September 22, 2023

CSU firefighter receives partner scholarship

CSU graduate and firefighter Derek Loftus of Wakefield, Mass., recently won a Learning Partner Scholarship and said he is ready to begin his pursuit of an online master’s degree with CSU.

“I have now found that since working on and finishing my bachelor’s degree from Columbia Southern University I have a rekindled sense of how important it is for higher education,” said Loftus, who works for the Reading Fire Department, a learning partner with CSU.

The Learning Partner Scholarship is awarded to employees/members of companies or organizations that partner with CSU. An essay contest is conducted to select the winner of the scholarship which covers tuition for up to 24 months for one specific online degree program with CSU. The Reading (Mass.) Fire Department and its employees enjoy eligibility for a 10 percent discount on tuition and exclusive scholarship opportunities.

Loftus plans to use the CSU scholarship for a master’s degree in emergency services management to better his career options.

“My career goal my whole life had been the same and that was to become a firefighter. I have never had any interest to do anything else. I would go crazy if I was stuck in a cubicle all day crunching numbers,” explained Loftus.

He added that attending an online university has been a boon to his work and family compared to attending a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

“I started to go back to school at a closer state school, and quickly dreaded the commute, professors, and parking issues at the school. I realized that being a 25-26-year-old college student alongside 18-year-old freshman was not where I wanted to be. The professors did not seem to understand or care that someone who worked two full-time jobs to make ends meet could not be at every class that was held.”

To learn more about the Learning Partner Scholarship, please contact 800-977-8449, ext. 1217 or