Students in Illinois interested in becoming paramedics have a wide selection of schools with which they may study. Programs lead to either a certificate or an associate's degree in the field. Curriculum for both types of programs within the same school will be very similar; degree programs require the completion of general education classes in addition to the major coursework demanded by certificate programs. All paramedicine programs include practicum or clinical requirements.
The following are more detailed profiles of each of the ten largest schools in Illinois to offer programs in paramedicine. Find, also, a comparison table with schools' tuition, program titles, and settings.
College of DuPage
The College of DuPage, located in Glen Ellyn, offers both a paramedic certificate and an Associate in Applied Science, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) degree. The 32-credit hour certificate program is offered once a year and consists of four courses that focus on paramedic training. The certificate program may be completed in as few as two terms and carries an estimated cost of $5,680. The A.A.S. program requires the completion of 65 credit hours of coursework and includes the four paramedic courses. Additionally, degree-seeking students must complete 18 credit hours in general education classes. All paramedic classes are offered by the college's Department of Fire Science Technology and meet minimum requirements for certification eligibility set by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
College of Lake County
Students attending the College of Lake County in Grayslake may choose between a paramedic certificate program and an Associate in Applied Science, Emergency Medical Technology program. The degree program includes the coursework needed for primary certification on the basic level; only certified EMTs are accepted into the certificate program. The certificate program is available on both daytime and evening schedules and classes are held in local hospitals. In addition to the 30-34 credit hours of coursework demanded by the certificate program, the degree program mandates that students complete 15 credit hours of general education requirements as well as support courses for a total of 62-66 credit hours. Completion of the paramedic courses earns a student eligibility to take the licensing certification exam(s) at the paramedic level.
Elgin Community College
Based out of its namesake city, Elgin Community College offers a basic vocational specialist certificate in Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic. The program requires the completion of 28.5 credit hours of coursework over the period of one year. Admission requirements include a minimum age of 18 years, current license in Illinois as an EMT (basic or intermediate), at least six months experience in an EMS vehicular setting, and proof of liability insurance. All applicants must pass the paramedic training exam with a score of 75% or higher and the DPR (Degrees of Reading Power) reading exam with a score of 56% or better. Following the successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the state-administered certification exam.
Palatine-based Harper College offers a paramedic certificate and an Associate in Applied Science, EMS degree. The 29-credit hour certificate program can be completed in two semesters and is open to currently certified EMTs. Coursework includes internships served both in the field and in a hospital setting in cooperation with local EMS organizations. In addition to minimum age and certification requirements, applicants to the paramedic program must pass English/reading and math placement exams. The degree program is open to all students and includes basic EMT training. In addition to general education and support classes, the degree program includes the certificate program's curriculum in its entirety. Both programs result in students' eligibility to take the Illinois state licensure exams.
Illinois Central College
Illinois Central College in East Peoria is the only college in the state to hold national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs for its paramedic program. The school offers an Associate in Applied Science Paramedic program that prepares students for licensure as a paramedic in Illinois upon graduation. Coursework includes the classes needed for certification as both an EMT - Basic and an EMT - Intermediate. The 66-credit hour program can be completed in two years and includes practicum at all three EMT levels. Applicants must hold a high school diplomas or the equivalent and meet minimum testing standards to be accepted.
Joliet Junior College
Joliet Junior College, located in its namesake city, offers a certificate of achievement as a paramedic and an Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services. The 12-month, 30.5-credit hour certificate program has two locations: Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and Morris Hospital in Morris; accepted students to the paramedic program may enroll in classes based from either hospital. Applicants to the paramedic program must be EMT - B and CPR certified, and at least 18 years old. The degree program requires the completion of 68.5 credit hours over two years. EMT - B certification is not required by the degree program because its curriculum includes coursework at the basic level. Graduates of the paramedic program have a 100% passing rate on the licensing exam administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Lake Land College
Lake Land College in Mattoon offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in paramedical services. The two-year, 68-credit hour degree program includes didactic instruction, skills labs, and field training. Graduates of the program are eligible to take either the national or state certification exam. The program is open to currently certified EMTs (basic or intermediate). Applicants must be at least 18 years old, provide proof of immunizations and current CPR certification, and pass a physical exam.
