Orange County, CA Paramedic Schools
Students wishing to pursue careers as paramedics can choose from several schools offering programs in Orange County, CA. This article profiles three schools that are within a 15-minute drive of Anaheim; all three programs prepare students to take the required NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians)-Paramedic certification exam. A table in the beginning of the article compares some important statistics of the schools.
- El Camino College, about 5 miles from downtown Anaheim, offers a paramedic program in a joint effort with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
- Mt. San Antonio College features a paramedic program that results in excellent pass rates on the NREMT certification exam. The college, located about 3 miles from the Anaheim city center, offers its program twice a year.
- Just 6 miles from downtown is Saddleback College, which offers a paramedic training program that takes 6½ months to complete and is the official training program for the county.
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Comparison of Schools
Choosing the right school is just as important as choosing the right program. Get more information below, including the program costs, graduations rates and enrollment for each school.
|El Camino College||Mt. San Antonio College||Saddleback College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||24,207*||29,045*||20,007*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large suburb||Large suburb|
|Tuition (2015-2016)||$3,300 program cost**||$2,900 program cost***||$900 -$1,000 program cost****|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2014)||63%*||75%*||44%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014)||Open admissions*||Open admissions*||Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2013-2014)||76% of full-time, 50% of part-time students*||80% of full-time, 63% of part-time students*||77% of full-time, 50% of part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (2014)||30% (10% transfer-out)*||31% (10% transfer-out) *||35% (14% transfer-out)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **El Camino College, ***Mt. San Antonio College, ****Saddleback College
El Camino College
Located on 126 acres, El Camino College offers students small classes, affordable tuition, and more than 80 career training programs. The college offers certificate programs, transferrable associate degree programs, technical training, and community education classes.
Paramedic Training Program
El Camino College's paramedic training is a 6-month program that consists of 1,090 hours of training. Of these hours, 450 are lecture, 160 are clinical, and 480 are field internship. Classroom lectures are held at the Paramedic Training Institute, while clinicals take place in local hospitals. Students complete field internships working with area fire departments. Applicants must have EMT (emergency medical technician) - Basic certification within the past year; at least six months of documented full-time experience or one year of part-time experience (at least 960 hours) as an EMT-1 is also required of applicants. Other admission requirements include three letters of character reference, high school diploma or GED certificate, copy of CA driver's license, and proof of physical examination and current immunizations. Students must also submit to criminal background checks and fingerprinting. Attendance at an orientation session is mandatory.
Mt. San Antonio College
Located in Walnut, CA, Mt. San Antonio Colleges serves almost 20 communities in the San Gabriel Valley. The college offers more than 200 certificate and degree programs in a multitude of areas of study.
The 6-month paramedic program at Mt. San Antonio College consists of 19 weeks of didactic studies, 6 weeks of clinical education (40 hours per week) in a hospital and a 10-12 week supervised field experience working with an ambulance/fire department. Acceptance into the program is also contingent on students completing a paramedic pre-course. Students develop paramedic skills and learn about anatomy and physiology, cardiac care, and pharmacology.
Applicants must provide proof of college placement exam, current EMT-Basic certification, current American Red Cross or American Heart Association CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for Healthcare Provider (with 2-rescuer CPR) certification, valid driver's license, valid ambulance driver's license, and two official transcripts showing proof of high school completion. Additional requirements include proof of physical examination, criminal background check, and drug screening, along with an official letter from an EMS service documenting at least 1,200 hours of EMT experience within the last two years. By adding general education courses, students can earn an Associate in Science in Emergency Medical Services.
Located in the Southeastern region of Orange County, California, Saddleback College is a public college that offers more than 300 academic programs, including certificate programs, associate degrees and occupational training. Additionally, Saddleback College is the official paramedic school for Orange County.
This program prepares students to serve the public through a career in emergency response. Cardiac and pediatric life supports are taught at an advanced level, and courses cover basic cardiac dysrhythmias and paramedic preparation. A field internship provides students with clinical experience. In addition to providing proof of high school diplomas and age, applicants must be licensed emergency medical technicians (EMTs) with basic licensure (EMT-B) and at least one year of experience. Successful students are qualified to take the State of California's paramedic licensing exam upon completion.