Students interested in becoming emergency medical technicians (EMTs) can pursue certificate or undergraduate degree programs. Minnesota recognizes three levels of EMT training: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. The majority of the schools listed below offer EMT-Basic training and EMT-Paramedic training, but very few schools offer EMT-Intermediate training.
Anoka Technical College
Located in its namesake city of Anoka, this technical college offers EMT-Basic and EMT-Intermediate courses as well as a certificate and a diploma in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). EMT-Basic coursework and certification are prerequisites for the intermediate and paramedic classes. All EMS industry courses are available as stand-alone classes; taken outside of an award-seeking program, financial aid for individual classes is not offered. The EMS certificate program requires the completion of 29 credit hours of classes; a diploma in EMS is awarded following the completion of 53 credit hours of coursework. The curriculum prepares students to take certification exams at the corresponding levels administered by both the state and the NREMT.
Century College in White Bear Lake offers a wide range of programs to students seeking an education in the EMS field. Two programs are offered that train individuals to be EMTs at the basic level: a nine-credit hour EMT certificate program and a 19-credit hour EMS certificate program. EMT students must be at least 18 years old by the end of the course to take certification exams. Paramedic certification may be earned by the completion of either the 59-credit hour EMS-Paramedic diploma program or the 76-credit hour Associate in Applied Science, EMS-Paramedic program. Two additional programs have been designed for experienced EMTs earning paramedic certification; these highly competitive programs offer a diploma (47 credits) and an associate's degree (60 credits). As of Fall 2012, all paramedic students must have an iPad 2 or higher to use as a substitute for a textbook and supplementary materials.
Hennepin Technical College (HTC)
Based out of Brooklyn Park, Hennepin Technical College offers two certificates in the field of EMS. The EMS specialist occupational certificate program prepares students to serve as an EMT at the basic level and requires the completion of a total of 26 credit hours of coursework. The EMS certificate program fulfills the prerequisite requirements for most paramedic programs and includes an 80-hour ride-along clinical requirement. The community paramedic advanced technical certificate is offered to experienced EMTs; this 12-credit hour program requires that applicants have at least two years full-time experience serving as an EMT-Basic. Additionally, HTC offers an emergency room technician occupational certificate, an advanced technical certificate in emergency management, and an Associate in Applied Science, Emergency Management: Homeland Security. Individual courses are offered at the EMT-Basic level and for currently certified emergency medical responders (EMRs) wishing to earn EMT-Basic certification.
Inver Hills Community College (IHCC)
IHCC in Inver Grove Heights offers five different programs to students pursuing careers related to EMS. The nine-credit hour EMT certificate program is approved by the EMSRB though it has not yet been recognized within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Individual Advanced EMT (AEMT) and AEMT practicum classes are offered by the college and are prerequisites for the paramedic programs' core curriculum. In addition to a 45-credit hour paramedic certificate program, IHCC also offers a traditional track and an accelerated track to earn an Associate of Science, EMS: Paramedic degree. Finally, the college offers a community paramedic certificate program, which requires the completion of 100 hours of theory coursework and 200 hours of clinical training. The community paramedic program is available only to certified paramedics with at least two years experience in the field and who are able to complete the majority of the coursework online.
Mesabi Range Community and Technical College
Located in Virginia, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College offers an Associate in Applied Science, Paramedic degree in addition to individual courses relating to the EMS field. The 72-credit hour program is open to currently certified EMTs and can be completed in two years. Curriculum for the degree program includes clinical hours to be served in critical care, support services, and ambulance settings, as well as an internship. The EMT-Basic class (EMSV 1656) is a six-credit hour course with the following requirements: a minimum age of 18 by the conclusion of course to take certification exam, the ability to lift 225 lbs, and current CPR certification. Other available classes include an initial EMR certification class and refresher courses for EMT-Basic and EMR professionals.
Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC)
NCTC in Thief River Falls offers both an EMT-Basic course and an Associate of Applied Science, Intensive Care Paramedic degree. The six-credit hour EMT-Basic course is open to any student holding current CPR certification. Tuition costs for the class total approximately $1,290 for in-state students. The A.A.S. program requires that all applicants be CPR and EMT-Basic certified, pass background checks, and provide immunization records and health screening results to the college. The program requires the completion of 60 credit hours of coursework, including clinical training and internship opportunities.
