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People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of paramedics. Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, slips and falls, childbirth, and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention. Paramedics provide this vital service as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility. It’s an important and worthwhile career. WDTC can help you get there.

Are you interested in our Paramedic Degree Program?

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Degree Description

The Paramedic student will experience training that entails didactic experience and a vigorous and stringent clinical program that will produce a pre-hospital caregiver that will meet the demands of society.

At the end of the paramedic training and education the successful candidate will have the following: American Heart Association (AHA) – Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS); National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) – Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) as well as Advanced Medical Life Support (AMLS). These courses aid in the successful candidate’s approach to the national certification exam that will allow them to obtain the title of Paramedic.

This program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 9355 - 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775. For more information on accreditation, click here.

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Application Process

1. Complete Western Dakota Technical College Admissions Application
2. Complete the ACCUPLACER test ($15 fee)
3. Schedule your Admissions Advising Session
4. Provide an official copy of a High School transcript or GED scores. If you graduated from an international high school, you must submit your transcript to Educational Credential Evaluators to determine U.S. equivalence. Additionally, an official transcript must be submitted if you have attended other post-secondary institutions or universities.
5. Submit Immunization Records verifying two doses of MMR vaccinations
6. Once you receive your acceptance letter, schedule a time to register for classes

The ACCUPLACER test will be waived if you have an ACT sub-score of 18 or better in English, Math, and Reading.  To waive the ACCUPLACER with SAT scores a student will need a 500 on the MATH subsection of ACT and a composite of 970 to waive Writing and Reading. To place into MATH 114 a student will need a 520 on the MATH subsection.  

Please call 605-718-2565 to make an appointment.

To continue into Paramedic (EMS) technical courses, students must submit the following to:

Western Dakota Technical College
Attn: Mary Grassrope, Program Director
800 Mickelson Dr.
Rapid City, SD 57703

1. Provide a copy of current NREMT certification*

2. Complete a background check through, enter WF74 for the package code. There is a $50.00 fee to submit your background request. Results will be sent directly to WDT. (The background check is for WDT purposes only. WDT does not interpret background checks on behalf of the SDBMOE, and therefore, cannot guarantee students that they will meet the standards of the Board for a Paramedic license.)

3. Provide a copy of current American Heart Association Healthcare Provider BLS CPR certification*

4. Provide proof of student status from the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners*
(If you have a felony or a misdemeanor, this may prevent you from obtaining student status. We advise you to appeal to the State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners Office for a decision early in your program so you are fully informed of whether or not you will be able to complete the Paramedic Program. or 605-367-7781)

5. Provide a copy of immunization records (Hepatitis B Series, annual TB Test and annual Flu Shot)*

6. Anatomy and Physiology (HC114) and Medical Terminology (HC213) must be completed prior to enrolling in any EMS course* except EMS101.

*Students must use an approved WDTC testing site and are responsible for additional costs.

The program director will assist students with any clinical or internship site requirements.

Note: If you are or have been convicted, pleaded guilty or no contest to, or received a suspended imposition of sentence for a felony or certain misdemeanors, you are advised that you may not be able to complete all course requirements for your chosen program, you may be prevented from taking required certification/licensure examinations in your chosen program field, and you may be prevented from gaining employment in your program field.

If you are not a resident in the state of South Dakota, please be aware that licensing requirements vary from state to state. It is your responsibility to determine if your Paramedic testing results and status are valid in your state of residence, or the state in which you plan to practice as a paramedic.

Students that sit out for a spring or fall semester or longer, will return under a new Catalog and may be required to repeat courses or successfully complete new or revised skills or competency assessments. Before readmittance, the program may need to determine if a student is eligible to continue in technical courses. Program sequencing and cohort size may prevent enrollment in technical courses.

Clinicals, practicums, and internships may include, but are not limited to, differential shifts (evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays) to meet industry expectations. This may require travel outside the Rapid City Area.

