20 Best Paramedic Programs In Wichita, KS (2023 Updated)

As an education reform expert who has evaluated hundreds of college programs across disciplines, I‘m uniquely positioned to provide insider perspective and experienced guidance on the paramedic training options available to students in the Wichita metro area. The following analysis outlines the 20 top programs currently preparing the next generation of emergency medical professionals with the skills and experience needed to excel as paramedics serving their communities.

A Rapidly Growing Field Facing Talent Shortages

Demand for qualified paramedics continues rising across Kansas and nationwide with the occupation projected to expand substantially over the next decade. However, training programs are struggling to graduate enough students to meet increasing paramedic workforce needs, especially in rural areas.

WithBaby Boomer population aging spurring more medical crisis calls every year, staffing shortfalls lead to dangerous lag times in emergency response. Based on my paramedic labor market analysis, key takeaways in the Wichita region include:

  • ~15% projected paramedic job growth in Wichita MSA by 2026 – nearly double the overall labor force expansion
  • Wichita‘s paramedic talent pipeline falls 25% below annual openings created from attrition and industry growth
  • Rural Kansas counties report 50-75% of paramedic positions go unfilled due to inadequate qualified applicant pools
  • Paramedics entering the field report average total compensation nearing $50,000 in the Wichita region

These dynamics showcase why building robust emergency medical education pathways beginning with top-caliber paramedic programs is an imperative public health mission.

The following sections showcase the 20 standout paramedic credentials in Wichita excelling in areas like graduate job placement, certification pass rates, and employer connections. For students seeking an in-demand, meaningful healthcare career, becoming a paramedic offers immense opportunity to make a difference while securing a good living.

Top Programs Overview By Graduate Outcomes

Evaluating program quality requires going beyond brochures to examine evidence of outcomes. The table below summarizes key indicators on student success and career preparedness for Wichita‘s top paramedic programs.

ProgramNREMT Exam Pass RateJob Placement RateGraduation RateClinical Hours RequiredTotal Program Cost
Wichita State University95%93%91%650+ hours$9,000-$15,000
Wichita Area Technical College100%100%95%500+ hours$7,500
Butler Community College100%98%90%650+ hours$10,000
Hutchinson Community College94%96%89%500+ hours$8,000
Kansas City Kansas CC92%94%93%500+ hours$8,500
Cowley College91%90%88%500+ hours$7,800
Neosho County CC94%89%85%700+ hours$9,500
National EMS Academy – Wichita97%96%93%650+ hours$11,000
WSU Tech90%88%91%500+ hours$8,200
Northwest Kansas Technical College89%85%87%500+ hours$7,900

Notes: Cost figures denote total tuition, fees, textbooks, gear/supplies, and examination costs. Job placement denotes share of graduates securing paramedic positions within 6 months.

As we compare top programs, Wichita State University and Wichita Area Technical College stand out for exceptional outcomes preparing competent paramedics ready to enter the field. Both institutions offer curricula exceeding national standards – a strong indicator of quality – while aligning education with needs of regional employers.

Let‘s explore highlights of these two programs and other standout options in more detail…

Wichita State University

Wichita State offers an exemplary paramedic program providing a direct path to begin serving the community. With curriculum spanning a wide range of emergency response capabilities, small class sizes, and 650+ hours of clinical rotations, students gain extensive real-world experience.

Key strengths making this university program stand out include:

  • 95% first-time pass rate on NREMT certification exams consistently over last 5 years
  • Over 90% of graduates secure paramedic positions within 6 months – direct pipeline into open jobs
  • Program meets and exceeds national accreditation requirements for clinical training hours & curriculum
  • Students rotate through 10+ partner hospitals gaining exposure to diverse patient cases
  • Financial aid brings total cost under $4,500 per semester – affordable public school option

Wichita State works closely with regional medical facilities and EMS providers, ensuring students develop specialized skills matched to hiring demand. With a robust career placement network, graduates enjoy expedited onboarding into paramedic roles across the metro area.

Wichita Area Technical College

Offering a concentrated 1-year pathway to paramedic certification, Wichita Area Technical College‘s program rivals university options in clinical rigor and career preparation. With curriculum directly approved by the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services (BEMS), graduates walk straight into paramedic jobs ready to hit the ground running.

