Mary Maurath enjoyed her full-time job as a firefighter/paramedic, but she was looking for something more challenging. As a busy mom of four, she knew an online program would be the best choice. She wanted one with a good reputation. After doing her research, she chose the EKU Online Fire, Arson, and Explosion Investigation degree program.
“You learn that EKU is actually on the top, so it just kind of bolsters you to want to come here,” explained Mary, who lives in Dayton, Ohio.
She describes her instructors as academically and professionally outstanding. They are well-connected through nation’s leading industry associations. Many of them teach while continuing to work in the field. They include a principal member of NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, a 30-year fire service veteran and even a former special agent for the FBI.
Faculty in the EKU fire protection programs are also second-to-none when it comes to making time for their students. They take pride in being there when students need them.
“They communicate with you. You have an opportunity to talk to them,” said Mary, who connected with faculty through email and over the phone.
Students in the EKU Online fire programs earn the same degree, from the same instructors as their on-campus counterparts. That includes feedback from faculty and personalized advising.
“Christy has always been on top of everything, and she’s been very responsive and very helpful,” Maurath says of her academic advisor Christy Templeton.
It all comes together for fire, arson and investigation students when they visit campus for the first of two week-long summer residency sessions. That’s when most of them see the university for the first time. It’s an opportunity to finally meet the faculty and staff who support them.
Mary recalls her initial visit well. “They walk you through [the EKU fire facilities], and they’ll tell you ‘This is your school. Here is your lab,’ ” she remembered.
Through two week-long summer sessions on the Richmond, Ky. campus, she got to know her instructors and connected with classmates from across the country. “It’s very beneficial to have the residency,” Mary said. “I’d say that’s probably the best part of this whole experience.”
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