Lewis and Clark Community College
Students in or near Godfrey may be interested in enrolling with Lewis and Clark Community College to pursue an education in paramedicine. The college offers both a certificate of proficiency and an associate's degree in the field as well as an Associate in General Studies, Pre-Paramedicine track. The paramedicine certificate program requires the completion of 50 credit hours of coursework; the 66-credit hour degree program may be completed in two years. The entirety of the certificate program's curriculum is also required of degree-seeking students and includes the basic EMT course. Students accepted into the program are expected to complete all paramedicine core classes within one year (three semesters); all courses must be taken within two years of program start or a student must begin the program from the beginning. The college does not specify that graduates of the program are guaranteed eligibility to take either certification exam.
Moraine Valley Community College
Located in Palos Hills. Moraine Valley Community College offers both a degree and a certificate in Emergency Medical Services, both of which prepare students for the certification exams administered by the state. The certificate program requires the completion of 35 credit hours of coursework; the Associate in Applied Science program mandates that all students earn 62 credit hours in classes. Both programs require that students complete the EMT basic coursework prior to beginning core paramedic classes. Additional admission requirements include a minimum score of 80 on entrance exams (written and practical), a written recommendation, and an established affiliation with an ambulance services organization in order to complete ride-along requirement. A minimum GPS of 2.0 is required to earn the paramedic certificate and at least half of the credit hours required by both programs must be earned at Moraine Valley.
Southwestern Illinois College
Belleville-based Southwestern Illinois College offers a paramedic certificate and an Associate in Applied Science, Paramedicine degree. The certificate program requires 14 months to complete 38 credit hours of coursework; the 69-credit hour degree program may be completed in two years. All of the classes mandated by the certificate program are included in the degree program's curriculum as well, including clinical training and internship opportunities. The paramedic program accepts new students in both the fall and spring semesters; about 25 students are accepted in each. Students beginning in the fall will complete courses at Memorial Hospital in Belleville and students starting in the spring will attend courses at Anderson Hospital in Maryville. Applicants to the program must be currently certified EMTs in Illinois, pass entrance and placement exams required by the department, and be able to provide proof of at least 500 hours' ride time in an ambulance.
In order to become licensed as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in Illinois, paramedic students must complete an approved training program before taking a certification exam. Graduates of training programs may choose to take the certification exam administered by the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) or the test offered by the Illinois Department of Public Health: Emergency Medical Systems and Highway Safety. Successful licensure to practice as a paramedic in Illinois is effective for four years.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Paramedic Certificate and/or Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|College of DuPage||Public, two-year, large suburb|| Paramedic certificate,
|$5,275 in-district; $10,885 in-state; $12,985 out-of-state*|
|College of Lake County||Public, two-year, large suburb|| Paramedic certificate,
A.A.S, Emergency Medical Technology
|$3,612 in-district; $8,358 in-state; $11,046 out-of-state*|
|Elgin Community College||Public, two-year, mid-sized city||EMT - Paramedic basic vocational specialist certificate||$2,868 in-district; $10,439 in-state; $11,959 out-of-state*|
|Harper College||Public, two-year, large suburb|| Paramedic certificate,
|$3,228 in-district; $9,396 in-state; $11,208 out-of-state*|
|Illinois Central College||Public, two-year, large suburb||A.A.S., Paramedic||$4,050 in-district; $8,700 in-state; $10,050 out-of-state*|
|Joliet Junior College||Public, two-year, large suburb|| Paramedic certificate of achievement,
|$3,450 in-district; $10,508 in-state; $11,187 out-of-state*|
|Lake Land College||Public, two-year, distant town||A.A.S., Paramedical Services||$3,459 in-district; $7,282 in-state; $13,084 out-of-state|
|Lewis and Clark Community College||Public, two-year, rural fringe|| Paramedicine certificate of proficiency,
A.A.S., General Studies - Pre-Paramedicine
|$3,072 in-district; $8,256 in-state; $10,848 out-of-state*|
|Moraine Valley Community College||Public, two-year, large suburb|| EMS certificate,
|$3,996 in-district; $8,916 in-state; $10,326 out-of-state*|
|Southwestern Illinois College||Public, two-year, large suburb|| Paramedic certificate,
|$3,420 in-district; $12,120 in-state; $15,750 out-of-state*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.