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‘Turn it up a notch’: Keith Padgett on the power of higher education

CSU’s fire and EMS academic program director explains how to put your advanced degree to work – fast

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“You’ll use it more than you’ll ever know,” Zam says about going back to school – and he would know, having recently started his own higher education journey. So this week, the Better Every Shift crew welcomes Chief Keith Padgett, the Fire and EMS Academic Program Director with Columbia Southern University, where Zam is currently taking classes, to talk all things advanced degrees, higher education and fire service training. Don’t miss all this:

  • Padgett’s advice for firefighters who are new to higher education
  • The #1 program in which firefighters are enrolling
  • Padgett’s early struggles with school and his “look at me now” moment
  • The degrees for “going beyond” chief-level education
  • Padgett’s advice for firefighters who feel stagnant in their career

This episode of the Better Every Shift Podcast is sponsored by Columbia Southern University. Learn more about how you can earn an affordable, accredited quality degree 100% online at

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