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Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (Certificate)

Heartland Community College's Paramedic program leads to a certificate that prepares students to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) or the Illinois State EMT-Paramedic examination for licensure. This certificate is a 37-credit hour, four semester program, inclusive of general education course(s), EMT courses, and clinical and field experiences.

Enrollment Requirements

To register for the EMT-235 Paramedic I, the first course in the program sequence, students must meet with an academic advisor and fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Show proof of high school diploma or GED completion
  • Show proof of an active Illinois EMT-Basic or EMT-Intermediate license or be currently enrolled in EMT 101 with plans to achieve licensure before classes begin
  • Completion of BIOL 121 with a "C" or higher OR concurrent enrollment
  • OR completion of BIOL 181 & BIOL 182 with a "C" or higher or be currently enrolled
  • OR completion of BIOL 181 with a "C" or higher AND concurrent enrollment in BIOL 182
  • Have current CPR Certification at the Healthcare Provider Level (American Heart Association) or Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (American Red Cross) CPR courses are offered at Heartland Community College through our Community Education department and at area hospitals.

Enrollment Considerations

EMT-Paramedic Curriculum

View the EMT Paramedic Curriculum

EMT-Paramedic Courses

The EMT-Paramedic certificate program consists of general education course(s) and three EMT-Paramedic courses (EMT 235, EMT 236 & EMT 237). EMT 235, the first course in the sequence, begins each fall semester. Students must pass each course with a "C "or higher to enroll in the next course in the sequence. Students must have a final average of a "B" or higher at the completion of all three courses to be considered passing and eligible for licensure.

The EMT-Paramedic curriculum consists of classroom lecture, lab, and clinical & field experience. Clinical experiences occur in the hospital setting (e.g. Emergency Department, Cardiac Cath Lab, Intensive Care Unit, Operating Room) and field experiences occur on an ALS ambulance.

Time Commitment

Class times for all of the EMT courses are 8.5 hours per week and are typically held one day a week from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. In addition, students will complete an average of 225 hours of clinical time outside of class, with the time split between hospital clinical areas and an ambulance.

Review the Essential Functions of the Job

Students enrolled in the EMT program must be able to perform the essential functions (PDF) of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Any applicants or enrolled students are encouraged to contact Student Access and Accommodation Services to discuss any concerns associated with the program.

Program Cost

The cost sheet (PDF)  is a reference to provide information related to potential expenses incurred by the prospective HCC EMT paramedic student. The totals may vary depending on previous completion of general education courses and immunizations.

Clinical Requirements

Criminal Background Check

Criminal background checks are required to participate in the clinical experience portion of the course. Students will be required to complete an Authorization to Conduct Background Check form during the first week of class. Students with questions regarding background checks or questions on eligibility for EMT licensure may contact the McLean County Area EMS Office at 309-827-4348. A list of potentially disqualifying convictions and information on a waiver process can be found at

Students with results triggering disqualification will be referred to the waiver process. Students will not be allowed into the clinical environment until their waiver has been approved.

Health Requirements & Immunizations

Proof of the following current immunizations are required prior to being allowed into the clinical environment:

  • TDaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) within the last 10 years
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • TB skin test or negative chest x-ray (within the last 12 months)
  • Hepatitis B series
  • Influenza (current year)
  • All students must provide a COVID vaccination card documenting completion of the vaccine within two weeks of the first day of clinical.  No exemptions are allowed per Illinois Department of Public Health regulations.


All enrolled students are required to submit proof of current health insurance coverage or sign a statement acknowledging personal responsibility for medical bills that may arise from participation in the course or its clinical component.

Emergency Medical Services Video

Emergency Medical Services Video

Video Transcription: Emergency Medical Services Video Transcription (PDF)