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.
- Oakton Community College, about 17 miles from downtown in Des Plaines, provides basic EMT training for those seeking national certification, as well as a paramedic 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.
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.
|Oakton Community College||Triton College||South Suburban College|
|School Type||2-year; public||2-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||8,907 undergraduates*||10,672 undergraduates*||3,921 undergraduates*|
|Campus Setting||Small city||Large suburb||Large suburb|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$3,985 for in-district students, $10,446 for in-state students, $12,462 for out-of-state students*||$4,020 for in-district students, $9,726 for in-state students, $12,076 for out-of-state students*||$4,883 for in-district students, $10,786 for in-state students, $12,173 for out-of-state students*|
|% of First-Time Students Receiving Any Financial Aid (2016-2017)||47%*||61%*||94%*|
|Acceptance Rate||N/A - open admissions policy||N/A - open admissions policy||N/A - open admissions policy|
|Retention Rate (from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017)||74% for full-time students, 50% for part-time students*||63% for full-time students, 32% for part-time students*||57% for full-time students, 38% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (students who began in Fall 2014)||22% overall, 33% transfer-out*||18% overall, 23% transfer-out*||15% overall, 30% transfer-out*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
Oakton Community College
Oakton Community College offers its students the opportunity to train to become emergency medical technicians at the basic and paramedic levels and prepares graduates to take state and national certification exams. Oakton's programs are offered through the Fire Science Technology division.
This single-semester class is based on the standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation for EMS education. Students learn CPR and resuscitation techniques as well as how to respond to cardiac and other types of emergencies. The practical applications of skills taught in the classes is a main focus of this program.
The paramedic certificate program builds on the EMT-Basic course with four additional courses covering beginning to advanced paramedic skills. Students must complete a total of 32 semester credit-hours to earn the certificate. Oakton offers the paramedic program in cooperation with two area hospitals: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Presence St. Francis Hospital.
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.
Triton College offers the first level of training for EMTs through an EMT certificate program. Curriculum is focused on providing basic emergency and life support skills. The program consists of one class, worth seven credit hours, and may be completed in one semester. Students must earn a grade of 'B' or better to earn the certificate.
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.
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 eight credit hours, earned by the completion of one course, in addition to a one-credit Overview for College Success course.
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.
Other School Options
Other colleges within 30 miles of downtown Chicago that offer EMT training programs include Malcolm X College, Moraine Valley Community College, and the College of DuPage, located three miles, 16 miles, and 22 miles away, respectively.