Applications for Fall 2015 are accepted April 1 through July 1, 2015. Applications for Spring 2016 are accepted Aug. 1 through Nov. 1, 2015.
Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Paramedic program prior to enrolling in any Paramedic courses. Entrance into the Paramedic program is competitive.
Increase your chances of being accepted:
Program at a Glance
- Average starting salary: $36,000 per year
- Level of patient contact: High
- Length of program: 15-month Certificate or 2-year Degree
- Program location: Anderson and Memorial Hospitals
- Program start time: Fall and Spring semesters
- Employment opportunities in a variety of settings
- Prepare for National and State license exams
- Students must apply and be accepted into the program before beginning program courses
- Students must hold current EMT licensure
"Paramedic ranks #22 on the list of 100 best jobs for 2013 named by U.S. World and News Report."
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
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.
Paramedics are employed by a variety of organizations, including:
- Fire Departments
- Private Ambulance Services
- Police Departments
- Helicopter Flight Crews
- Security Agencies
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment is projected to grow 23 percent between 2012 and 2022 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.
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.
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 April 1 and July 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, EMT, EMT licensure, CPR certification.
- Prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of July 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.
- Pre-Paramedic Admission Exam
In addition, students should:
Have documented hours of ride time (500 - 1,000 hours recommended) on an ambulance.
2. Official Transcripts
3. Test Scores
- Pre-Paramedic Admission Exam
- COMPASS test scores that show eligibility to enroll in ENG 101 and MATH 94. If COMPASS results are too low, students must complete required developmental courses prior to enrolling in ENG 101, BIOL 105 or MATH 94.
For an individual review of your application, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.
2. Fill Out the Planning Guide
3. Understand that the Application Point System is Based on:
4. Meet with a Counselor or Program Coordinator
For an individual review of your planning guide, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.
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.
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.
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 (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 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.
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.
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.
The Paramedic program generally accepts 20 students at Anderson Hospital in the spring.
The Paramedic program generally accepts 20 students at Memorial Hospital in the fall.
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.
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.
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.
Clinical experience is scheduled during the program, typically between 12 and 72 hours per month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
The SWIC Paramedic program is recognized and approved by:
The Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761
The program’s curriculum is guided by the standards developed by U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Compliance with this curriculum helps to assure the public that our curriculum will graduate competent clinicians.
The Paramedic program is currently seeking accreditation from CAAHEP.
For more information about this program, please contact:
Enrollment Services Admissions Evaluators
ext. 5541 or 5542
618-235-2700, ext. 5206