What are the program entry requirements?
To enter the program, you must have completed at least 60 hours of college credit (may be in any discipline), with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. You must also be a certified paramedic or SOCM/18D graduate.
What is the degree that I will receive?
Upon completion of all requirements for graduation, you will be awarded the Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Medical Care. You will also have a concentration in one of three areas: science (pre-med), or health services management.
Is there any difference between the degree that I will receive as a distance learner
and the degree awarded to the traditional, on-campus students?
No. The degrees are identical. In addition, the course work is identical. Each course covers identical content and uses identical course syllabi; the only difference is the method of delivering course content.
What are the concentrations?
The health services management (HSM) concentration is a series of courses designed to prepare the student to assume leadership roles in EMS administration. These courses will be offered by WCU through the on-line degree program.
The science concentration is essentially Pre-med, and consists of courses in physics, chemistry, and biology. This concentration prepares students to enter into paramedic education or research, or to continue their education through medical school, PA school, or graduate school. Your advisor will assist you in identifying which courses you will need to take to complete pre-med requirements. Some of these courses are available through WCU and the remainder is available through your local community college or university (which may also be available online).
If I have an associate’s degree in EMS, will my credits be transferred?
Yes. Although the AAS degree in EMS is not required, if you do hold that degree, your credits will be transferred to WCU based upon existing articulation agreements.
Will I receive credit for my associate’s degree in EMS acquired through bridging programs?
Yes, but it may take additional course work to complete the requirements for the BS degree. This depends upon how the community college awarded you credit for your paramedic certificate. Some community colleges award credit for specific courses. Others merely waive course requirements. If you receive specific course credits, you will have more hours to transfer toward your BS degree. If your community college bridging program waived course requirements without awarding you credit for specific courses, you will have fewer hours to transfer. Consequently, it will take longer for you to complete your BS degree. However, it may still be possible for you to receive credit through credit-by-examination or credit by experience. Your advisor will assist you in obtaining college credit through this process.
How long will it take me to complete the degree?
The EMC distance learning program is structured such that students taking courses can complete their degree in 2 years.
How many credit hours must I take each semester?
Most students will transfer 60-70 hours toward their BS degree. These students must enroll in approximately 12 semester hours of course work each semester in order to complete the degree in 2 years.
What if I can’t take a full load each semester?
If you cannot take 12 hours each semester, you should take the 6 hours of EMC courses that are offered each semester, and postpone taking the general education requirements until later. The general education courses are offered at WCU and at virtually every community college each semester and may be taken at any time. The EMC courses, however, are offered only once every two years. Thus, if it becomes necessary for you to take fewer hours, it is imperative that you stay on track with the WCU courses.
When may I begin the program?
A new class begins every August. Applications are accepted on a continuous with a deadline of March 1 for classes beginning in August.
What is the cost of the program?
In addition to the ususal distance education tuition and fees, online EMC students must also purchase textbooks for each course which may cost as much as $150.00.
Where may I take the general education courses?
General education courses may be taken at any of the North Carolina community colleges. Transfer agreements are in place for this purpose. It may also be possible for you to take general education courses at another university or community college outside of North Carolina, but you will need to speak with your academic advisor before enrolling in such courses to ensure that they are transferable.
How are the EMC courses offered?
All EMC courses will be offered through the distance learning program. These courses will be offered through a combination of multimedia presentations on CDROM and through the World Wide Web.
How will I take my exams?
All exams in the EMC program are administered online. Online exams are proctored by the testing center of your local community college or other testing center. Upon providing photo identification, the testing center staff will provide you with a password to access your online exam. While some testing centers offer these services free of charge, students are personally responsible for payment of any proctoring fees if they choose to utilize a proctor who charges for these services.
How will I interact with the EMC faculty?
The program is designed to provide the distance learner with as much access to program faculty as they would enjoy if they were attending classes on campus. Students will be able to interact with faculty via telephone, email, instant messenger, online voice chat, and real-time video using webcams.
What computer skills must I possess?
You should be able to:
1. Effortlessly navigate the Internet using an Internet browser.
2. Send/receive email.
3. Send/receive email attachments.
4. Download/upload files.
5. Use windows explorer to create folders, move and copy files, and find files.
6. Play multimedia using Windows Media Player and Flash files.
7. Comfortably use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
8. Comfortably use the Windows operating system.
9. Identify and use computer files of varying formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, .htm, .mpg, .jpg, etc.)
10. Use audio chat software such as Microsoft Live messenger.
What should I do if I lack some of these skills?
Because the bulk of your coursework will be completed over the Internet, it is imperative that you possess superb computer skills. If you feel that you lack some of the skills listed above, you should enroll in computer courses at your local community college PRIOR to entering the EMC distance learning program.
What computer equipment must I have?