Many schools in Southern California offer certificate and associate's degree programs for those seeking paramedic certification. These programs often have several prerequisites for admission, including current EMT certification, CPR certification, a physical examination, a criminal background check and up to one year of full-time work experience as an EMT. Once admitted, students spend one or two years participating in a mix of field work, classroom study and lab training to learn to respond to medical emergencies. Graduates are prepared for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam for paramedics (NREMT-P), which they must pass to obtain certification and licensure in California.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School||School Type & Setting||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Ventura College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic Studies Certificate of Achievement,
AS in Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic Studies
|Moreno Valley College||2-year, public||Paramedic Program|| $1,426 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator (2017)
One of three colleges in the Ventura County Community College District, Ventura College, located in Ventura, offers certificate and associate's degree paramedic programs that carry accreditation from the California State Emergency Medical Services Agency and the Ventura County Emergency Medical Services Agency. In order to enter either of these programs, students must already have valid EMT certification.
Paramedic Studies Certificate of Achievement
The Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic Studies Certificate of Achievement program includes classroom training and lab, hospital and field work, where students work with hospital and ambulatory staff to assist patients with medical emergencies. There are two semesters for this program. In the first semester, students study paramedic theory. The second semester includes lab work and a clinical. Students must complete twenty 24-hour shifts with an emergency response vehicle during their clinical.
AAS in Paramedic Studies
Requiring CPR and EMT certification as prerequisites, the associate's degree program allows students to concurrently earn a paramedic certificate and an undergraduate degree in two years. In addition to participating in supervised field experiences and taking general education courses, students take courses in basic emergency medical care, human anatomy, physiology, and paramedic theory. Students must maintain a B average in all classes for them to count toward the program. To complete the associate's degree program, students must meet general education requirements.
Moreno Valley College
Moreno Valley College offers three emergency medical service programs: paramedic, EMT, and continuing education. These programs are offered through the Health, Human & Public Services Department, which is just one of the seven departments at the school.
Each year, Moreno Valley College offers a paramedic certificate program. This is a 12-month program, and students can apply up to three months before the program begins. Classes meet Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Students must be current EMT certification holders, at least 18 years old, and have worked as an EMT for at least one year and 1,000 hours. There is a mandatory orientation for the students as well as a mandatory prep class about four weeks prior to the beginning of the program.