Unique alliance enables students to pursue professional baseball umpiring careers
**At this time the certificate is available only to U.S. Marines stationed in Southern California.**
Columbia College announced its partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) to afford students the opportunity to earn a certificate of professional officiating. The certificate, offered through the college’s Education Department, is an 18-credit hour sequence of liberal arts courses that incorporates a week-long internship at the MLB Umpire Camp. The program costs $4,500, which includes all coursework and MLB Umpire Camp fees. The program is currently only available to students online.
“Major League Baseball is pleased that its Umpire Camps can provide an educational outlet for the students of Columbia College who have interest in umpiring as a profession,” said Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations. “Our game as a whole has taken many steps to honor our nation’s heroes. The Major League Umpires are thrilled to use the MLB Umpire Camp as a platform to work with these highly motivated and dedicated individuals as they consider potential careers in the next chapters of their lives.”
The certificate was born last year when a San Diego Marine Corps major interested in a second career in officiating approached the director of Columbia College's campus on the San Diego Marine Corps Recruiting Depot. The major, Director Diana Schriefer and MLB umpire supervisor Rich Rieker agreed the certificate was feasible, and college faculty and administration then assembled the necessary coursework.
“The certificate is a new and exciting concept for Columbia College,” said Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs. “We are thrilled to partner with such a prestigious organization and together hope to produce a large cohort of highly-skilled baseball umpires for our communities.”
The required coursework provides skills in areas important to successful sports officiating: communication, applied psychology and the sociology of sports. Elective courses cover human services, marketing, social sciences and ethics. The internship is typically held in November in Compton, Calif. Upon completion of certificate requirements, graduates are prepared academically and professionally to become successful, competitive baseball umpires.