Willmar-based Ridgewater College offers an EMT-Basic course, an acute care paramedic diploma, and an acute care paramedic degree program. Three versions of the EMT-Basic course are offered: an initial certification class, a refresher course for currently certified EMTs, and a blended learning option that utilizes Internet-based instruction for much of the included curriculum. The paramedic diploma program requires the completion of 42 credit hours and is open only to currently certified EMTs who possess 100 or more hours of experience in the field. The Associate of Applied Science degree program is open to all students who hold CPR certification and are able to pass a background check. The degree program consists of 66 credit hours of coursework and includes EMT-Basic classes. Both paramedic programs include clinical hours served in the field as well as a supervised internship and capstone course.
Rochester Community and Technical College
Located in its namesake city of Rochester, this community and technical college has an emergency medical technology certificate program and an Associate in Science, Emergency Medicine Paramedic program. The emergency medical technology certificate program is a 22-credit hour program that includes the six-credit hour EMT-Basic course required for certification at the basic level. Much of the core curriculum required by the diploma and degree programs is identical; the diploma program requires the completion of 40 credit hours and the 65-credit hour degree program mandates 35 credit hours in paramedic core classes. Both programs require that a student successfully pass a background check; applicants to the paramedic program must hold a high school diploma or equivalent, be certified EMTs at the basic or intermediate levels, and have had a minimum of 50 patient contacts in the field.
South Central College
In addition to a first responder course, South Central College in North Mankato offers an EMT-Basic certification course and two tracks leading to an award as an intensive care paramedic technician. Before enrolling in the seven-credit hour EMT-Basic course, students must be at least 18 years old. Completion of the class earns an individual eligibility to take the NREMT written and the state practical exams. The paramedic program leads to the award of either a diploma of occupational proficiency (58 credit hours) or an Associate of Applied Science degree (72 credit hours); required technical courses (15 classes) are identical for both. Applicants to the paramedic program must be currently certified EMTs who have successfully completed a minimum of 50 ambulance runs in the field and are able to pass background checks. The curriculum required by the paramedic program is also offered on an evening/part-time schedule.
St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Based out of St. Cloud, this technical and community college offers both an EMT-Basic course and an Associate of Applied Science degree in paramedicine. The EMT course includes a curriculum approved by the Department of Transportation that prepares students for certification exams at the basic level. The course necessary to earn exam eligibility is divided into two parts and is worth a total of seven credit hours. The 64-credit hour paramedicine A.A.S. degree is available in a traditional, daytime format as well as an evening program. Applicants must hold current CPR and EMT-Basic certification and be able to pass a required background check.
In order to serve as an emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic, the state of Minnesota requires that individuals earn state certification from the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB). To gain eligibility for certification at any level, students must complete training courses that meet or exceed the standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and applicants must successfully pass written and practical examinations administered by the state. EMTs and paramedics certified by the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) may apply to the EMSRB for reciprocity. Persons holding EMT-Basic certification from another state and not certified by the NREMT must take a practical examination in Minnesota to qualify for reciprocity. Below are reviews of training programs from 10 of the largest schools in the state.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||EMT Certificate and/or Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Anoka Technical College||Public, two-year; large suburb|| EMT-Basic course (9 credit),
EMT-Intermediate course (19 credit),
|Century College||Public, two-year; large suburb|| EMT-Basic certificate (9 credit hour),
EMT-Basic certificate (19 credit hour),
|Hennepin Technical College||Public, two-year; large suburb|| EMT-Basic course,
EMS specialist occupational certificate,
Community paramedic advanced technical certificate
|Inver Hills Community College||Public, two-year; large suburb|| EMT certificate,
A.A.S., EMS: Paramedic (traditional),
A.A.S., EMS: Paramedic (accelerated),
Community paramedic certificate
|Mesabi Range Community and Technical College||Public, two-year; remote town|| EMT-Basic course,
|$5,311 in-state; $6,493 out-of-state*|
|Northland Community and Technical College||Public, two-year; remote town|| EMT-Basic course,
A.A.S., Intensive Care Paramedic
|Ridgewater College||Public, two-year; remote town|| EMT-Basic course,
Acute care paramedic diploma,
A.A.S., Acute Care Paramedic
|Rochester Community and Technical College||Public, two-year; midsize city|| Emergency medical technology certificate,
A.S., Emergency Medicine Paramedic
|South Central College||Public, two-year; small city|| EMT-Basic course,
Intensive care paramedic technician diploma of occupational proficiency,
A.A.S., Intensive Care Paramedic Technician
|St. Cloud Technical and Community College||Public, two-year; small city|| EMT-Basic course,
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.