FIU and Miami Dade College pave the way for MDC graduates to continue education in Disaster Management

The back of two graduates heads showing the designs they created on their graduation caps.

Florida International University (FIU) has expanded its partnership with Miami Dade College (MDC) to make it easier for students to continue their education in disaster management.

The two institutions signed an articulation agreement providing a direct pathway for MDC graduates to be admitted to FIU and its Academy of International Disaster Preparedness (AIDP); graduates with degrees in fire science, emergency medical services or public safety will be able to apply. Under the agreement, students can transfer their MDC degrees to FIU and pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in disaster management. Admissions to the FIU programs will begin in January 2022.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to work with greater intentionality with our MDC graduates in these critical fields. At FIU, we are committed to the continuum of learning that these agreements support. These baccalaureate and graduate programs by design develop learners into leaders,” said Dr. Elizabeth Bejar, vice president of Academic & Student Affairs at FIU.

“This articulation agreement between FIU and MDC demonstrates the continued commitment and collaborative spirit that both institutions share in terms of supporting transfer and transition for MDC graduates,” said Philip Giarraffa, director of Articulation and Academic Pathways MDC. “This articulation agreement supporting MDC A.S and BAS graduates is another example of our valued partnership and commitment to student success.”

AIDP, part of FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, offers degree programs that allow existing disaster responders and new students to explore the fields of disaster management, humanitarian relief, emergency preparedness and homeland security. Students are taught by faculty and instructors who bring real-world experience from their time responding to COVID-19 and devastating disasters like hurricanes, building collapses, mass shootings, and other emergency situations. AIDP also has a vast network of partners in the disaster management field, opening doors for students to secure internships at some of the top agencies and organization across the state.

“Many students don’t know of the opportunities they have at FIU to continue their education in disaster management,” said Javier I. Marques, executive director of AIDP. “Through this agreement, we are paving the way for students to earn degrees that prepare them for life-long careers that respond to communities in their time of need. We need to continue to leverage our relationships with our partners in the best interest of those we serve.” 

Under the agreement, MDC students can apply and be accepted to AIDP’s disaster management programs. To apply for a bachelor’s degree, students must have a 2.0 GPA or above. For the master’s degree, students must have a GPA of 3.0 GPA above.

“The South Florida community benefits from this agreement as more first responders seek an education in disaster management to help find solutions to the natural, man-made, biological and environmental challenges that routinely face our community,” said Joann Brown, assistant director for AIDP, who oversees the bachelor’s degree program. “We look forward to welcoming MDC graduates to our FIU community and seeing them grow as professionals through our programs.”

For more information about the Academy of International Disaster Preparedness, visit aidp.fiu.edu.