Publish Date: 1-20-2015, 14:55 p.m.

Crafton Hills College is poised to address an emerging demand in the health care and public safety fields by offering a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Services and Allied Health Systems.

Last fall, with the passage of Senate Bill 850 (Block-San Diego), California Community Colleges (CCC) were offered the opportunity to apply for participation in a baccalaureate degree pilot program. Fifteen colleges were selected by the Board of Governors to participate, offering bachelor’s degrees that respond to existing and emerging workforce needs in their communities.

According to the Chancellor’s Office, considerations for selecting a district included geographic distribution of the pilot programs, diversity of pilot programs, ability of the district to establish a rigorous program in their proposed field and that the proposed program will meet an unaddressed local or statewide workforce need.

"In addition to our instructional expertise and excellent rate of job placement in our Public Safety and Allied Health programs, we have a new facility opening in 2015 that will accommodate this new program. The Public Safety and Allied Health Building will include a state-of-the-art simulation center that gives our students hands-on experience in their chosen field," says Dr. Cheryl Marshall, president. "With our exceptional faculty, history of success in emergency services and allied health, and a new facility that affords the latest training needs, we are exceptionally qualified to serve as a pilot program for this innovative bachelor’s degree."

Under the law the four-year degree programs must be up and running by at least the 2017-18 academic year, however, districts may start their programs by the fall 2015 semester.  Districts must also seek approval from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to start a program.

The B.A. in Emergency Services and Allied Health Systems will prepare technically licensed individuals to fill known gaps and to manage unpredictable points in the health system such as bed delay, shortage of after care providers, handling outbreaks of communicable and potentially fatal diseases, and the need for cross-functional care teams.

"This innovative program is necessary as EMS continues to grow in size, influence and breadth," says Daved Van Stralen, M.D., medical director of the Riverside EMS Agency.  Tom Lynch, EMS administrator with the Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency, agreed, "The program would be invaluable in developing the future emergency management and allied health leadership in these two critical disciplines. It will help fill a huge educational void in these professions due to the lack of similar programs in the region," he said.

Students in the program would pay $46 a unit for lower-division classes and $84 a unit for upper-division classes, with the bachelor’s degree costing about $10,000.

Thirty-four CCC districts submitted an interest form to the Chancellor's Office to participate in the pilot. The complete list of approved colleges and summaries of their programs are available here.

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