Credential As You Go Organization Case Study

Emergency Medical Science Associate’s Degree (A.A.S) Bridging Option

Caldwell Community College

Credential Title

Emergency Medical Science Associate's Degree (A.A.S) Bridging Option

Credential Level


Academic Program

Emergency Medical Science

Stage of Development


Credit/Non-credit # of credits (if credit bearing)

45 credits

Length of Credential

78 weeks

Types of Partnerships


Incremental Credentialing Framework Approaches

Specialize As You Go
Stack As You Go
Transfer As You Go


Top Competencies/Learning Outcomes

  • Prepare competent entry-level Paramedics in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), affective (behavior) learning domains
  • Prepare individuals with or without exit points at the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Technician, and/or Emergency Medical Responder levels.

Credential Components

45 credits awarded through PLA (EMT Certification) and 27 hours in identified courses to complete degree.

Why the Credential was Developed

This program:

  • The EMS program works closely with our local EMS agencies and there have been multiple requests for an Associates Degree to accompany the Paramedic certification.
  • Students with an Associates Degree have a greater chance of promotion in the EMS field than students who do not have a degree.
  • The EMS agencies are in dire need of Paramedics and this degree better prepares future medics for their careers.
  • This credential creates a more well-rounded and future-ready Paramedic. It also helps draw students who want to become Paramedics, but also desires a higher-education degree. They can achieve both of these in one program instead of having to gain a degree in another field.

How the Credential was Developed

  • This credential was developed with input from the EMS director, dean, and vice-president. The North Carolina Community College system had to approve the credential.
  • For students who complete the credential, we have 100% job placement for those students. The credential is posted on the college website as an option for students pursuing a Paramedic certification.

The Targeted Learners

  • Our goal is to target students who want to achieve their Paramedic certification as well as an Associates degree.
  • We also want to target students who are already Paramedics who want to earn and Associates degree to help with promotions and advancement in their jobs.
  • This credential has been advertised with all local EMS agencies and they are actively promoting it to their employees. It is also posted on the college website.

Lessons Learned

  • The process took much longer to process than anticipated to ensure the quality and integrity of the program.

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes

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