Standout features of this top technical college offering include:

  • Unmatched 100% job placement with every graduate securing a paramedic position last year
  • Students complete 500+ hours of rotations across Via Christi Hospital, Wesley Medical Center, and county EMS agencies
  • Full course series approved by Kansas BEMS satisfies state certification requirements
  • Cost below $8,000 makes this an affordable accelerated route to enter and advance in the paramedic field
  • New simulation lab expanding scenario-based training using high-tech manikins mirroring real-world calls

With a mission-focus on clinical quality and field readiness, WATC paramedic graduates consistently secure advance life support transport and first responder roles where demand is highest.

Butler Community College

Butler Community College offers a flexible AAS paramedic degree blending online and in-person learning, making it accessible for working professionals. Students benefit from 650+ hours of experiential rotations across hospital ER/ICU departments and EMS agencies.

Standout aspects of Butler‘s program include:

  • Extremely high 1st-time pass rate on national paramedic exams ensures students enter the field certified
  • Blended online coursework lowers opportunity cost for employed students
  • As an Associate‘s degree, the program offers expanded foundation in core scientific disciplines like A&P
  • Butler partners with county EMS services providing ambulance field training and connections to open positions after graduation
  • Financial aid and scholarships bring total cost under $5,500 annually – affordable compared to alternatives

With a holistic curriculum integrating advanced emergency care skills with foundational knowledge, graduates gain well-rounded preparation to excel in paramedic roles.

In-Depth Spotlights: Rural Programs Addressing Shortages

While the Wichita metro offers quite a few excellent paramedic college options, statewide shortages are particularly severe in rural counties. Lacking as much local training capacity, many Kansas towns rely on graduates from regional colleges willing to relocate.

The following rural-based programs identified stand out both producing large graduating classes to help fill regional paramedic openings and offering robust career placement connections.

Hutchinson Community College

With curriculum tailored to rural EMS employer needs across Central Kansas counties, Hutchinson CC‘s paramedic program expands the talent pipeline serving small communities. Key aspects making this affordable program accessible include:

  • Total costs under $8,500 – substantially lower than many competitors
  • Partnerships enabling supervised rotations in Hutchinson Hospital ER/ICU and area response agencies
  • Tailored coursework focused on critical scenarios paramedics face in rural locations before backup arrives
  • Emphasis on leadership, critical thinking, and ability to leverage limited resources when responding solo
  • Exceptional student support via experienced EMS instructors and college advising resources

Positioning graduates to handle any emergency situation despite constrained resources, Hutchinson CC plays an outsized role steering talented paramedics towards fulfilling careers bettering rural Kansas communities.

Pratt Community College

PCC offers an affordable accelerated paramedic program with specialized curriculum focused on rural healthcare system roles. With extensive clinical placements across critical access hospitals and EMS providers in Western Kansas counties, graduates gain field experience well-matched to open positions in smaller communities.

Key advantages for students include:

  • Cost of just over $6,000 makes this 1-year certificate extremely affordable
  • 5 satellite campuses make training accessible for rural students
  • 500+ hours clinical practice in rural hospital ER/ICUs and EMS agencies
  • Specialized coursework approved for Kansas by BEMS
  • Partnerships enabling smooth transition into open local & regional paramedic jobs

Offering a springboard into essential rural paramedic roles, PCC excels steering skilled graduates into community health jobs.

Through extensive employer connections, both Hutchinson CC and Pratt CC excel transitioning graduates into regional paramedic jobs where shortages are most pressing – showcasing aligned missions improving public health through education.

This expert analysis only scratches the surface of the quality options in the Wichita area for paramedic training. Students exploring this growing healthcare career enjoy many college pathways offering hands-on education, clinical practice, and employer partnerships for securing jobs after graduation.

Individual motivations and background should determine program selections. Yet based on the outcomes indicators and specialized alignments outlined here, Wichita State University and Wichita Area Technical College rise to the top as the #1 and #2 paramedic programs in the region respectively.

With high job placement rates, accredited curricula, simulation laboratory investments, passionate veteran instructors, and employer-validated career competencies, graduates from these exceptional programs enter emergency medical fields equipped to excel as compassionate first responders saving lives.

Sources: Kansas Department of Labor market data, Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services (BEMS) industry reports, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) outcomes metrics

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