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Students in Missouri have the option of earning a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree or a certificate in the pursuit of becoming a paramedic. Paramedics are the highest-trained level of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and individuals must complete basic and intermediate or advanced training before entering into a paramedic program. Associate's degree programs in the field include general education coursework in addition to the paramedicine classes that constitute certificate programs. All such programs additionally require students to complete practicum or clinical elements prior to graduation and licensing.
The following are more detailed profiles of the ten largest schools in Missouri to offer paramedic medicine programs.
Crowder College in Neosho offers a paramedic certificate program and a paramedical science degree program, both of which prepare students for the NREMT paramedic certification exam. The core curriculum is the same for both and consists of three courses dedicated to paramedic training. The 36-credit-hour certificate program can be completed in 27 weeks; students pursuing an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Paramedical Science degree must complete an additional 30 credit hours of general education coursework. Applicants to either program must be at least 18 years old, hold current EMT-B certification, and provide three letters of recommendation. Tuition costs are approximated to be $4,060 and include liability insurance, two uniform shirts, and specialty lab fees; textbook costs are not included. The current paramedic program runs from August to May and is offered in a daytime format; beginning in June 2013, an online format will also be offered to domestic and international students.
Although Drury University (DU) in Springfield does not offer paramedic courses on campus, the college has a standing agreement with Ozarks Technical Community College (OTCC) that allows students who have earned an Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health (including paramedic education) to transfer final program credits toward a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Services degree at DU. The agreement, established in 2009, was designed to allow students to begin working in the EMS field following their acquisition of an A.A.S. while continuing their education towards a baccalaureate award. After graduation from the community college, 64 credit hours transfer to DU from OTCC; students must then earn an additional 60 credit hours of specified coursework, including leadership classes, to earn the B.S.
East Central College
Union-based East Central College offers a Certificate of Achievement and an Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic Technology, and both programs prepare students for national licensure. All of the coursework included in the 48-credit-hour certificate program is also required by the 75.5-credit-hour A.A.S. program. Full-time students can complete the degree program in less than three years; the programs are also offered on a part-time basis. Students applying to the paramedic training programs must have first completed EMT-Basic training in order to comply with regulations established by the Department of Transportation. Other applicant requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent and any applicable placement tests, as deemed appropriate by the college.
Located in Arnold, the Imperial campus of Jefferson College offers both a certificate and an Associate of Applied Science degree for aspiring paramedics. Both programs are accredited by the Missouri Division of Health's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and prepare students for NREMT certification at the paramedic level. All courses required by the 60-credit-hour certificate program are also included in the 72-credit-hour degree program's schedule of classes.
Metropolitan Community College - Kansas City
The paramedic training program offered by Metropolitan Community College is available at the school's Penn Valley campus in Kansas City. Students accepted into the program have the choice of earning a certificate (48 credit hours) or an Associate in Applied Science (73 credit hours). The core curriculum for both programs is the same; students working towards an A.A.S. are also required to fulfill general education requirements. Both paramedic tracks are open exclusively to currently certified EMTs who preferably have a minimum of one year of experience in the field. Background checks and physical exams are mandated for all students accepted into the program. Both tracks include clinical training and field internships. Completing these programs prepares students for the NREMT licensing exam.
Missouri Southern State University
Joplin-based Missouri Southern State University offers a paramedic certificate or a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Science - Paramedic. The paramedic certificate program's admission requirements mandate that applicants be at least 18 years old, hold current EMT certification in Missouri (or the credentials to become certified prior to the first day of class), pass a background check and drug screening, provide immunization records, and possess current health insurance. The 33-credit-hour paramedic certificate program is designed to prepare students for the certification exams administered by the NREMT. The paramedic certificate program begins in the fall and takes three consecutive semesters to complete. The curriculum includes didactic instruction as well as clinical and field experience opportunities.
The B.S. paramedic program requires 147 semester credit hours. The first 47 hours are core curriculum while the second 59 hours prepare students for certification as paramedics. The last 30 hours prepares students for a career in the emergency medical services.
