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Respiratory Therapy

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    Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
  • Overviews


    Associate in Applied Science Degree in Respiratory Therapy is a 78- to 79-credit-hour program that prepares students for positions as respiratory therapists. Students learn to administer treatments or conduct tests on patients with lung and heart alignments, as ordered by a physician.

    The program’s goal is to prepare competent, safe, and professional, registry-eligible respiratory therapists. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), as an advanced-level program.

    Graduates are qualified for positions in hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, education, equipment sales and marketing.

    The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job opportunities are expected to be favorable, especially for respiratory therapists with cardiopulmonary care skills or experience working with infants. In addition, the rate of employment for respiratory therapists is expected to increase faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014 because of the aging population as well as the expanding role of respiratory therapists in the early detection of pulmonary disorders, case management, disease prevention and emergency care.

    Persons interested in respiratory therapy should be:

    • Team oriented, compassionate individuals who derive satisfaction from helping others in time of crisis
    • Able to tolerate moderate physical activity, long hours of standing and work efficiently under stress


    Academic Advising
    Prior to application, students must meet with an academic advisor to help plan courses, clarify program requirements and review the student’s academic history.  [ADD LINK TO ADVISING?]

    Admission Requirements

    1. All applicants must be admitted to St. Louis Community College
    2. All applicants must complete the following courses with a “C” or better and within the past five years before applying for acceptance into the Respiratory Therapy program:
      • CHM: 101 Fundamentals of Chemistry I (5 credits)
      • BIO:207 Anatomy & Physiology I (4 credits)
      • MTH:124 Technical Mathematics I or higher (3 credits)
    3. Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
    4. 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.  The student will be responsible for the cost of the background check and drug screen.  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 complete all program requirements for graduation.

     Admission Process
    Applications for the program are accepted on a continuing basis from eligible applicants in Admissions and Registration on the Forest Park campus.

    Students being offered fall program admission will be notified by mail by the end of March.

    Applicants entering in the fall semester must attend a mandatory orientation session that will be held in June. The specific date, time and location of the orientation will be included in the admissions letter. Following the orientation, students immediately begin the background check, drug screen, health screen, and immunization tracking process.

    Eligible applicants not admitted due to space availability will remain on the alternate list and will receive a letter in the fall requesting the student to reply with their intentions to continue to be considered for admission to the program. Failure to respond to this letter by the deadline given will result in removal from the waiting list.

    Request curriculum change in the Admissions Office once all requirements are met for this program.


    Mission Statement
    The Respiratory Therapy program functions under the organization of St. Louis Community College and therefore adheres to the mission statement of the college – to expand minds and change lives.

    The Respiratory Therapy program is designed to provide a strong foundation in the technical application and theories of respiratory therapy as well as fundamental knowledge in liberal arts and basic science.  The mission of the program is to graduate students with the Standards of an Accredited Educational Program for the Entry into Respiratory Care Professional Practice from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).  These standards can be found at

    Program Goal and Learning Outcomes
    The overall goal of the Respiratory Care program is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

    Cognitive Domain
    Upon completion of the program, the student will…

    • evaluate data in the patient record.
    • gather and evaluate clinical data through a patient interview and patient assessment.
    • recommend diagnostic procedures and evaluate the results.
    • ensure modifications are made to the respiratory care plan using evidence-based medicine principles.

    Psychomotor Domain
    Upon completion of the program, the student will…

    • perform procedures to gather clinical information and evaluate the results.
    • assemble and troubleshoot respiratory therapy equipment.
    • ensure infection control.
    • perform quality control procedures.
    • maintain a patent airway, including the care of artificial airways.
    • perform airway clearance and lung expansion techniques.
    • support a patient’s oxygenation and ventilation.
    • administer medications and specialty gases.
    • provide respiratory care techniques in high-risk situations.
    • assist a physician / provider in performing procedures.
    • initiate and conduct patient and family education. 

    Affective Domain
    Upon completion of the program, the student will….

    • effectively communicate in both oral and written formats.
    • function effectively as a member of the healthcare team, contribute to a positive environment, and work effectively with supervisory personnel.
    • demonstrate self-direction and manage time effectively.
    • arrive on time and be prepared.
    • demonstrate respect for beliefs and values of all persons regardless of cultural background, religion, age or lifestyle.
  • Career Opportunities


    Job Resources

    • For information on the job outlook in the respiratory therapy profession, 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.
    • For specific real-time information on wages and job prospects in the STLCC region, visit STLCC Career Coach.
  • Estimated Expenses & Financial Aid


    Tuition: 78-79 credits total

    • 34-35 General Education
    • 44 Respiratory Therapy

    In-District: $101/hr

    Out-of-district: $147/hr

    Out-of-state: $202/hr

    International: $212/hr

    Respiratory Program Textbooks:

    $1000 for the length of the program

    Supplies: $300-350

    • Lab coat, scrubs, stethoscope, personal protective equipment, watch with second hand

    Ancillary Fees:

    Criminal Background Check: $35-100 (*varies with the number of residences)

    Drug Test: $30-50

    Physical Exam: Price will vary

    Seasonal flu shot (annually): Price will vary

    PPD (annually): Price will vary

    BLS Course at STLCC: $69

    ACLS Course: $250-300

    DataARC License: $80

  • Faculty

    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

  • Program Curriculum


    Respiratory Therapy (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
    Recommended Academic Plan (CP) Check the Recommended Academic Plan, or RAP, for the suggested semester-by-semester course schedule. This map is designed to help keep you on track for a timely graduation.
  • Resources


    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 2011 Annual Report of Current Status posted on the CoARC website.

    National Agencies:

  • Additional Information


    The Respiratory Therapy 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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