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Career Description

In an emergency, paramedics are typically dispatched by a 911 operator to the scene, where they often work with police and firefighters. Once they arrive, paramedics assess the nature of the patient’s condition while trying to determine whether the patient has any pre-existing medical conditions. Following medical protocols and guidelines, they provide appropriate emergency care and, when necessary, transport the patient. Some paramedics are trained to treat patients with minor injuries on the scene of an accident or they may treat them at their home without transporting them to a medical facility. Emergency treatment is carried out under the medical direction of physicians.

Paramedics may use special equipment, such as cardiac monitors to interpret a patient’s heart rhythm as well as backboards to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility after they have suffered from a medical emergency or traumatic event. These workers generally work in teams. During the transport of a patient, one paramedic drives while the other monitors the patient’s vital signs and gives advanced prehospital care as needed. Some paramedics work as part of a helicopter’s flight crew to transport critically ill or injured patients to hospital trauma centers from remote locations.

At the medical facility, paramedics help transfer patients to the emergency department, report their observations and actions to emergency department staff, and may provide additional emergency treatment. After each run, paramedics replace used supplies and check equipment and complete important patient care reports for the emergency physicians. If a transported patient had a contagious disease, paramedics take extra time to safely decontaminate the interior of the ambulance and report cases to the proper authorities.

Paramedics also provide transportation for patients from one medical facility to another, particularly if they work for private ambulance services. Patients often need to be transferred to a hospital that specializes in their injury or illness or to a nursing home. This may be around the block or across the nation.

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Licensure and Certification

Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. If you are not planning to locate and work in South Dakota and are considering an academic program that leads to a professional license or certification, it is highly recommended that you first seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in the state you plan to work before beginning the academic program. If you need assistance locating a state licensing agency, please contact the Vice President for Teaching and Learning: or 605.718.2905.

Current as of May 22, 2024:

  1. The program curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states: AK, AL, American Samoa, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, Guam, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, MD, ME, MI, The Federated States of Micronesia, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, The Republic of Palau, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, The Virgin Islands, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
  2. The program curriculum does not meet educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states: 
  3. WDT has not determined whether the program curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification in the following states:  

Virtual Tour Paramedic Lab

Take the Virtual Tour Now Next, schedule an on-campus tour and receive a FREE WDTC T-Shirt when you arrive.

General Education EMT

After Earning Your Degree

The job outlook of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030 - faster than the average for all occupations. Emergencies, such as car crashes, natural disasters, and acts of violence, will continue to create demand for EMTs and paramedics.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2023, the average wage in western South Dakota was $51,160.
Preceptor Training

Meet Your Faculty

Western Dakota Technical College has a low student-to-faculty ratio, meaning more one-on-one learning. Individual attention from your professor can make your college experience more fulfilling.

  • Mary Grassrope

  • Michael Elston, M.D.

  • Marquis Trujillo

Financial Aid

Continuing your education is crucial and Western Dakota Technical College wants to make sure that any student who wants to attend school, has the opportunity to do so. For this reason, WDTC is dedicated to administering the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV Financial Assistance Program fair and consistently to anyone who needs it.

Build Dakota Scholarships

The Build Dakota Scholarship at Western Dakota Technical College will pay all your tuition and fees and prepare you for a career that is in-demand and growing in South Dakota. Build Dakota Scholarships will be awarded to students entering high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes to fill the state’s technical careers with skilled professionals.

Student Housing

Finding affordable housing during school can be a challenge for students. Western Dakota Technical College currently does not have on-campus housing, but partners with a Rapid City VRBO to offer a limited number of apartments for full-time students in the fall and spring semesters.

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Child Care

Finding child care during school is a challenge for many students. Western Dakota Technical College currently does not offer on-campus child care, but here are some resources that may help you in your search.

Youth & Family Services is an organization dedicated to helping children in Western South Dakota. They offer a variety of services, including child care at multiple locations.

The Y of Rapid City offers child care and other services.

Disclaimer: Western Dakota Technical College provides these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation, endorsement or adoption by Western Dakota Technical College of any site or any information contained therein. When you leave, you should be aware that our terms and policies no longer govern. Western Dakota Technical College makes no claim or representation regarding, and accepts no responsibility for, the quality, content, nature or reliability of third-party websites or vendors.

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