Southeast clears final hurdle towards paramedic associate degree

Officials at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College confirm that they have gained approval for a new degree program: an associate in applied science in paramedic technology.

“We are excited that we have cleared the final hurdle,” said Southeast President Vic Adams.

College personnel presented a proposal to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s Board of Regents last March, and the proposed addition was approved. Next, they initiated the formal approval process through the College’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Now that this process is complete, the College has been able to formalize its schedule.

In addition to the new degree program, Southeast offers courses towards certificates in Emergency Management Services (EMS). Students must be EMT certified prior to entering program coursework.

According to EMS instructor Steve Robinson, the pandemic has increased an already rising demand for emergency medical personnel, and our service region is experiencing a severe shortage. In addition, graduates enjoy many career options in a variety of fields.

“We have former students working in hospital emergency rooms, physical therapist offices, the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, and even Dollywood!” said Robinson.

Earning an EMT certification is the first step towards the paramedic degree, so he encourages students to go ahead and register for those classes. The college offers a full spectrum of EMS classes this fall.

Regarding the new associate degree program, Robinson says it will increase opportunities for our graduates. “It can apply towards a bachelor’s at Eastern or any institution that offers the program,” he said. “Bottom line is, employers favor the degree.”

For more information about the EMS program at Southeast, contact Steve Robinson at 606-269-0158 or srobinson0018@kctcs.edu.