Between responding to fire incidents and providing life-saving medical care to patients in ambulances, Tyler Yvon ’18 found time to earn his bachelor’s degree entirely online through Elms.

Burning the Midnight Oil

As a firefighter for the past nine years, and a paramedic for the past six years, Tyler Yvon ’18 rarely has a free moment. Between marathon shifts and on-call nights, he regularly participates in training seminars and leadership workshops. He also recertifies his paramedic license every two years, as well as his credentials for CPR, PHTLS (Prehospital Trauma Life Support), and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support).

Photo of Tyler Yvon '18, BA in healthcare management

To say that Tyler is busy is an understatement. Yet, thanks to the online degree completion program at Elms, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management in spring 2018.

“Every Thursday night I do an on-call night as a fire officer. So, my shift could easily go from 12 hours to 16 hours,” he said. “That’s what made taking this online degree an easy choice.”

Every Thursday night I do an on-call night as a fire officer. So, my shift could easily go from 12 hours to 16 hours. That’s what made taking this online degree an easy choice.’

With a four-days-on, four-days-off schedule that rotates every week, Tyler faced a problem that many working professionals can relate to: trying to fit their continuing education into their already busy lives. For the South Hadley, MA, native, the deck was stacked even higher against him, as his shifts last from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Since night classes weren’t an option, he started considering online courses of study.

Making Time with Online Classes

“In 2014, I started taking whatever was available online, going one class at a time,” Tyler said. “When this degree program came up, I jumped right into it and was taking two to three accelerated courses at a time. I just kept hammering away at it until I got it done.”

Pursuing healthcare management was a natural choice for Tyler, who has been a lieutenant with the Granby Fire Department in Granby, MA, since 2014. One step above the rank of firefighter, lieutenants are responsible for leading teams on the hose line into houses and buildings during fire incidents, as well as coordinating other tactics. While Tyler cultivated managerial skills in this role, he also enhanced his experience with classroom insights.

“They helped me out with my writing skills and critical thinking, as well as how to view things from different perspectives,” he said. “I took something away from each one.”

Now that he has his bachelor’s degree, Tyler is one step closer to attaining his ultimate academic goal, which is to earn his master’s degree in public administration. He sees himself applying these degrees as a fire chief one day, after he has worked through the ranks and built a comprehensive knowledge of each firefighter’s role within a fire department.

Do you want to make a career change, but don’t know how you’ll ever find time to earn your degree? Contact us to learn more about the rich variety of online degree completion programs that Elms offers, and say hello to a plethora of new career opportunities.