Tennessee students interested in emergency medical services careers may consider pursuing emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic training programs at either the certificate or associate degree levels. Although other states and the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) refer to the first level of EMT training as EMT-Basic, the state of Tennessee refers to this training level as EMT-IV (intravenous therapy) training, but the curriculum is equivalent. Graduates of EMT-IV programs are eligible to take the NREMT certification exam at the EMT-Basic level.
Chattanooga State Community College
Based out of Chattanooga, this community college offers three programs in the EMS field. The EMT-Basic technical certificate of credit prepares students to serve as entry-level EMTs. The basic certificate program requires the completion of 16 credit hours of courses and may be completed in two semesters. The paramedic training program does not result in an award from the college, but completion of the program does earn a student eligibility to take the paramedic certification exams required for licensure. The one-year program consists of 44 credit hours of coursework and is open exclusively to students holding current certification as an EMT-Basic or advanced EMT (AEMT). Finally, an Associate of Applied Science, Fire Science Technology with an Emergency Medical Care concentration is offered. Credit hours earned through the paramedic training program may be applied toward the A.A.S. award.
Cleveland State Community College
This Cleveland-based community college offers an EMT technical certificate. The 16-credit hour program consists of two classes, one taken in the fall and one in the spring. The course prepares students to take the NREMT certification exam at the basic level after completing the program.
Columbia State Community College
This school in Columbia offers a basic EMT-IV certification course and a paramedic technical certificate. The basic EMT-IV course is an intensive program that may be completed in 15 weeks in the fall or spring semester or in 10 weeks over the summer term. The 15-credit hour program includes 96 hours of clinical rotations and requires that applicants be at least 18 years old and pass drug screenings as well as background checks. The year-long paramedic certificate program is open only to currently certified EMTs or students eligible for certification. The certificate program's curriculum consists of 32 credit hours of coursework, including a 240-hour field internship. Students who complete both the basic and paramedic programs may earn an Associate of Applied Science, General Technology degree as a paramedic following the completion of at least 28 credit hours of general education classes.
Dyersburg State Community College
Located in Dyersburg, this school offers four educational tracks to students interested in EMT training. Both the basic EMT courses and the Associate of Applied Science, Emergency Services, EMT concentration degree prepare students to serve in the EMS field as an EMT. Students choosing to complete the three basic courses will earn a total of 16 credit hours; A.A.S. students with an EMT concentration will complete a total of 60-61 credit hours of coursework. The college also offers a paramedic certificate program and an A.A.S., Emergency Services, Paramedic concentration degree program to currently certified EMTs. The certificate program requires a total of 44 credit hours of courses to be completed; the paramedic degree program mandates that 63-64 credit hours be earned. The college's websites do not specify that program completion earns a student eligibility to take the necessary certification exams for licensure.
Jackson State Community College
Based out of Jackson, this community college offers a basic EMT technical certificate of credit as well as an EMT-Paramedic technical certificate of credit. The 24-credit hour basic EMT certificate program takes nine months to complete and is available to students over the age of 18 who are able to pass background checks and drug screenings. The 48-credit hour paramedic certificate program may be completed in 15 months and requires that all applicants to the program be certified in Tennessee as EMTs. The paramedic certificate program includes clinical experiences and an internship. Credit hours earned by graduates of the paramedic certificate program may be applied to some associate's degrees.
Northeast State Community College
Blountville-based Northeast State Community College offers an EMT course, an advanced EMT (AEMT) course, an EMT-Paramedic technical certificate, and an Associate of Applied Science, Allied Health degree with a concentration as an EMT-Paramedic. The EMT course is an eight-credit hour class and includes clinical rotations. Although the State of Tennessee does not license at the AEMT level, completion of the eight-credit hour AEMT class does earn a student eligibility to take the NREMT certification exam at the corresponding level. The 38-credit hour paramedic certificate program's curriculum is included in its entirety in the coursework required by the 67-credit hour degree program. Both paramedic tracks require that applicants be certified as EMTs in Tennessee, successfully pass the EMT-Basic assessment examination, and complete a personal interview.
Roane State Community College
Located in Harriman, Roane State Community College offers an EMT, AEMT, and a paramedic certificate program. The EMT course is offered in both the fall and spring at the college's Roane County and Knox County (Knoxville) campuses; it is available at the Scott County (Huntsville) campus in the fall only. The 42-credit hour paramedic certificate program may be completed in one year and does not include the EMT course. The paramedic program is offered twice per year: the fall-start program is offered at the Knox County campus, and students attending class at the Roane County campus will begin the program in the spring.
