CWU Offers Online Bachelor's Degree to Paramedics

ELLENSBURG, Wash.--Paramedics now can earn a bachelor's degree online from Central Washington University (CWU).

Paramedics who have earned two-year certification can complete CWU's Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine from anywhere in the U.S. The program is the only one in the nation that focuses the last two years of study on paramedicine rather than general health sciences, and one of the few paramedicine bachelors degrees that is accredited.

The director of the program, Dr. Keith Monosky, said the degree-completion program is going online just when demand for the degree is spiking in emergency medical services (EMS) professions.

"Increasingly the profession is seeking degree holders whose education prepares them to be leaders and to shape the future of EMS," said Monosky, noting that the online venue dramatically increases the ability of the program to meet student demand. "This opportunity will fill a void that's been created with the disappearance of degree-awarding paramedic programs in Washington state."

Monosky said the program's emphasis on problem-based learning extends beyond the prehospital care environment in which paramedics receive training during the certificate process. The bachelor's degree cultivates additional, more complex knowledge such as advanced pathophysiology, in which students learn to understand disease entities rather than simply to identify them. Program curriculum covers research in emergency medical services (EMS), health policy, and EMS in response to terrorism. The program also teaches financial and systems analysis, as well as strategic planning.

The enhanced paramedicine program is open to students who have completed a two-year associate's degree along with a paramedic certificate. Paramedics with a certificate from an accredited educational institution could be admitted with advanced standing.

CWU's paramedicine program has been training individuals in prehospital emergency medical care since 1973 and is one of the few baccalaureate degree-awarding paramedic programs in the country accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In addition, for the past five years, nearly 96% of CWU graduates have passed the National Registry Exam for Paramedic on their first attempt. All program completers receive employment offers when they graduate.

For more information, go to www.cwu.edu/~nehs/paramedics/index.php, or call 509-963-1912.

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