Ozarks Technical Community College
Ozarks Technical Community College, based out of Springfield, offers a certificate option and a degree option to students who want to study paramedicine. The core curriculum is identical for both programs and qualifies students to take the NREMT licensing exam. In addition to EMT and paramedic coursework, students earning an Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic Education must meet minimum general education requirements. Applicants to these programs must be EMT-B certified, provide three references, and complete prerequisite courses with a grade 'C' or better. Applications must be received by July 15 to be considered for fall entrance.
Saint Louis Community College
Saint Louis Community College, located in its namesake city, offers an Associate in Applied Science in Paramedic Technology program. The program requires completion of at least 68 credit hours of coursework and is open to currently certified EMTs. Additional program admission requirements include two letters of recommendation, completion of the paramedic pre-test with a score of 75% or better, and documented experience with patients in the field. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national certification exams required for state licensing. The program is available at the college's Meramec campus as well as the Florissant Valley, which is located in Ferguson.
St. Charles Community College
Located in Cottleville, St. Charles Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science. The program is offered through a unique partnership with the RespondRight EMS Academy Educational Division and the St. Charles County Ambulance District. The program includes 61 credit hours of coursework: 31 credit hours are earned through St. Charles Community College general education courses, and 30 credit hours are earned by completing a paramedic training program offered by either partner organization. The 30 credit hours attributed to paramedic training will not be awarded to a student until he or she successfully earns NREMT certification at the paramedic level.
Three Rivers Community College
Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff offers a one-year paramedic certificate and a paramedic associate's degree, both of which qualify students to sit for the NREMT licensing exam. Both options require that students hold current EMT-B and Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider certifications. Applicants must also successfully complete an entrance test and be able to pass both a drug screening and background check. The certificate program requires completion of 40 credit hours of coursework; the A.A.S. program mandates that all students earn 56 credit hours. Both programs include internship opportunities to be served in the EMS field.
In order to gain a license to work as a paramedic from the State of Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services, an applicant must be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) at the paramedic level. Paramedic certification by the NREMT may be acquired by individuals who are currently certified at the EMT-Basic level, are over the age of 18, and have completed a state-approved paramedic training program within the last two years. The certification process includes both a computer-based written exam and a scheduled practical exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||EMT Certificate and/or Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Crowder College||Public, two-year; distant town|| Paramedic Certificate,
A.A.S. in Paramedical Science
|$2,352 in-district; $3,312 in-state; $3,312 out-of-state*|
|Drury University||Private not-for-profit, four-year; mid-sized city||B.S. in Health Services||$24,905*|
|East Central College||Public, two-year; rural|| Certificate of Achievement in Paramedic Technology,
A.A.S. in Paramedic Technology
|$2,280 in-district; $3,120 in-state; $4,488 out-of-state*|
|Jefferson College||Public, two-year; rural|| EMT/Paramedic Certificate,
A.A.S. in EMT/Paramedic
|$2,400 in-district; $3,576 in-state; $4,728 out-of-state*|
|Metropolitan Community College - Kansas City||Public, two-year; large city|| Paramedic Certificate,
A.A.S. in Paramedic
|$2,880 in-district; $5,280 in-state; $6,900 out-of-state*|
|Missouri Southern State University||Public, four-year; small city|| Paramedic Certificate of Completion,
B.S in Health Science - Paramedic
|$5,523 in-state; $10,480 out-of-state*|
|Ozarks Technical Community College||Public, two-year; mid-sized city|| Paramedic Certificate,
A.A.S. in Paramedic Education
|$2,930 in-district; $4,106 in-state; $5,282 out-of-state*|
|Saint Louis Community College||Public, two-year; large city||A.A.S. in Paramedic Technology||$3,090 in-district; $4,470 in-state; $6,150 out-of-state*|
|St. Charles Community College||Public, two-year; large suburb||A.A.S. in Emergency Medical Science||$2,472 in-district; $3,648 in-state; $5,280 out-of-state*|
|Three Rivers Community College||Public, two-year; remote town|| Paramedic Certificate,
A.A.S. in Paramedic
|$4,104 in-district; $5,868 in-state; $7,164 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.