Respiratory Care

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)


Prepare to earn the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential sought by employers.

For the past three years, more than 70% of graduates have gained employment.

Leader in the field: Established in 1975, one of the first fully accredited RC programs in the region.*


As a Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP) you’ll evaluate, treat and care for patients of all ages with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. A day in the life of an RC might include:

  • Interviewing patients and performing cardiopulmonary exams.
  • Performing and evaluating diagnostic tests to identify cardiopulmonary disorders.
  • Determining the type of therapy needed for the patient’s condition and consulting with physicians to recommend changes in therapy.
  • Managing ventilators and artificial airways for patients who cannot breathe normally on their own.
  • Responding to Code Blue calls and performing Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).
  • Educating patients and families about lung disease.

The RC program includes up to 800 hours of clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed respiratory care practitioner.

  • STLCC  has clinical contracts with many facilities in the St. Louis area, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Saint Louis University, Mercy Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, SSM Cardinal Glennon, and many more.
  • Clinical rotations include adult general floor care, adult intensive care, neonatal and pediatrics, long-term care, and specialty rotations such as pulmonary function testing, bronchoscopies, and emergency departments.

Small class size: Each year 25 students who meet the application requirements are accepted on a first come/first serve basis.

More than one million students have attended STLCC. It’s the largest institute of higher education in the region and the second largest in Missouri.

To find out if STLCC is right for you, we invite you to visit. You can meet with one of our faculty members, tour the campus, and get answers to any questions you might have. Click Here


According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics the rate of employment for respiratory care practitioners is expected to increase because of the aging population as well as the expanding role of respiratory care practitioners in the early detection of pulmonary disorders, case management, disease prevention and emergency care.

RCPs with cardiopulmonary care skills or experience working with infants are likely to face the most favorable job opportunities.

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Physician’s Offices
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Home Care Agencies
  • Schools
  • Equipment Sales and Marketing
Job Resources

  • For information on the job outlook, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and search specific job titles. Also available: information on median pay, entry-level education, number of jobs and more.
  • To learn about the top openings in specific cities across Missouri visit the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
  • STLCC Career and Employment Services (CES): On each campus CES offices provide services and resources to assist students and alumni in finding full-time or part-time, on-campus or off-campus, internship or co-op, permanent, seasonal or temporary employment. CES also assists employers who are looking for qualified applicants. Click Here


Please visit for the most current information. Additional fees apply to some courses. Fees are subject to change.

  • St. Louis Community College provides a comprehensive financial aid program funded by federal, state and private agencies. Read More
  • STLCC provides a Net Price Calculator to help students estimate costs. Read More
  • For information on STLCC Scholarships Read More
  • For this program specific clothing and supplies are required in lab and clinical settings. Hospitals and other facilities require current health insurance, the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, a criminal background check, drug test, health screen, and immunizations (at the students’ expense) prior to placement in a clinical setting. Within the program students must obtain the American Heart Association’s Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification (at the student’s expense) prior to graduation.
  • Students who do not complete these requirements are prohibited from participating in the clinical or field experience, thus rending the student ineligible to satisfactorily meet the course/program requirements. For additional information please meet with an STLCC advisor.
  • FAFSA Apply online

Lindsay Fox, M.Ed., RRT-NPS,
Program Director/ Assistant Professor
Phone: 314-644-9079
Joeseph Fackelman
Assistant Professor
Phone: 314-644-9230
Oscar Schwartz M.D.
Medical Director


