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In New York, there are a number of community colleges and 4-year schools across the state that offer American Red Cross and American Heart Association certification programs in first aid. Some of these courses may be open to the public, while others are only for people associated with the school. Classes may be by appointment only For-credit courses in first aid and safety can also be found at select schools with certificate and degree programs in health and physical education.
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
The Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City, established in 1963, is not only the first community college in the city's history, but also the largest institution in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. The Health Education Department offers over a dozen related courses in, among other topics, consumer health, first aid, substance abuse and women's health issues.
In particular, the 3-credit course in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) teaches students how to prevent and respond to accidents and provides them with the training they need to obtain their American Red Cross certification. A similar course in first aid and personal safety is also available at CUNY Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.
CUNY Bronx Community College
The Continuing and Professional Studies program at this Bronx community college offers a variety of health related courses, and the Spring 2016 brochure included training in basic first aid and CPR. Upon completion of the 4-hour class in first aid, students receive a certification card from the American Red Cross.
Hudson Valley Community College (SUNY)
One of the two largest postsecondary schools in the Capital Region, Hudson Valley Community College in Troy is part of the State University of New York (SUNY). At the School of Health Sciences, students can pursue over a dozen certificate and degree programs in, among other fields of study, emergency medical technology, nursing or respiratory care.
The college offers a 2-credit course in first aid that provides students with the training they need to become Red Cross certified in Adult CPR and Responding to Emergencies. According to the school schedule, this class is offered regularly during the fall, spring and summer terms.
Nassau Community College (SUNY)
Nassau Community College in Garden City is also part of the SUNY system, and this large school currently serves the needs of over 20,000 day, evening and continuing education students. The Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department offers a course in safety and first aid that emphasizes the relationship between emergency preparedness and physical education. In this course, students participate in a special pool session where they learn how to immobilize the neck and spine. American Red Cross certifications include Adult CPR and Responding to Emergencies.
The college's Department of Lifelong Learning also offers a number of non-credit courses in adult, children and infant CPR, AED, basic life support and first aid. In particular, the 4-hour American Heart Association First Aid course teaches students how to respond to people in shock and those suffering from the heat or cold ($55 flat fee). Participants also learn how to treat burns and serious bleeding and use an emergency epinephrine injector.
Unique to this school is a 1-day American Red Cross course in pet first aid that covers a variety of topics related to fractures, heat stroke, rescue breathing and wounds ($50).
Onondaga Community College (SUNY)
This Syracuse community college is located in the geographic center of the state. One of 30 locally supported schools in New York, the college offers four health and first aid courses that provide students with training in CPR and emergency treatments.
Both the 1-credit course in community CPR and first aid and the 2-credit course in emergency response are delivered according to guidelines established by the American Red Cross. The certification course in community CPR and first aid teaches students how to apply a splint, control bleeding and care for soft tissue wounds. AED, CPR and first aid certifications are available through the emergency response course.
Students should be aware in advance that both courses are designed for lay use in the home or office and are not applicable to professional rescuers.
Rockland Community College (SUNY)
Rockland Community College in Suffern is the only public postsecondary school in the county, and its Hudson Valley campus is located just 25 miles away from New York City. The school offers a small number of personal enrichment courses, including American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid for Schools and Community and CPR for the Professional Rescuer. The former is a 1-credit certification course that teaches students how to minimize the impact of sudden illness or injury until professional medical help arrives.
Suffolk County Community College (SUNY)
The largest 2-year school in the state, Suffolk Community College enrolls more than 26,000 students at its campuses in Brentwood, Riverhead and Selden. Through the Emergency Medical Care Program at all three locations, students can pursue a 3-credit course in CPR, first aid and safety that provides them with the training they need to obtain an Advanced First Aid Certificate and a Professional Rescuer/Healthcare Provider Certificate. Certificates are available from, among other national training programs, the American Heart Association and the National Safety Council.
SUNY at Binghamton
In 2012, U.S. News & World Report identified SUNY at Binghamton as one of the top 50 public universities in the United States. Through the Campus Recreational Services, students can pursue certification and instructional workshops in, among other training areas, AED, CPR, lifeguard re-certification and first aid.
Course offering for 2016 included a Red Cross First Aid Certification Course with three-and-a-half hours of training in back, head and neck injuries, abrasions and cuts, burns and sudden illnesses. Students can download the manual online, and the training is valid for a period of two years.
SUNY College at Plattsburgh
Plattsburg is a small city in northern New York State, and the campus is located approximately one hour away from Burlington, VT, Lake Placid, NY, and Montreal, Canada. American Red Cross programs in Adult/Child/Infant CPR/AED and first aid are available through the Department of Sport & Wellness, but enrollment is limited to students, staff and faculty. In particular, the department offers a non-credit course for students 17 years of age or older who would like to become CPR instructors. Prerequisite certifications include CPR/AED for Lifeguards or Professional Rescuers and First Aid.
For the benefit of the general public, Clinton Community College offers a 3-credit course in safety and first aid as part of its health studies certificate program. This school is located four miles away from Plattsburgh.
University at Buffalo
The largest of all 64 schools in the state system, the flagship university in Buffalo was established in 1846. In partnership with the Recreation and Intramural Services Department, the American Heart Association maintains a college-based training center that has courses in cardiac first aid and CPR, first aid and pediatric first aid. The programs are open to the general public, and the center offers group rates. Students should be aware in advance that the course in pediatric first aid is available by appointment only. The Heartsaver First Aid and CPR/AED is offered every Tuesday night and includes topics in choking and an option to learn about environmental emergencies. The course in first aid takes place after the Heartsaver course and is also available as standalone training.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||First Aid Courses Offered||Program Cost (2015-2016)*|
|CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College||2-year, public; large city||First Aid, Safety and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation|| $210 per credit for part-time NY residents;
$320 per credit for part-time non-residents
|CUNY Bronx Community College||2-year, public; large city||Basic First Aid||$89 flat fee plus $15 for materials and a $10 registration fee|
|Hudson Valley Community College (SUNY)||2-year, public; small city||First Aid|| $171 per credit for part-time NY residents;
$513 per credit for part-time non-residents
|Nassau Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Heart Association First Aid
American Red Cross Pet First Aid: Dogs
Safety and First Aid
|$189 per credit for part-time NY residents;
$378 per credit for part-time non-residents; $50-$55 flat fee for continuing education courses
|Onondaga Community College (SUNY)||2-year, public; large suburb|| Community CPR and First Aid,
Responding to Emergencies
|$190 per credit for part-time NY residents;
$380 per credit for part-time non-residents
|Rockland Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||CPR/AED/First Aid for Schools and Community|| $179.50 per credit for part-time NY residents;
$359 per credit for part-time non-residents
|Suffolk County Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Safety, First Aid and CPR||$199 per credit for part-time NY residents;
$398 per credit for part-time non-residents
|SUNY at Binghamton||4-year, public; midsize suburb||Red Cross First Aid Certification||$60 flat fee|
|SUNY College at Plattsburgh||4-year, public; distant town||CPR/First Aid/AED Instructor Course (non-credit)||$270 per credit for part-time NY residents;
$680 per credit for part-time non-residents
|University at Buffalo||4-year, public; large suburb||First Aid Information,
Heartsaver First Aid and CPR/AED,
Pediatric First Aid
|$40-65 per course|
Sources: *Schools' websites