EMT Training in Chicago with Certification Information

The Chicago, Illinois, area has a minimum of seven schools that offer EMT training programs that will prepare students for state certification. Learn about the certificate programs, admission info and requirements for three of these schools, all within 25 miles of downtown, and make an informed education decision.

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Chicago Schools Offering EMT Training

Students interested in becoming emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in the Chicago, Illinois, area can find many schools that offer training at several levels. This article looks at three of those schools, all less than 35 minutes from downtown, and the programs they offer. There is also a table of facts about the schools, such as enrollment, tuition and school setting, that can be useful to prospective students. At the end of the article is a little information about a few more Chicago-area institutions that offer EMT training programs.

  • Wilbur Wright College (WWC), about 12 miles from downtown, is one of seven community colleges that make up the City Colleges of Chicago system. In 1995, WWC established the Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center as an educational and job training center serving the West Town and Humboldt Park communities. It offers an EMT-Basic certificate program.
  • EMT-Basic certificate programs may also be found at Triton College, a participant in the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), which allows students who complete general education courses to transfer easily between participating institutions. This school is 15 miles from the Chicago city center.
  • South Suburban College (SSC) provides the Business & Career Institute to students as an ongoing training facility, offering non-credit courses in a wide range of fields, including EMT training. It offers an EMT-Basic certificate program as well as an emergency medical services - paramedic certificate program. This school is approximately 22 miles from downtown Chicago.

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Comparison of Schools

Students who are looking for a school for their EMT training need to consider many factors. This table displays important data in a concise format that makes it easy to compare these schools.

Triton College Wilbur Wright College South Suburban College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 11,577 undergraduates* 12,146 undergraduates* 4,329 undergraduates*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $3,870 for in-district students, $9,360 for in-state students, $11,630 for out-of-state students* $3,506 for in-district students, $8,126 for in-state students, $11,906 for out-of-state students* $4,583 for in-district students, $10,786 for in-state students, $12,173 for out-of-state students*
% of Students Receiving Grants or Scholarships (2013-2014) 57%* 69%* 99%*
Acceptance Rate N/A - open admissions policy N/A - open admissions policy N/A - open admissions policy
Retention Rate (From Fall 2013 to Fall 2014) 63% for full-time students, 47% for part-time students* 56% for full-time students, 44% for part-time students* 39% for full-time students, 29% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students began Fall 2011) 12% overall, 26% transfer-out* 15% overall, 21% transfer-out* 18% overall, 49% transfer-out*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Wilbur Wright College

Wilbur Wright College offers its students the opportunity to train to become emergency medical technicians at the basic level.

EMT-Basic Certificate

The basic certificate program offered by WWC is made up of one course. Admission requirements for applicants to the EMT-Basic (EMT-B) program mandate that students be over the age of 18, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and interview with the program director. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the state licensing exam for certification as an EMT-B.

Triton College

Triton College's EMT training program complies with guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Emergency Medical Services Highway Safety Program. Graduates must meet additional criteria to become certified as an EMT-B; completion of the program does not guarantee certification.

EMT-Basic Certificate

Triton College offers the first level of training for EMTs through an EMT-B certificate program. Curriculum is focused on providing basic emergency and life support skills. The program consists of one class, worth six credit hours, and may be completed in one semester. Students must earn a grade 'B' or better to earn the certificate. The program costs approximately $1,000 for in-state students.

South Suburban College

South Suburban College provides two certificate options for students desiring to become EMTs. Both programs train individuals to become EMTs and/or paramedics, preparing them for careers with emergency care services, ambulance services, and fire departments.

EMT-Basic Certificate

The EMT-B certificate program at SSC prepares students for the certification exam at the state level. Curriculum includes not only lectures and traditional coursework but also clinical applications and opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the field as well. The program requires the completion of six credit hours, earned by the completion of one course.

EMS-Paramedic Certificate

Individuals interested in applying for acceptance into the paramedic program must first contact one of the institutions approved by the South Cook County EMS Systems at Ingalls Memorial Hospital (Harvey, Illinois) to receive detailed application information and a referral for consideration. Additional prerequisites mandate that applicants be over the age of 18, be currently certified as an EMT-B, and have at least six months experience in the field. Students within the program must complete 31 credit hours of coursework in seven classes. The final course is a field internship under the supervision of licensed paramedics; the internship practicum requires the completion of at least 280 hours working in the field.

Other School Options

Other colleges within 30 miles of downtown Chicago that offer EMT training programs include Malcolm X College, Moraine Valley Community College, Oakton Community College, and the College of DuPage, located three miles, 22 miles, 21 miles, and 26 miles away, respectively.

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