CPCC to open EMS degree program

last modified Jan 14, 2014 11:37 AM

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) will offer a two-year associate degree program in Emergency Medical Science (EMS)* starting in August 2014. The college is planning for an opening class of 25 students.

The new program will be the result of a partnership between CPCC and Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) and will meet a growing need in Mecklenburg County for paramedics. For more than a decade, CPCC has provided entry-level EMT programs, while CHS and its Center for Pre-Hospital Medicine have offered paramedic programs through the Carolinas College of Health Sciences and Mecklenburg County Emergency Medical Services (MEDIC). The new EMS degree program at CPCC will produce well-trained graduates needed by MEDIC to meet current and future workforce demands. Nationally, the employment demand for degree-level paramedics is expected to grow by 33 percent over the next five to eight years.

The program will be based at CPCC’s Merancas Campus, in Huntersville, with classes offered at three campuses, Merancas, Central and Levine in Matthews. To meet student and employer needs, paramedic-level classes will meet two evenings per week, alternating from week to week – Monday and Tuesday one week and Wednesday-Thursday the next. The program also will include a Saturday option for some clinical and internship requirements. Course and clinical rotation instructors will come from CPCC, CHS and MEDIC.

The program will prepare students for entry- to intermediate-level employment in local, state and national EMS organizations. Earning the associate degree also can provide career advancement for persons already working in the field. In addition, the program will prepare students to take state and national certification exams.

“This EMS degree program and partnership with Carolinas HealthCare System will be unique, offering our students the best classroom, lab, clinical and field internship experiences available,” explained Tamara Williams, dean of the Merancas Campus and CPCC’s public safety and transport technologies programs. “CPCC, CHS and MEDIC are focused on producing the best-trained professionals to meet the emergency medical needs of Mecklenburg County.”

CPCC will hire a program director, a program coordinator and three full-time instructors. The program also will work with a cadre of part-time instructors who will serve as lab and clinical faculty.

For more information about CPCC’s planned EMS associate degree program, contact Michael Price, CPCC emergency medical services education, at mike.price@cpcc.edu or 704.330.4112.

* pending regional accreditation approval