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Penn College paramedic program to offer hybrid learning option


In January, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s paramedic program will launch a hybrid instruction option that combines in-person and online learning.

Designed to provide flexibility for EMTs who want to complete a paramedic education program while continuing to work, the lecture portion of the paramedic coursework will be both livestreamed and recorded for later viewing by those who use the hybrid instruction model. For students who prefer the traditional experience, lectures will continue to be held in-person.

Beginning in January, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s paramedic education program will offer a hybrid instruction option that combines in-person and online learning. The well-appointed labs used for hands-on learning include a crash car that can rotate to simulate accident scenes.
Beginning in January, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s paramedic education program will offer a hybrid instruction option that combines in-person and online learning. The well-appointed labs used for hands-on learning include a crash car that can rotate to simulate accident scenes.

All paramedic students will continue to receive the same high-quality, hands-on clinical experiences, including spending more than 1,000 hours in a variety of field and clinical settings, such as the Little League World Series, home Penn State football games (when pandemic restrictions are lifted), and a rotation in a cadaver skills lab.

Students will also spend over 200 hours in the program’s dedicated, well-appointed simulation labs. Learning facilities are equipped with a family of lifelike manikins, a unique crash car that can rotate to simulate accident scenes, and an ambulance. Labs can be toured virtually or by contacting Christopher T. Boyer, paramedic program director.

“The hybrid option was created to better accommodate students who need to work while they are in school,” Boyer explained. “We wanted to allow them to complete their paramedic education while still being able to fulfill their obligations at home.”

Penn College offers an associate degree in paramedic science and a certificate in paramedic practice. Graduation from either makes a student eligible to sit for the national registry examination to become a certified paramedic. Students can prepare for leadership positions by pursuing a Penn College bachelor’s degree in applied health studies or through the dual-degree pathway the paramedic program has established with the college’s emergency management bachelor’s degree.

Pennsylvania is experiencing a critical shortage of paramedics, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an even greater demand for paramedics in the future, with 6% job growth through 2029, while the average growth rate for all occupations during that period is 3.7%.

“The pandemic has highlighted the desperate need we have for paramedics in our communities,” Boyer said. “When someone calls 911, they expect a highly skilled provider to respond to care for them or their family. The paramedic shortage has stretched our EMS resources incredibly thin in Pennsylvania in a time when we need these advanced providers readily available to respond.”

In another step to help EMTs who wish to become paramedics, the college introduced a Pathways Scholarship that benefits graduates of the EMT course offered by Workforce Development at Penn College. The course is offered in various locations across the region.

Paramedic students who have completed the course since its inception in 2015 and have maintained EMT certification are eligible for this $1,500 renewable scholarship.

For those enrolling just after high school, the college offers a renewable Career & Technical Education Student Scholarship of $2,000 to Pennsylvania residents who enroll full time and have completed at least one year in a Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved career and technical education program with at least a 2.0 GPA for their CTE coursework.

The next paramedic cohort begins the third week of January. Interested EMTs who wish to begin the paramedic program in January should contact the college’s paramedic office for more information at 570-329-4931 or by email.

To learn more about Penn College’s paramedic program, visit the School of Nursing & Health Sciences.

For information about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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