Penn College Paramedic Program Trains Oil-Company Employees
Representatives from Houston-based Aramco Services Company, which provides support for the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), toured Pennsylvania College of Technology recently to learn more about the educational opportunities the College can offer to the company's employees.
Penn College has provided paramedic training for Saudi Aramco-sponsored students for the past four years.
"When they (Aramco Services Company representatives) came to visit recently, we introduced them to several other majors on campus and presented them with the possibility of sending students here for those programs, as well," said Bambi A. Hawkins, interim director of the Paramedic Program.
In addition to the School of Health Sciences, Aramco Services Company representatives E. Gary Vanca, supervisor of the company's Career Development Division, and Adnan S. Jamal, industrial relations adviser of its Saudi Academic Unit, explored the schools of Business and Computer Technologies and Industrial and Engineering Technologies.
"They expressed great pleasure at what they saw," said Dr. Deborah A. Wilson, dean of health sciences at Penn College, who said the partnership with Aramco Services Company has been positive for the College.
The first group of six students arrived at Penn College in November 2000 to receive Pre-Paramedic Program instruction. The Saudi Aramco students take such courses as English as a second language for about nine months and, ideally, enter the Paramedic curriculum with the other incoming students the following August.
The first six students graduated in August 2003, with one of the students, Mohammed Al Mohammed Saleh, receiving three awards. He was also inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year programs, and received Dean's List honors.
Another Saudi Aramco-sponsored student, Hussain S. Al Musa, graduated with the Class of 2004 in August and received two Student Achievement Awards.
Once they earn their associate's degrees from Penn College, the Saudi Aramco-sponsored students work as paramedics in the emergency room of Saudi Aramco's 500-bed facility in Saudi Arabia.
The partnership between Aramco Services Company and Penn College was forged when the company was considering moving its students from a college in the Midwest. Aramco Services Company searched the Web for paramedic programs with associate's degrees and found Penn College. James F. Finkler, annual giving officer, then facilitated a visit by Aramco Services Company personnel to Penn College.
"They were impressed with our facilities and chose to send their students here," Hawkins said.