Support for Firefighters

GWU to Offer Basic Exam Preparation for CFD’s Fire Service Candidates with “Career Readiness Project”


A new partnership between Gardner-Webb University and Charlotte Fire Department will help develop a stronger pool of fire service candidates, according to officials who recently signed an agreement at Charlotte Fire Department headquarters.

As part of the “Career Readiness Project,” Gardner-Webb will provide multi-phased support to firefighter candidates participating in the annual Charlotte Fire Department written entrance exam. The objective is to assist participants with standardized test-taking skills and increase their ability to successfully complete the exam with a passing score.     

“We want to help improve the success rate on that skills exam and provide the Charlotte Fire Department with a larger pool of candidates,” explained Dr. Ben Leslie, GWU provost and executive vice president. “At Gardner-Webb, we’re no strangers to public service. We have a long history of providing schoolteachers for our public schools, nurses and physician assistants for the healthcare industry, and law enforcement officers in the criminal justice area. We are excited about entering into a partnership in the fire services area.”

The partnership aligns with GWU’s new Bachelor of Science in Fire Services Administration degree program, offered through GOAL – The Degree Completion Program.

“The new degree offering is intended as a partnership program with North Carolina Community Colleges—many of which have a fire services associate’s degree,” Leslie shared. “This will be an opportunity for graduates of those programs to enter seamlessly into a bachelor’s degree program in the same academic area. We believe this program is a great opportunity for training leadership in fire service positions not just in Charlotte but throughout the state.”

CFD Battalion Chief and Public Information Officer Rob Cannon agreed. “This will offer firefighters a chance to increase their professionalism and academic credentials,” Cannon said. “We’re looking forward to staying connected with Gardner-Webb as that program emerges.”

Learn more about the Fire Service Administration program at GWU