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Memphis-based Southwest Tennessee Community College offers an EMT-Basic technical certificate, a paramedic technical certificate, and an Associate of Applied Science, EMS-Paramedic degree. The 17-credit hour basic certificate is available in a two-semester or a fast-track format. The 40-credit hour paramedic certificate program consists of four classes, including two experiential courses in the field. The 60-credit hour degree program is available only to paramedics currently certified in Tennessee. The four classes required by the paramedic certificate program are also included in the degree program's curriculum. The programs' websites do not specify that completion of any track results in certification eligibility.
Volunteer State Community College
Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin offers an EMT-Basic technical certificate, an EMT-Paramedic technical certificate, and an Associate of Applied Science, Health Sciences as an EMT-Paramedic. The basic certificate program consists of four classes completed in one semester; the basic courses are prerequisites for the paramedic certificate and degree programs. The paramedic certificate program requires the completion of 50 credit hours of coursework over the course of one year; students who have successfully met the coursework requirements for the certificate program may take minimum general education and support classes to earn an A.A.S. in the field. Applicants to the basic program must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and hold a high school diploma or equivalent; applicants to the paramedic program must be licensed in Tennessee as EMT-IV personnel.
Walters State Community College
Calling Morristown it's home, Walters State Community College offers an EMT-Basic technical certificate, an EMT-Paramedic technical certificate, and an Associate of Applied Science, Paramedic Technology. The 16-credit hour basic certificate program is available in a traditional (two-semester) and a fast-track (one semester) format. Applicants to the basic program must have malpractice insurance, be certified as a first responder, be at least 18 years old, and pass a physical exam. The paramedic certificate program requires that all applicants be currently certified EMTs in Tennessee with a minimum of one year of experience in the field. The entirety of the 38-credit hour curriculum required by the paramedic certificate program is also demanded by the degree program, as are 19 credit hours of general education courses. Both paramedic programs include clinical practicum requirements.
EMTs and paramedics may earn certification in Tennessee by completing qualifying training programs, taking certification exams offered by the NREMT, and applying for licensure with the state. EMTs are licensed at one of two levels in Tennessee: EMT-IV or paramedic. All of the following programs, unless otherwise noted, lead to eligibility to take the appropriate certification exams required for licensure by the State of Tennessee's Department of Health, Division of Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||EMT Certificate and/or Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Chattanooga State Community College||Public, two-year; mid-sized city|| EMT-Basic Technical Certificate,
Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.A.S. in Fire Science Technology
|$4,063 in-state; $15,727 out-of-state*|
|Cleveland State Community College||Public, two-year; small city||EMT Technical Certificate||$4,235 in-state; $16,523 out-of-state*|
|Columbia State Community College||Public, two-year; distant town|| Basic EMT-IV certification course,
Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.A.S, General Technology, Paramedic
|$4,269 in-state; $16,557 out-of-state*|
|Dyersburg State Community College||Public, two-year; remote town|| Basic EMT Certification,
A.A.S., Emergency Services: EMT or Paramedic concentrations
|$4,235 in-state; $16,523 out-of-state*|
|Jackson State Community College||Public, two-year; small city|| Basic EMT Technical Certificate of Credit,
EMT-Paramedic Technical Certificate of Credit
|$4,221 in-state; $16,509 out-of-state*|
|Northeast State Community College||Public, two-year; rural|| EMT course,
Advanced EMT course,
A.A.S. in Allied Health concentration as an EMT-Paramedic
|$4,248 in-state; $16,536 out-of-state*|
|Roane State Community College||Public, two-year; rural|| EMT Certificate,
Paramedic Certificate, AEMT Certificate
|$4,443 in-state; $17,349 out-of-state*|
|Southwest Tennessee Community College||Public, two-year; large city|| EMT Basic Technical Certificate,
Paramedic Technical Certificate,
|$4,225 in-state; $16,543 out-of-state*|
|Volunteer State Community College||Public, two-year; rural|| EMT-Basic Technical Certificate,
EMT-Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.A.S., Health Sciences, EMT-Paramedic
|$4,522 in-state; $16,810 out-of-state*|
|Walters State Community College||Public, two-year; small city|| EMT-Basic Technical Certificate,
EMT-Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.A.S., Paramedic Technology
|$4,224 in-state; $16,800 out-of-state*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.