Admission to the Program and Suggested Potential Prerequisites
Admission to Clarion's respiratory care program is available to individuals who meet the university's standard admission criteria. Admission to the respiratory care program is also contingent upon vacancy in the program. Students are admitted to the program via rolling admission until full capacity is reached. Once the respiratory care program is full for the current year, students will be admitted to the following year's class if he/she remains qualified. Students may also be offered to be put on a waiting list for the current year's class.
The following items, if necessary, are suggested to be completed prior to the start of the respiratory care program:
- Math 050 if necessary, as determined by Clarion's math placement exam
- BIOL 111 (basic biology) if students have not had one year of high school or college biology with a minimum grade of "C" or better within the past 5 years.
- Four documented hours of respiratory care career shadowing with a respiratory therapist. (Career shadowing is coordinated through the Department of Allied Health by contacting Debra Weaver at 814-676-6591, Ext. 1250.)
Students must satisfy the following pre-clinical requirements prior to beginning clinical rotations in May. All pre-clinical requirements are at the student's expense and are subject to change.
Satisfactory physical examination
Child abuse history clearance
Satisfactory results of a screening for illegal drug use
FBI fingerprinting and criminal background clearance
Current Basic Life Support for Health Care Provider (CPR) certification by the American Heart Association
Documentation of health insurance during clinical rotations
Documentation of individual malpractice insurance*
* Students will purchase their own individual malpractice insurance policies in the amount of $1 million ($1,000,000.00) for each claim and $3 million ($3,000,000.00) in the aggregate. Cost of this two-year policy is currently less than $100 but is subject to change.
Only students who have satisfied the above pre-clinical requirements and have completed all science and general education requirements for the respiratory care program will be permitted to start clinical education. Clinical education typically begins each May. All expenses incurred by students for the respiratory care program are non-refundable.
Throughout the 24-month respiratory care program, students will be assigned to various clinical rotations in the region. Considerable travel is required and students must have reliable transportation.
Internal Transfer for Current Clarion Students
Currently enrolled Clarion students who wish to change their major to respiratory care may be admitted to the program if they meet the program's academic requirements for admission for internal transfer students and if there is vacancy in the program.
The program's academic requirements for admission for internal transfer students include a minimum QPA of 2.0 and passing grades in the following required courses that have already been taken: Math 050 (per math placement scores); Math 117; AH 101; AH 201; BIOL 251, 261, 252, and 252; PHSC 111; and BIOL 260.
Current Clarion students who wish to change their major to respiratory care should complete a Change of Status Form and submit it to the School of Nursing and Allied Health. The student will be notified by the Department of Allied Health via the student's Clarion email account if they have been admitted to the respiratory care program. If the student meets the program's academic requirements but there is no vacancy, the student may be placed on a waiting list for the respiratory care program. A student on the program's waiting list could be admitted to the program in the current year should a position become available. If no position becomes available in the current academic year, the student will be admitted to the program the following academic year pending vacancy.
Transfer Information for Students New to Clarion and Advanced Standing
Students who are new to Clarion and are admitted to the respiratory care program must complete a minimum of 30 credits at Venango College of Clarion University regardless of credits that transfer in. Additional transfer guidelines as outlined in the Transfer Policy in the Undergraduate Catalog have been established to provide uniformity of transfer standards.
Transference eligibility of general education credits required for the respiratory care program will be determined by the Office of Admissions in conjunction with the Office of the Registrar.
Transference eligibility of respiratory care credits earned at a college or university other than Clarion University (advanced standing) will be determined according to the following criteria:
Evaluation of respiratory care credits earned elsewhere will be conducted only for individuals who have made formal application to Clarion University’s respiratory care program.
Evaluation of respiratory care courses completed elsewhere will be considered only for credits earned in a respiratory care program that is accredited in good standing by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
Evaluation of respiratory care credits earned elsewhere will be conducted at the discretion of the Department of Allied Health chair and respiratory care faculty.
The student must be able to provide any requested documentation of course work completed elsewhere. Such documentation may include formal transcripts, formal course descriptions, syllabi, copies of examinations, curriculum plans, copies of text books, letters of recommendation or verification from former instructors, or other documentation as deemed necessary by the evaluating faculty. Inability to provide such documentation to the satisfaction of the evaluating faculty will result in denial of credit evaluation and credit transfer.
Evaluation of the student’s affective, cognitive, and psychomotor skills relative to the respiratory care course for which the student is seeking to be awarded transfer credits may be requested at the discretion of the evaluating faculty. This may include written examination, oral examination, clinical simulation examination, and other evaluative mechanisms.
Credit for respiratory care courses completed elsewhere will be awarded only to individuals who have been formally accepted to Clarion University’s respiratory care program and who begin the respiratory care program of study in the fall semester subsequent to the time of acceptance.
Credit granted for respiratory care courses completed elsewhere will be good for a maximum of two years from the time credit was granted unless determined otherwise by the Department of Allied Health chair and respiratory care faculty. Students may be required to re-demonstrate knowledge and proficiency via written examination, oral examination, clinical simulation examination, and other evaluative mechanisms. Failure to demonstrate proficiency may preclude the student from continuing in the respiratory care program.
Free elective credit in respiratory care may be granted for respiratory care credits earned elsewhere at the discretion of the Allied Health chair for students who do not meet the aforementioned criteria. All course work required for the respiratory care program must be completed regardless of whether free elective credit in respiratory care is awarded.
Credit for prior work in the field of respiratory care will not be accepted in lieu of required respiratory care courses.
Technical Standards/Functional Abilities Requirement
In addition to being admitted to Clarion University by meeting academic standards, applicants to the respiratory care program must also meet technical standards. Technical standards are the physical, cognitive, and behavioral requirements of the respiratory care program’s curriculum and reflect the functional abilities necessary to practice as a safe and effective respiratory therapist. For detailed information on the technical standards, for Clarion's respiratory care program, click here.
Criminal Background Clearances and Eligibility for NBRC Examinations and State Licensure
Respiratory therapists must practice the profession of respiratory care in a safe and competent manner. Certain types of criminal activity give cause to question the individual’s ability to practice in a safe and competent manner and may therefore preclude the individual from sitting for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing examinations and also from obtaining a license to practice respiratory care. The inability to sit for the NBRC exams and obtain licensure will render an individual unable to practice as a respiratory therapist.
Clarion University does not make decisions about a student’s eligibility to take the NBRC credentialing examinations or to obtain state licensure. Admission to the respiratory care program in no way implies that a student is eligible to sit for the NBRC credentialing examinations or to obtain state licensure. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure their eligibility to take the NBRC credentialing examination and to obtain state licensure. Prior to starting the respiratory care program, students with criminal backgrounds are strongly recommended to do the following:
1. Carefully review the NBRC’s Judicial and Ethics Policies and contact the NBRC directly with any questions or concerns.
2. Carefully review the Application for Licensure as a Respiratory Therapist from the State Board of Medicine (Pennsylvania) that can be found at the following link: http://psrc.net/RTLicenseApplication.pdf and contact the State Board of Medicine with any questions or concerns. Individuals with a criminal background who plan to practice as a respiratory therapist in states other than Pennsylvania should contact the licensing agency of the state where the appropriate state.