Grand Island– Central Community College's paramedicine program has been unanimously approved by the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.
Earlier this year, the program earned accreditation for five years from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHAP), as recommended by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions.
CCC has been the primary source of training for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in central Nebraska and began offering the classes required for EMTs to become paramedics in 2006.
The coordinating commission's approval was the final step that allows the college to begin offering an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in paramedicine.
Students also will be able to earn a one-year diploma and short-term certificates.
"The opportunity to earn an AAS degree will allow students to progress to a bachelor degree completion program and enhance their career growth," said Dr. Deborah Brennan, college executive vice president.
The college's paramedic graduates have been eligible to take the national registry skills and written exams since the program began. Beginning January 2013, graduates from a CAAHAP-accredited program will be required to take the exams.
The national certification is part of the requirements to get a license to practice as a paramedic in Nebraska.
Program Director Phil Allen said career opportunities for paramedics are growing and include employment with fire departments, private ambulance companies and hospital emergency rooms.
For more information about the paramedic program, go to www.cccneb.edu/paramedic or call Allen at 308-398-7479.