(TNS) — RICHMOND, Ky. — Officials with Eastern Kentucky University's Department of Paramedicine on Thursday announced the launch of a hybrid paramedic program, the only one in Kentucky, in January 2017.

"This program will combine the best of technology and the expertise of the nationally known EKU faculty to make it possible for EMTs who might not be able to gain the advanced education that they need," said program director Bill Young.

Students who complete the program will be fully eligible for financial aid in the form of federal and state grants as well as low-cost subsidized federal loans to help cover the cost of tuition.

In addition, depending upon where they work, graduates of the program may be able to apply for loan forgiveness through a federally operated program.

"All students who complete the program will graduate with either an associate or bachelor's degree, depending upon the point at which they wish to finish," Young said. It has been shown college graduates can expect to make more money over the course of their lifetime.

Students who are accepted will receive all recorded lectures via the Internet. That will enable them to watch the videos at a time convenient for them.

For the first year, all students will be required to attend on campus for one-half day per month.  That will increase to two full days each month during the second year.  This will enable the accepted students to work in the lab learning lifesaving skills.

Additional regional information meetings to answer questions are planned for the fall.

©2016 The Daily Independent (Ashland, Ky.), distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.