Purpose: This study was a non-experimental evaluative study designed to identify the effects of instructor-to-student ratios, academic preparation, and selective admissions processes on retention rates among CAAHEP accredited paramedic training programs in the United States. Methods: Self-reported data from accredited program directors was analyzed to identify what relationships, if any, existed among the variables. Results: Results showed no effect of instructor-to-student ratios or academic preparation on retention rates. However, those programs that utilized selective admissions processes reported a statistically significantly higher student retention rate when compared to those that did not. Conclusions: Paramedic programs seeking to improve retention rates should consider utilizing a selective admissions process.

Author Bio(s)

Justin G. Tilghman, PhD, CEM, EMTP, is the Dean of Workforce Development and Public Safety at Lenoir Community College in Kinston, NC. He is also a certified Paramedic in the state of North Carolina.


The author wishes to thank the CoAEMSP for permission to use program records and for technical assistance. The analysis and opinions contained in the manuscript are those of the author. All compilations of data from the records made available were prepared by the author who are solely responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the compilations. CoAEMSP is not party to nor does it sponsor or endorse the conclusions or discussions in the manuscript.




Submission Location


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