Initiated in 2004, WSU's Department of Emergency Care & Rescue has helped western states educate paramedics in rural areas with a program that uses state-of-the-art, interactive video technology. Students from the first class hailed from Utah, Wyoming and Washington State. The program meets all USDOT, CoAEMSP, and National Registry of EMT’s standards.
WSU believes that educating paramedics in rural areas is critical since the need for paramedic level skill is most acute in those places where medical assistance isn't just around the corner. Our video technology allows a professor teaching a class at the Ogden, Utah campus to interact with 25-50 additional students usually in 4-8 selected areas outside of Weber and Davis Counties. Classes start at the end of August each year. The distance (evening) paramedic program takes approximately 16 months to complete.
A "distance-ed" site usually consists of 2-5 co-located students outside of Weber and Davis Counties. Skills are generally done in a "skills camp" model at the Ogden, Utah, campus the finals week in December, the week before Spring break, and the 1st or 2nd week of June. Since skills lab is generally offered in the accelerated "camp model," only experienced EMT's should apply for the program.Dependent upon community resources, a hybrid skills, clinical and field internship program MAY be developed at a distance ed location to decrease student travel time. Students in Weber and Davis Counties are invited to attend the evening "face-to face" class session on the Ogden Campus.
Site and Student Selection
Site selection is a competitive process that starts one year in advance. The ideal distance education site is one that is currently under-served by the existing education system either in location, schedule, or capacity. WSU will not enter locations that are currently served by another academically based paramedic program. Weber and Davis County students are invited to attend evening "face-to-face" classes on the Ogden campus.
Site selection also is based on the quantity of students (3-5 minimum) having completed appropriate prerequisites, provision of suitable cost free academic classroom facility, the availability of secure computerized testing, a strong internet "backbone," and local EMS community commitment. Sites with articulations to the local academic community receive the highest acceptance favor. Non-academic institution sites will be reviewed on a case by case basis. In communities where WSU has not established a dedicated teaching site, it is the responsibility of the requesting area to do the preliminary investigation in order to find a suitable meeting location.
Distance education students are expected to attend class every Tuesday and Thursday evening from late August through mid June. Class attendance is mandatory and rarely should be performed while on-duty that may subject a student to call. This course is considered an extended classroom using "face-to-face interactive" delivery and is neither designed nor intended for "TIVO" or "time shifting." The course is not designed or intended for "single student - at home" delivery.
Skill were previously taught in week long "skills camps." For 2014, this has been revised to "skills weekends." Depending on class demographics Friday will run from either 1000 to 1700 (0900-1600) and Saturday 0900-1600 (0800-1500). Proposed skills weekend dates are:
- Session #1 is November 7-8, 2014
- Session #2 is November 21-22, 2014
- Session #3 is December 12-13, 2014
- Session #4 is January 23-24, 2015
- Session #5 is February 27-28, 2015
- Session #6 is March 27-28, 2015
- PEPP weekend
- Session #7 is April 24-25, 2015)
- Session #8 is May 8-9, 2015
- Session #9
- Wednesday - Thursday skill lab, June 10-11
- Friday, June 12, Mock National Registry
- Saturday June 13, NRP Skills Exam
Students must have some flexible time in order to complete both clinical and field internship requirements. The 160 hours of clinical training availability can vary and is subject to individual hospital requirements. Field internship requirements (approximately 24 hours per week) also vary by EMS agency. Students must have flexible work hours in order to meet clinical and field requirements. All students must plan on performing a minimum of 240 out of the 480+ hours of ALS field internship in Weber, Cache, or Davis counties.
Additional questions on site consideration can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After prerequisites, the cost for 2013-2014 is expected to be approximately $8,800, payable in 4 semester installments. This program is approved for financial aid. Additional costs of textbooks, uniforms, criminal background checks, clinical, field, or skill lab travel is extra.
Class is held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 1800-2200. The 16 month program starts each fall semester and is subject to minimum enrollment requirements.
Starting catalog year 2006-2007, all students must have the following prerequisites with a "C" or better before starting any WSU Paramedic Program. These prerequisites may be taken at WSU Online and/or a local community college and must appear on a formal transcript:
- EMT or Advanced EMT certification from a state EMS agency
- Due to the nature of the distance (night) course, past students without EMS experience have not been successful. With limited EMS experience, the campus (day) course is your best option.
- Transcript documented MATH 0960/990 competency (First Course in Algebra)
- Relations, functions, positive and negative numbers, rational expressions, linear equations and inequalities
- Transcript documented 2 credits in Medical Terminology
- Transcript documented 3 credits in English 1010
- Transcript documented 8 credits of "matched set" Anatomy and Physiology
- (As a general rule, if the course is acceptable for ADN/BSN it's probably 8 credits)
- Minimum GPA of 2.7
- The evening course will take a one year break starting in Fall 2013 for the following considerations:
- The 2010 National EMS Education Standards are now mandatory for all accredited programs. While Weber State has always been ahead of the standards we need to review our day (campus) curriculum for any inadvertent gaps.
- Starting in Fall 2013, the EC&R Department will have two new full-time faculty. It should be noted the campus full time faculty develops and drives the delivery of content/testing to the night course.
- In 2013 we will be implementing a new textbook, Emergency Care in the Streets by Nancy Caroline. This text meets all the requirements of the 2010 National EMS Education Standards, however, we need to review all teaching resources, build online materials and revise current tests.
- Lastly, in 2012, all Utah Schools of Higher Education (USHE) switched to the CANVAS learning management system. For Weber State this means the paramedic program has to rebuild into CANVAS all of its online materials that were once used in WebCT.
- The night class is expected to return in Fall 2014.