Paramedic and Paramedicine

Applications for Fall 2017 are accepted March 1 through June 1, 2017

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the nationally accredited Paramedic program prior to enrolling in any EMS program courses. 

Requirements to apply:  

Program at a Glance

  • Length of program: 15-month Certificate or 2-year Degree
  • Program location: Anderson and Memorial Hospitals
  • Program start time: Fall and Spring semesters

Back to Top Job Description

Southwestern Illinois College's Paramedic program prepares students for the highest level of pre-hospital care in emergency medicine.

Paramedics receive extensive training in patient assessment and treatment, including:

  • Performing advanced airway management techniques
  • Establishing I.V.s and administering I.V. fluids
  • Performing and interpreting EKGs
  • Administering medications
  • Performing advanced life support measures
  • Working under the direct supervision of an emergency room physician via radio dispatch/phone

Career Resources

The SWIC Career Activities and Employment Center offers a Career Mentor program, including job shadowing.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides Paramedic career information.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website provides additional information.

Back to Top Career Opportunities

Paramedics are employed by a variety of organizations, including:

  • Fire Departments
  • Hospitals
  • Private Ambulance Services
  • Police Departments
  • Helicopter Flight Crews
  • Security Agencies

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment is projected to grow 24 percent between 2014 and 2024 as paid emergency medical technician positions replace unpaid volunteers and competition will be greater for jobs in local fire, police and rescue squad departments than in private ambulance services. Opportunities are best for those who have advanced certification.

Back to Top Salary

Average Salary

According to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services Salary & Workplace Survey in 2009, the average salary is $36,000 for a Paramedic. Earnings of Paramedics depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individual’s training and experience.

Back to Top Application Requirements

Materials Needed to Apply

Students must submit an application for the Paramedic program to be considered for admittance.

Applicants must submit the following to the Enrollment Services Office:

1. Paramedic application

  •   Applications are available between March 1 and June 1 each year for fall start.
  •   Applications are available between Aug. 1 and Nov. 1 each year for spring start.
  • Proof of completion of prerequisite courses/licensure/certification: 
    • Biology
    • EMS 110 or equivalent
      •  Prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of June 1 for Fall and Nov. 1 for Spring.
      •  Grades earned must be at least a C. Higher grades earn more points toward application.
      •  College course grades supersede high school grades.
      •  The most recent grades will be used.  
    • Current IL EMT Licensure
    • CPR Certificate
  • Pre-Paramedic Admission Exam

In addition, it is recommended:

Students have documented hours of ride time (500 - 1,000 hours) on an ambulance prior to submitting an application.

2. Official Transcripts

Southwestern Illinois College’s Paramedic program does not offer advanced placement.

3. Test Scores


For an individual review of your application, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.

Back to Top Prepare to Apply

1. Complete prerequisite courses/exams in biologyEMT, IL EMT Licensure and CPR Certification.

2. Fill Out the Planning Guide

3. Understand that the Application Point System is Based on:

4. Meet with an Academic Advisor or Program Coordinator


For an individual review of your planning guide, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.

Back to Top Application Selection

Application Point System

Applications for the Paramedic program will be rated on a point system, with points based on:

Notification of Acceptance

Applicants will be notified of their status regarding admission as quickly as possible given the number of applications received, typically in July for Fall and Nov. for Spring.

More Candidates than Seats Available

In the event there are more qualified applicants than spaces available in this program, those applicants who reside outside the SWIC district or in a district without a joint agreement for this program will not be eligible for consideration or admission. Resident status is determined by address on file with the Enrollment Services office by April1.

For a list of colleges that have joint agreements with SWIC, view the college catalog and search for Interdistrict Cooperative Agreements.

The admission procedures for the Paramedic program are in accordance with Illinois law. The law requires that programs not having sufficient space and resources to accommodate all applicants will accept those applicants best qualified, using rank, ability and achievement test scores as guides, with preference given to students residing within district. Out-of-district students will be considered as in-district status for this application process if their community college has an Inter-district Cooperative/Career agreement with SWIC. Search the college catalog for Interdistrict Cooperative/Career Agreements to see if your college is listed.  To qualify for the application process, the student must submit paperwork from their home district to SWIC Enrollment Services by the application deadline. Contact the secretary of the Board of Trustees at your home district school to get the required paperwork.     


Fewer Candidates than Seats Available

In the event that there are fewer qualified candidates than there are spaces available, applications will continue to be accepted until the program's maximum capacity has been reached or until the first week of classes during the summer semester.

The college reserves the right to fill the program in those years when there are fewer applicants than spaces available by whatever means it deems necessary to assure both academic integrity and fairness in the selection process.

Back to Top Course Sequence

Acceptance into the program is required before an applicant will be permitted to register for Paramedic courses. Additionally, accepted applicants must hold a current Illinois EMT licensure to begin the program.

Choose a Program

Southwestern Illinois College offers both a 15 month Paramedic Certificate and a 2-year Paramedicine Associate in Applied Science Degree. Both the Paramedic Certificate and the Paramedicine Degree require completion of the Paramedic Program Core Courses, which are required for National Certification and State Licensure eligibility.

Paramedic Certificate

Paramedic Certificate (068B) Course Sequence

The Paramedic Certificate is a 38-credit-hour, 15-month program that can be completed in three semesters. The curriculum includes EMS technical courses covering Airway & Breathing, Cardiology, Medical, Trauma, OB/Gyn/Peds and Operations.

