Kaskaskia College (KC) and Illinois Eastern Community Colleges/Frontier Community College (FCC) have entered into a new partnership agreement for paramedicine and medical laboratory technician (MLT) instruction. With this new agreement, both KC and FCC will continue their commitment to enhance healthcare educational opportunities, plus make education more convenient and accessible to students within both community college districts.
“Kaskaskia College is very excited to be able to partner with FCC to expand program offerings to students in both college districts,” said KC Vice President of Instructional Services Julie Obermark. “The need for educated professionals in both the Paramedicine and Medical Lab Technician fields is growing. By working with FCC, we are ensuring our students have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education and supporting our local healthcare partners by providing a workforce pipeline of highly trained and educated professionals.”
Beginning in fall 2021, KC students will be eligible to register for MLT courses at FCC’s in-district tuition rates, while FCC students will be eligible to register for Paramedicine courses at KC’s in-district tuition rates. General education courses can be completed via the student’s home college and be applied to the respective program degree at the host college. Both colleges have agreed to coordinate with any financial aid or textbook issues and provide academic support services at each host college.
“Frontier Community College is always striving to give students affordable access to quality education. This joint agreement is another great step to give students opportunities that will allow them to pursue these high-demand career fields,” said Paul Bruinsma, FCC’s Dean of Instruction.
Kaskaskia College’s Paramedicine program is prepping students for an in-demand growing career in the field of emergency medical services. Students will learn advanced techniques of emergency care, stabilization, and immobilization of victims of illness or injury.
“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is projected to grow 6% from 2019-2029,” said KC Paramedicine Coordinator Stephen Durbin. “Emergencies such as car crashes, natural disasters, and acts of violence will continue to require the skills of EMTs and paramedics. Kaskaskia College is dedicated to educate and train students to fill the demand for EMS professionals in southern Illinois and across the nation. We welcome the opportunity to work with the whole IECC system and their students to build a stronger EMS industry for our communities.”
The Kaskaskia College Paramedicine program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educations Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). Our program features a state-of-the-art simulation lab available to EMS students. The Paramedicine program features a two-day per week lecture and lab course instruction.
KC Paramedicine also offers convenient close-to-home clinical sites to accommodate the student experience. All FCC students completing the KC Paramedicine program will be able to complete their clinical hours close to their home base. The program equips all graduates to handle medical and trauma emergencies, plus promote healthcare during critical situations.
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Frontier Community College a Title III Grant to increase accessibility and flexibility in Health Science course offerings. A cornerstone of the grant was the development of a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program. To support the program, Frontier renovated existing classroom space into a state-of-the-art Medical Laboratory, which provides students with experience in specialized diagnostic testing, including DNA analysis.
Currently, the classes meet two days a week on Frontier’s campus. The courses will be revised to a hybrid delivery format per the grant, reducing student attendance to one day per week. By reducing the physical attendance on campus, the program will be more accessible to non-traditional students and students who face barriers to education, including childcare and transportation availability and costs. “Frontier is excited to partner with Kaskaskia College to offer this in-demand career opportunity to students in a broader region of South-Central Illinois,” said Carol Dreith, FCC Title III Project Director.