Respiratory Care

Associate Degree

About the Program

Respiratory Care is a health specialty relating to the diagnosis, treatment, preventive and rehabilitative care of individuals suffering from deficiencies, diseases and abnormalities affecting the process of breathing. They are trained to be members of the highly technical life support teams, patient educators and rehabilitation specialists. The Respiratory Care curriculum has a variety of program options sequenced to offer the student the greatest flexibility in achieving their career goals. While the programs are listed separately, they are actually combined in a unique sequencing format. They can be taken in phases. Students may enter at any time into Phase I (Pre-Respiratory Care Certificate), which includes all the general education and related courses (English, math, anatomy and physiology, integrated science, etc.) required by the curriculum. The student can take all or part of these courses prior to taking the professional courses. The student determines the length of time they want to spend in this phase before moving into the next phase (Phase II).

Phase II may be started only in the fall semester and completes the technical or professional training. Here, students study respiratory care procedures and concepts in class, laboratory and clinical facilities. The curriculum blends classroom, laboratory and hospital experience. Much of the time is spent in supervised patient-care learning while working with physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other members of the health care team at clinical sites.

The Respiratory Care program is accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care

​1248 Hardwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021-4244

For more information regarding programmatic outcomes click here.

Students graduating from the Respiratory Care program are eligible to take the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) Therapist Multiple Choice Examination and the Clinical Simulation Examination given by the NBRC. Upon successful completion of these registry examinations, graduates are designated as Registered Respiratory Therapists. Graduates from the program are eligible to apply to the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners for state licensing.

Learning experiences for students in the Respiratory Care Therapy Degree Program are provided in classrooms and pre-clinical laboratories on the Airport Campus in the Academic Center. Additional pre-clinical learning takes place in a simulation lab in Lexington Hall. Required clinical experiences (externships/internships) are arranged through affiliations with local hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Respiratory Care Program Goals

The Student Should Be Able To:

  1. Demonstrate the appropriate knowledge and clinical skills in class, lab and clinical settings
  2. Possess and demonstrate professional characteristics and caring attributes
  3. Demonstrate problem solving and effective communication skills
  4. Affirm the value of lifelong learning
  5. Promote community health by working in collaboration with other professionals and agencies to provide health education to influence community behavior
  6. Be a participating citizen of your community

Special Requirements

Students in the program are required to purchase and maintain two monogrammed uniforms, two lab coats, white shoes, stethoscope and a watch at an approximate cost of $225.

Students are required to join the professional association (AARC) at the student rate of $50 and attend some workshops and scheduled professional meetings at their own expense (approximately

Students must earn at least a “B” in BIO 112 on the first attempt. Students must attain a grade of at least a “C” in all other respiratory care, mathematics and science courses to successfully complete the program. Students may not repeat mathematics, science and/or major courses more than once and are permitted to repeat no more than two different curriculum courses.

In addition to the college’s placement test and the admissions requirements of the Health Sciences department, specific eligibility and admissions criteria to the Respiratory Care program are:

Pre-Application Considerations

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • High school or college credits in mathematics/science (algebra, chemistry, physics or biology) recommended

Acceptable Eligibility Criteria

(one or more of the following):

  • ACCUPLACER NEXT-GEN: reading 250; arithmetic 250; QAS 250; AAF 2387;
  • TEAS V: Composite 60 (reading 70, mathematics 68, science 47) and placement into ENG 101; and a minimum grade of “B” on the first attempt in BIO 112 or in an equivalent course; or
  • SAT: Composite 1080, EBRW 500; math 580; and placement into ENG 101; “B” on the first attempt in BIO 112 or in an equivalent course; or
  • ACT 19 (minimum verbal 18 and mathematics 23) and placement into ENG 101; and a minimum grade of “B” on the first attempt in BIO 112 or in an equivalent course; or
  • Associate degree or higher and a minimum grade of “B” on the first attempt in BIO 112 or in an equivalent course.

Acceptable Admissions Criteria

  • Hospital observation as notified by the Admissions Office.
  • Successful program interview scheduled after completion of the hospital observation
  • Health form completed and turned in prior to start of first semester of classes
  • Acceptable criminal background check and drug screening results
  • First aid and CPR Certificates A Community and Basic Life Support CPR for Adults and Children certificate from the American Red Cross or Heart Association is due before entry into the first respiratory class and must be current (within 3 months of starting the program)

Individual evaluations may be given to applicants who do not meet all of the above criteria. Students must have a clinical observation before being interviewed.

Merit Admissions

A merit admission opportunity is available for highly qualified applicants. Click here for merit admissions FAQs. Click here for merit admissions checklist. 

The merit application submission deadline for Fall 2020 is May 29, 2020.


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