Peyton Sullivan County EMSedit

Following a bachelor’s degree with a community college education helped this paramedic reach his career goals

A quality education comes in many shapes and sizes. For some, that means living on campus at a four-year school and for others, it’s attending their local community college. Peyton Stallard happened to do both, securing a new job after earning a second education at Mountain Empire Community College.

Peyton Stallard

While earning his bachelor’s degree, Stallard served as a junior member at his local rescue squad, a part-time gig that would soon become his full-time career.

Right after graduating from high school, Stallard attended Liberty University where he played football for the college before transferring to UVA Wise where he completed a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. During his senior year at Wise, he decided treating patients and helping people in his local community would be the career path he’d choose to pursue. Stallard inquired about several FastForward and other paramedic courses at Mountain Empire. Once completing his FastForward credential, he then enrolled in the EMT Technology program and in May 2021, Stallard completed an associate degree and passed the National Registry exam as a paramedic.

“When I was in high school, I always wanted to play college football, but soon learned that was not the environment for me,” Stallard said. “After wrapping up my bachelor’s, I went back to community college where I felt I received a better education. Because the teacher to student ratio was much smaller, I was able to receive hands-on support. Plus, a lot of my instructors are locals, which added a personable element and ‘hometown experience.’”

The program and courses Stallard completed ensured he would be hired after graduation, and two weeks post commencement, he was hired at Sullivan County EMS.

“A word of advice to anyone about to graduate high school or those looking to go back to school, don’t snub your nose at community college. Mountain Empire has amazing instructors who also have other professions, meaning they’re knowledgeable and experienced. They’re good at their job.”

If you’re thinking about going back to school, or enrolling for the first time, but don’t know where to start, contact your local career coach today. They’ll help you to discover your strengths and interests to determine the right career path for you. 

Feature image credit: Sullivan County EMS