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 article compares some important statistics about the schools.
- El Camino College, about 22 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 13 miles from the Anaheim city center, offers its program twice a year.
- Just 23.9 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.
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 (2019)||24,223*||29,799*||19,709*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large suburb||Large suburb|
|Tuition (2019-2020)||$3,650 program cost**||$1,350 in-state; $9,610 out-of-state*||$900 -$1,000 program cost***|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2018)||70%*||65%*||36%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2019)||Open admissions*||Open admissions*||Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2018-2019)||77% of full-time, 50% of part-time students*||80% of full-time, 61% of part-time students*||76% of full-time, 49% of part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (for students who began their studies in 2016)||35% (10% transfer-out)*||36% (6% transfer-out) *||42% (13% transfer-out)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **El Camino 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 a 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 obtained 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, a high school diploma or GED certificate, a copy of CA driver's license and proof of a 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 communities in the San Gabriel Valley. The college offers more than 240 certificate and degree programs in a multitude of areas of study.
The 6-month paramedic program at Mt. San Antonio College consists of 16 weeks of didactic studies, 5 weeks of clinical education (40 hours per week) in a hospital and an 8-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.
Additionally, students will need to keep a 'C' or better in each course and on the final exams. A criminal background check will be required before clinical rotations.
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's 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.