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FDNY and Marxe School of Public and International Affairs Join Together in a Partnership

The Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA) Focuses on Addressing Society’s Complex Issues

FDNY First Deputy Commissioner and Students

(FDNY First Deputy Commissioner Robert Turner, first row, second from left, congratulates FDNY members who are now students at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs)

New York, NY - February 15, 2017 - For the first time at Baruch College and the City University of New York, an educational partnership has been forged with the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the largest fire department in the United States, especially designed for members of the department seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

The program, which is the only undergraduate initiative open to both firefighters and civilians, was started in 2015 by Dean David Birdsell of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.

“The Marxe School’s collaboration with the FDNY is an excellent example of the benefits that stem from close cooperation between two public institutions,” said Marxe Dean Birdsell. “The Department gets the trained leadership it needs, the City gets the Fire Department it needs as we head into the third decade of the 21st Century, and Baruch gets to extend its family of students and alumni.”

The FDNY-Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA) cohort program is an interdisciplinary degree customized for members of the FDNY who are committed to leadership and public service. Students enroll in a tailored version of the traditional BSPA curriculum designed to develop strong leaders and community advocates within the FDNY. Students learn skills to effectively lead, understand policy, and communicate while implementing practical solutions to challenging citywide issues.

The program provides flexible course offerings, including onsite, online, and hybrid classes. Hands-on guidance is available throughout each phase of the program, from registration to advisement, and tutoring. Additionally, specialized faculty members as well as FDNY practitioners with experience in housing and sustainability policy, emergency services, political negotiation, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and advocacy co-instruct several electives.

Information that is relevant to members of the FDNY, including emergency services, housing and sustainability policy, and public management, have been woven into the curriculum and the classes.

Students currently enrolled in the program represent a variety of careers within the FDNY, including firefighter, grants analyst, program Analyst, emergency management technician and community coordinator.

FDNY Deputy Commissioner Lauds the Partnership

The early success of Baruch’s partnership with the FDNY was recognized by a dinner held with the students in December, 2016. In attendance were Deputy Commissioner Robert R. Turner, Provost David Christy, members of the Baruch administration, the current cohort of students, and FDNY employees.

Dean David Birdsell, the Keynote Speaker, emphasized the importance and strength of partnerships, as well as a united commitment to cultivating effective civic leaders throughout our city. “The FDNY is to be applauded for recognizing the need to deepen the educational preparation of its workforce, and to undertake that challenge in partnership with a distinguished public university. The Marxe School is delighted to be working with the Department and the FDNY Foundation to help propel a new cohort of students on their careers in service to New York.”

Deputy Commissioner Robert R. Turner voiced his approval of the partnership and spoke about the department’s commitment to public service, as well as, its employees.

Firefighter Abraham Englard, Balram Ramasami, a Grants Analyst, and Caroline McDaniels, a Budget Analyst who are among the students enrolled in the program also spoke during the evening, testifying to the effectiveness of the program, and its impact on their careers and experience.

More About the Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs

The Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA) degree within the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch is focused on addressing society’s complex issues; teaching students how to analyze problems and effectively solve them with the principal goal of enhancing all aspects of public life. The BSPA is a distinctive degree within the city that cultivates passion and prepares individuals to tackle injustices and uplift our communities both domestically and internationally. The College and School acknowledge its significance. As a result, there has been a commitment to serve more individuals committed to public service. Additional information about the program can be obtained from Melissa Sultana,deputy director of academic programs at



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