MCHENRY — Garrett College’s associate of applied science degree in paramedic studies — which offers emergency medical professionals the opportunity to earn 30 credits for their national certification — was recently approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

MHEC also awarded the paramedic studies program the Health Manpower Shortage designation as part of the approval process.

“The MHEC designation recognizes that this program provides a key tool in addressing a statewide challenge,” said Richard Midcap, Garrett College president. “It reinforces the rationale we had for creating this program — to develop a cadre of trained emergency services professionals for the region.”

As a statewide and Health Manpower program, students from across Maryland can attend Garrett College at the in-county tuition rate. The state reimburses the college for the difference between the in-county and out-of-county tuition rate.

Midcap said the program was jointly designed by the Academic Affairs Division and Continuing Education and Workforce Development Division.

Continuing Education and Workforce Development already provided coursework to prepare students for the national registered paramedic exam.

Doug Beitzel, Advanced Life Support program coordinator, said the new degree will be valuable for emergency medical professionals who want to advance in their careers.

“The AAS degree will help emergency medical professionals who hope to move into EMS management positions,” said Beitzel, a former flight medic who has nearly two decades’ experience as a paramedic and professional firefighter.

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