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Respiratory Degrees



Associate of Science, Respiratory Care, 79 credits

Clarion University’s respiratory care program is offered at Venango College. The 24-month respiratory care program has an academic preparation of one academic year (two semesters) and continues with a 14-month program of clinical study at Clarion University and at accredited affiliated clinical sites.

Following completion of 79 credits of course work at Clarion University and at affiliated clinical practicum sites, the student is awarded an Associate of Science degree with a major in Respiratory Care. Program graduates are eligible to sit for the credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

Graduates who successfully pass the NBRC Written Registry Examination for Advanced Level Respiratory Therapists and the Clinical Simulation Examination will earn the credentials Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and may work in a variety of health care settings as advanced-level respiratory therapists after obtaining state licensure.

Clarion University’s respiratory care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244, 817-283-2835, Fax: 817-354-8519,


Clinical Education

During the 14-month clinical phase of the respiratory care program, students will attend classes and clinical practicum five full days per week with some days spent in formal respiratory care classes taught at Clarion University and other days spent at assigned clinical sites. Students will
also be required to periodically attend specialty respiratory care rotations at local and regional health care organizations.

Significant travel is required of respiratory care students. Reliable transportation is therefore essential and is at the expense of the student. Additionally, some weekend and evening rotations may be required. Several local and regional health care organizations serve as clinical sites for the respiratory care program. Student preference cannot be considered in clinical site placement.


Admission Policy

Admission to the respiratory care program is contingent upon vacancy in the program. Applicants are required to meet the standard admission criteria for Clarion University. Students are admitted via a rolling admissions process. Once the respiratory care program is filled, students will be admitted to the following year’s class. Students applying after the program is filled may be considered for enrollment in general education courses for the first year while waiting for admission to the respiratory care program.

Suggested Prerequisites:

  • Students who have not had within the past five years one year of high school or college biology with a minimum grade of “C” are encouraged to take Basic Biology (BIOL 111) before starting the respiratory care program.

  • Students who place into MATH 050, based on math placement test results, are encouraged to take MATH 050 before starting the respiratory care program.

Pre-Clinical Requirements:

The pre-clinical requirements listed below must be satisfied by April 1 of the freshman year. All pre-clinical requirements are at the student’s expense.

  • 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 the purchase of an individual malpractice insurance policy in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for each claim and three million dollars ($3.000,000.00) in the aggregate. The cost of this two-year policy is currently under $100 but is subject to change.


Pre-clinical requirements are subject to change. Refusal to comply with or failure to meet all of the criteria by the April 1 deadline will prohibit the student from continuing in the respiratory care program. Only students who have met the above criteria and have completed all science and general education requirements will be permitted to start respiratory care clinical practicum. Clinical education begins each May. Any costs incurred top meet the pre-clinical practicum requirements of the respiratory care program are nonrefundable even if a student is unable to continue in the program.

Throughout the 24-month respiratory care program, students will be assigned to clinical rotations at various clinical sites in the region. Required travel is sometimes extensive. Students are required to have reliable transportation to each clinical site.


Program Goals and Objectives

To prepare students as competent respiratory care practitioners.

Upon completion of the program the graduate should demonstrate:

  1. The ability to comprehend, apply and evaluate clinical information relevant to their roles as advanced-level respiratory care practitioners,

  2. The technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill their roles as advanced-level respiratory care practitioners,

  3. Professional behavior consistent with employer expectations as advanced-level respiratory care practitioners.


Respiratory Care (A.S.) Outcomes

  1.  Students will communicate in a concise manner in the health care setting relating appropriate and complete information.

  2. Students will be able to apply comprehensive knowledge of respiratory care practices in response to clinical situations.

  3. Students will demonstrate concern for the dignity and welfare of patients and other members of the health care team.


Curriculum Plan for Full-Time Study

Although the Associate of Science in Respiratory Care degree program is designed to be completed in 24 consecutive months (two semesters at Clarion University followed by 14 months of clinical education that includes two summer sessions), the first two semesters at Clarion University may be completed on a part-time basis. Clinical education must be completed on a full-time basis.


First Semester (Fall 1)

BIOL 251 & 261 Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab, 4
PHSC 111 Physical Science Chemistry, 3
MATH 117 Mathematics for Health Science, 3
AH 101 Medical Terminology, 3
AH 201 Introduction to the Healthcare Environment, 2

Semester Total, 15

Second Semester (Spring 1)

BIOL 252 & 262 Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab, 4
RESP 101 Introduction to Respiratory Care, 3
BIOL 260 Microbiology, 3
ENG 111 Writing II, 3
PSY 211 General Psychology, 3

Semester Total, 16

Third Semester (Summer I)

RESP 102 Intermediate Respiratory Care, 3
RESP 121 Clinical Application of Respiratory Care I, 2
RESP 201 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology, 3
RESP 202 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology, 2
RESP 203 Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology, 2

Semester Total, 12


Fourth Semester (Fall II)

RESP 204 Advanced Respiratory Care, 3
RESP 205 Mechanical Ventilation and Critical Care I, 3
RESP 206 Selected Topics in Respiratory Care, 3
RESP 220 Clinical Application of Respiratory Care II, 3

Semester Total, 12


Fifth Semester (Spring II)

RESP 207 Mechanical Ventilation and Critical Care II, 4
RE-SP 208 Neonatal & Pediatric Respiratory Care, 3
RESP 121 Clinical Application of Respiratory Care III, 5

Semester Total, 12

Sixth Semester (Summer II)

RESP 209 Advanced Life Support aand Case Studies, 2
RESP 210 Advanced Clinical Concepts, 3
RESP 211 Case Studies — Clinical Simulations, 2
RESP 222 Clinical Application of Respiratory Care IV, 5

Semester Total, 12

Total Credits = 79

*Curriculum subject to change.

** Contingent upon English placement Students who place into ENG 110 are required to take the course prior to taking ENG 111.

A minimum grade of C must be earned in all RESP courses.