Respiratory Care (AAS) 78-79 Credits

Program total 78-79 credits
I. Career General Education 32-33 credits
ENG:101 College Composition I 3
ENG:102 College Composition II 3
MTH:124 Technical Mathematics I or higher 3-4
CHM:101 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 5
BIO:203 General Microbiology 4
BIO:207 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIO:208 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
XXX:xxx Missouri State Requirement 3
PSY:200 General Psychology 3
II. Physical Education Activity 2 credits
III. Area of Concentration 44 credits
RTH:120 Introduction to Respiratory Care and Respiratory Physics 5
RTH:121 Orientation to the Hospital 2
RTH:125 Airway Management 3
RTH:126 Introduction to Mechanical Ventilation 3
RTH:127 Respiratory Pharmacology 2
RTH:128 Arterial Blood Gases 2
RTH:131 Pediatric Respiratory Care 3
RTH:140 Respiratory Care Clinical I 1
RTH:146 Clinical Level II 3
RTH:220 Pulmonary Pathophysiology 3
RTH:221 Critical Care Monitoring 2
RTH:222 Cardiopulmonary Physiology 2
RTH:223 Mechanical Ventilation: A Clinical Approach 4
RTH:225 Pulmonary Function Testing 3
RTH:228 N.B.R.C. Review 2
RTH:240 Respiratory Care Clinical III 2
RTH:245 Respiratory Care Clinical IV 2

Applying to the Respiratory Care Program: STLCC’s Respiratory Care program is a selective admission, college level program.

  • The curriculum requires two full academic years and the intervening summer.
  • Upon completion of the program, students will graduate with an Associate’s in Applied Science in Respiratory Care.
  • Students are encouraged to take as many general education courses as possible PRIOR to starting the first respiratory care courses that start in the fall semester.

Academic Advising: Prior to application, students must meet with an academic advisor to help plan courses, clarify program requirements and review your academic history as it relates to this program.

Admission Requirements

  1. All applicants must be admitted to St. Louis Community College
  2. To place an application, all applicants must complete the following courses with a “C” or better and within five years of the application date:
  • CHM:101 Fundamentals of Chemistry I (5 Credits)
  • BIO:207 Anatomy & Physiology I (4 Credits)
  • MTH:124 Technical Math I or higher (3 Credits)
  1. To place an application, all applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher must be maintained while awaiting admission as well as throughout the program.
  2. All applicants must complete a criminal background check and drug screen through a college-approved background screening company prior to the beginning of the fall semester of admission.  Students not passing the criminal background check and/or drug screen may be prohibited from participating in clinical education.  This will prevent the student from being able to fulfill all program requirements for graduation.

Admission Process
Applications for the program are accepted on a continuing basis. Students being offered fall program admission will be notified via their email by the end of March.  To secure their seat, students must reply to this email with their intentions to start the program in the fall.  Failure to respond to this email by the deadline given will result in removal from the list.

Applicants entering in the fall semester must attend a mandatory orientation session that will be held in June.

  • Information about the orientation will be sent via the student’s email.
  • Once students complete the mandatory orientation, their curriculum will be changed in the Admissions Office and they will be allowed to register for fall respiratory care classes.
  • Eligible applicants not admitted due to space availability will remain on the alternate list and will receive notification via their email with a request to reply with their intentions to continue to be considered for admission to the program in the future.  Failure to respond to this email by the deadline given will result in removal from the list.


*The Respiratory Care program is fully accredited as an entry-level program by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) (Link to, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835.

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care offers an annual report on the comparative success of all accredited programs nationwide. Called Outcomes data, you can view the Annual Report of Current Status posted on the CoARC website.

Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented. Programmatic outcomes data reported on the CoARC website include:

  • 3-year time period being reported
  • CRT credentialing success
  • RRT credentialing success
  • Achievement of the high cut score on the TMC Exam (beginning 2018)
  • Retention (Attrition)
  • Job placement
  • Overall Graduate Satisfaction
  • Overall Employer Satisfaction
  • On-time Graduation Rate
  • Total number of program enrollees
  • Total number of program graduates
  • Maximum Annual Enrollment


STLCC’s Respiratory Care Advisory Board brings together top industry professionals. Advisory Board members serve for two year terms, and the STLCC faculty works hand-in-hand with this elite group to evaluate and update our curriculum, stay up-to-date on the latest innovations, and promote networking.


The Respiratory Care program is offered at our Forest Park campus. Students may take general education classes toward this degree at any of our four campuses, our five education centers, and online.


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