FEMA's online classes are free, self-paced and available in many areas of emergency management, including disaster logistics, emergency communication and service to disaster victims, FEMA states. Maryland's Frederick Community College grants one lower division credit hour for classes. The professional development available is useful for developing careers in emergency management.
FEMA's distance learning program is provided at no cost to first responders, emergency management professionals and the general American public, reports FEMA. Students study class materials and take online exams. After successfully finishing classes, students receive certificates of completion through PDF files. Courses are available for both Mac and Windows computers. Only basic plug-ins, such as Adobe PDF Reader, are needed.
FEMA offers a very large number of courses, according to its website. For instance, in early 2015, 187 courses were active. Classes cover a wide range of topics, including hazardous materials, animal care, earthquake architecture, civil rights and organizing volunteers. Emergency management professionals receive transcripts for continuing education credit. Members of the military are also able to use FEMA classes to earn retirement points.
Almost 2 million independent study classes were completed in fiscal year 2013, FEMA says. Each week, about 38,000 exams are submitted. FCC has granted more than 25,000 college credits for FEMA courses.