Paramedicine Degree

Paramedicine Associate in Applied Science Degree (0068) Course Sequence

The Paramedicine Degree is a 69-credit-hour, 2-year program that can be completed in four semesters and one summer. The curriculum includes general education courses, EMS technical courses and assigned ambulance runs. There are 20-26 credit hours of general education courses and 38-46 credit hours of EMS or rescue operation courses.

General Education Courses

General education courses can be completed prior to admittance into the program. These courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City, Red Bud campuses or online. If general education courses are not completed by the start of the program, they must be completed during the semesters listed in the course sequence.

Paramedic Courses

The program begins each fall and spring semester and the sequence of courses will vary depending on the beginning semester. For spring start in January, courses are offered at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, IL. For fall start in August, courses are offered at Memorial Hospital in Belleville, IL.

Field Internships

Students are required to demonstrate competency in technical skills during ambulance runs while enrolled in EMS courses. Ambulance runs begin in the first semester of the paramedic program and continue until program completion. Clinical education experiences are offered through Anderson and Memorial hospitals. Observations in the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Room, Operating Room, and Labor & Delivery are also included in clinical time. Students are required to have background checks and drug testing prior to clinical experience work.

Prerequisites may be required for some courses. Refer to the Course Description Guide in the college catalog.

Back to Top Program Capacity

Spring Semester

The Paramedic program generally accepts 20 students at Anderson Hospital in the spring.

Fall Semester

The Paramedic program generally accepts 20 students at Memorial Hospital in the fall.

Back to Top Program Location

The Paramedic program consists of general education courses, EMS pre-fix courses, two FS courses (FS 280 and 160) and assigned clinical experiences. Specific locations depend on the course type.

General Education Courses

The required general education courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City, Red Bud campuses or online.

Paramedic Courses

The Paramedic program courses are offered at Anderson Hospital in Maryville in the spring and Memorial Hospital in Belleville in the fall.

Clinical Education Experiences

Clinical education experiences are offered through Anderson Hospital in Maryville and Memorial Hospital in Belleville. Field internships are offered through various ambulance services within the EMS system.

Back to Top Program Cost

Paramedic Certificate program

For details, see the Paramedic Certificate Cost Sheet

Paramedicine Degree program

For details, see the Paramedicine Degree Cost Sheet

Back to Top Time Commitment

Paramedic Certificate Time Commitment (15 month sequence)

Lecture & Lab Commitment

Classes generally meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and periodically, classes will meet on Fridays and Saturdays:

  • at Memorial (Fall semester program start) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • at Anderson (Spring semester program start) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Field Internship

Clinical experience is scheduled during the program, typically between 12 and 72 hours per month.

Back to Top Additional Requirements

The following criteria are required of accepted applicants and all information will be explained in detail by the program coordinator or course instructors.

Orientation & Performance

Applicants accepted into the Paramedic program must attend all required orientation sessions and be able to perform the Paramedic Program Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodations. Any applicants or enrolled students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.


Students should be aware that health insurance is required during clinical education courses. Malpractice insurance is provided by the college through assessment of lab fees.

Graduation Requirements

Applicants admitted to the program must follow the requirements for graduation at the time they are admitted and must meet all course, program, degree and sequencing requirements as specified. Students are responsible for program policies as listed in the course syllabi. Students who fail to meet program specific requirements will be dropped from the program and may be required to re-apply and compete for admission in a succeeding year.

Medical Requirements

These requirements do not have to be fulfilled until they are explained by program personnel. Students accepted will be required to possess current CPR certification at the Healthcare Provider level, show proof of immunizations, TB test, physical examination, and verify health insurance coverage before beginning any clinical practicum.

Additional Courses

In addition to the EMS courses, students are required to enroll and successfully complete FS 280 - Hazardous Materials Awareness and FS 160 - Technical Awareness. Enrollment in these FS courses will be coordinated by the instructor and will require additional tuition and fees. Students may be required to provide prescribed personal protective equipment for fire science courses.

Background Check

Criminal background check, random drug test and name search on government registries that prohibit employment in health care professions are required prior to clinical experience courses.

Students with positive results on the drug test or listed on a prohibitory government registry will be dismissed from the program. If drug test results are positive, the student must provide proof of prescription in his or her own name in order to pass the drug test. Medical marijuana, which is not FDA approved, is also considered a positive drug testing result. Dismissal for positive criminal background check, drug test or listing on a government registry does not qualify students for refund of tuition or lab fees. Students who have concerns regarding their status with the above regulations are encouraged to discuss the matter with the program coordinator or coordinators' assistant prior to seeking admission.

Back to Top Program Recognition

The SWIC Paramedic program is recognized and approved by:

The Southwestern Illinois Paramedic Programs / Belleville Memorial Hospital and Anderson Hospital are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

The Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761
phone: 217-782-4977
fax: 217-782-3987

Back to Top Graduate Outcome Measures

Graduate Outcome Measures

View the Paramedic program's Graduate Outcome Measures.

Back to Top Certification Requirements

National and State Licensure Examinations

Upon successful completion of the one-year Paramedic curriculum, graduates are awarded the paramedic certificate (068B). They are qualified to challenge the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) or State EMT-Paramedic examination for licensure. Refer to Illinois Department of Public Health website for more information on the various EMT level National examinations offered in Illinois.

Back to Top Contacts

For more information about this program, please contact:

Program Coordinator Curt Schmittling

618-235-2700, ext. 5343

Coordinators' Assistant Candice Rodgers

618-235-2700, ext. 5355

Academic Advising/Counseling Center

618-235-2700, ext. 5206