me?

    The issued certificate date of the Fire Officer l is very important. It is what determines the particular Fire Science curriculum that applies to! It will be either Charts A or B (see curriculum document). This also identifies the number of credits awarded.

  7. Can I email my fire certificates for credits?

    No. Polk State cannot accept certificates through email.

  8. Will Polk State College accept individual, 45-hour fire courses for credits?

    No fire course(s) or fire course(s) transcript will be accepted! This is a hard-and-fast rule that applies to these fire courses. As stated above, only accepted are the Fire Officer l, ll, Inspector l, ll, Investigator l, or Investigator State of Florida issued certificates, as well as the three-credit elective: “Certificate of Compliance.”

  9. I am not a Florida State Certified Firefighter. How can I become one?

    If a student is not currently a Florida State Certified Firefighter and would like to become one, he or she must earn the State of Florida Firefighter I and II Certification (called “Certificate of Compliance” or Minimum Fire Standards). This is a comprehensive course that involves 400+/- of practical and academic work. This certification must be attained through a state certified fire academy such as the one at Ridge Technical College (Ridge Fire Academy), 7700 State Road 544, Winter Haven, FL 33881; Telephone: 863.419.3060.  Ridge Technical College is a separate program from the Polk State Fire Science Technology Program.

  10. Where do I bring these certificates?

    Bring the original certificate to Polk State College’s Registrar’s Office on the Winter Haven Campus in the Administration Building (WAD).

  11. Who do I contact if I need help?

    Please contact Fire Science Technology Coordinator Jim Davis for any questions or concerns. He will be glad to help you!

    Thank you!

    For assistance or support:

    Jim Davis, M.A.
    Fire Science Coordinator, AS Degree Program
    Polk State College
    Cell:  863.781.2768




  12. Can I submit copies of my certificates for credits instead of originals?

    No. Copies are not accepted. No mailed-in or handed-in copies (unless they are originals) Students must submit the original State of Florida-issued fire certificates to the registration-records office to be copied.

  13. Do I need to be a Florida State Certified Firefighter to obtain a Fire Science Technology degree at Polk State College?

    It is strongly recommended (but not required) that students attain the State of Florida Firefighter I and II Certification prior to pursuing the Fire Officer Certifications that are part of the articulated credit requirements for the Polk State Associate in Science in Fire Science Technology. However, to obtain the Fire Officer I certification (part of most options in this degree), a student shall be a State of Florida Firefighter. There is one category (Table A, Option V, Fire Safety), that does not require someone to become a State of Florida Certified Firefighter.  This option is for students who do not hold the Firefighter I Certification. This is intended for risk managers, safety personnel, fire marshal personnel, insurance investigators, fire engineers, etc.

  14. I hold an out-of-state, national, or military fire certifications or courses. How can I use these towards the Fire Science Technology degree

    Firefighters who hold out-of-state, national, or military certifications or fire courses must contact the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training (BFST) and ask for an equivalency review to determine what is needed to satisfy or convert these certifications to Florida Fiore Certifications.  For more information, students should contact the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, 11655 NW Gainesville Rd, Ocala, FL 34482-1486; Telephone: 352.369.2800.

  15. Since Polk State College does not actually offer the required Fire Science classes, where can I take them? Online? Cost?

    Polk State College does not provide direct instruction for any FFP courses. The student has the flexibility of finding the courses that are best suited for them, this includes online or traditional classes, scheduling, cost, and location.

    Fire Science courses can be taken from a variety of sources including:
    Ridge Technical College
    7700 State Road 544
    Winter Haven, FL 33881
    Phone: 863.419.3060

    If these courses are not currently available at Ridge Technical College, please check with the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training (BFST). They are the State of Florida regulatory pro-board that oversees the training providers. BFST keeps a current list of Fire Science courses that are offered throughout the State of Florida. Often, there are private providers that offer these courses at reduced rates and fully online.