Jan 17, 2021  
2017-18 Academic Catalog 
2017-18 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Care - RSPC.AS

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Respiratory Care is a health specialty involved in the treatment, management, diagnosis and care of patients with cardiopulmonary dysfunction. The respiratory care practitioner is an expert in the use of therapeutic gases, ventilatory support, bronchopulmonary drainage, breathing exercises, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, aerosol administration, hyperinflation therapy, medications, humidification, and maintenance of natural, artificial, and mechanical airways. Respiratory care practitioners are also involved in diagnostic testing, monitoring, treatment, education, sales, and research. These include the measurement of lung volumes, pressures, flows, blood gas analysis, electrocardiograms, stress testing, sleep studies, smoking cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation, and asthma management.

Respiratory care offers the chance to work closely with patients and other health care practitioners in a career which is both personally and financially rewarding.

The graduate practitioner will find a health care system that is changing and expanding. In many areas of the health care system, a multi-skilled practitioner will be needed. The graduate respiratory care practitioner will be this person. While the greater number of graduates work in hospitals or hold teaching positions, the future undoubtedly will see openings in industry, rehabilitation centers, home care companies, nursing homes, health maintenance organizations, and individual businesses.


Upon successful completion of requirements for this program, the degree of Associate in Science in Respiratory Care will be awarded.

Accreditation and Program Outcomes

This program is sponsored by the College in cooperation with area hospitals, pulmonary rehabilitation programs, long-term care facilities, and home care agencies. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (COARC).

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021-4244 


Program Goals

To prepare entry level 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).

Additionally, graduates will:

  • Demonstrate professional behavior consistent with employer expectations as Respiratory Care Practitioners.
  • Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, apply, and evaluate clinical information relevant to their roles as Respiratory Care Practitioners.
  • Have been taught to be critical thinkers because of their educative experience with Human Patient Simulators.
  • Demonstrate the ability to promote a team approach to patient care and interact with all health-care workers.
  • Be encouraged to further their professional development by continuing education, conducting research, and being a member of the American Association of Respiratory Care.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Applying to this Program

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling admission, there is no formal deadline.  Applications for consideration for acceptance into the program will begin to be reviewed in April of the application year.
  • Fall start only, day program only
  • This is a competitive program, a maximum of 18 students accepted each fall.  Student applications will be evaluated and scored based on the admission pre-requisites as noted below: 

Admission Prerequisites:

  •  Proof of High School transcript, GED or HISET
  • English
    • Completion of 4 years of high school English (grade of C or higher) ; OR
    • Placement examination score  at ENG-101   level: OR
    • Successful completion of DWT-099  or a college level English (grade of C or higher)
  •  Math
    • HS Algebra 2 (grade of C or higher within 5 years) OR
    • Successful completion of Algebra 2, MAT-097  or college level (100 or higher) math course from an accredited college (grade of C or higher, within 7 years) ; OR
    • Placement examination score at MAT-101  or higher 
  •  Medical Terminology
    • Completion of a 3 credit, college level Medical Terminology from an accredited college (grade of C or higher, within 5 years); OR
    • Passing score on the STCC MED-100  challenge exam
  • Biology
    • Anatomy & Physiology 1, BIO-231  (grade of C or higher, within 5 years) AND
    • Biochemistry, BIO-114   (grade of C or higher, within 5 years)
  • Admission Checklist (click here to download/print)
    • In order to strengthen your application, it is strongly recommended you submit this document along with all other requirements.
  • Courses with designated time frames must be current within 5 years from the start of the program. (fall of application year)
  • Mid-semester (spring) grades for required courses will be considered. Students requesting consideration for course work being performed outside of STCC must submit a mid-term grade report to the Admissions office along with their application.
  • Conditional acceptances will be given for applicants who have incomplete courses in the spring semester. The condition will state what final grade must be earned to gain full acceptance. Students not meeting stated conditions will not be granted admission to the program.
  • The following are examples of how to strengthen your application for admission
    • Anatomy & Physiology 2, (C or higher, within 5 years)
    • College-level Microbiology (C or higher within 5 years
    • College-level English Composition 1 & 2
    • College-level Psychology
    • Work experience in a health care setting (please submit a letter from an employer as evidence of employment with your application)
    • Previous college degree (Associate degree or higher)

Applying for Re-Admission to this Program

Students who leave this health program before completing it may apply for re-admission.  Students reapplying to the program must resubmit an application, all supporting documents and essay with updated official transcripts. Students will be eligible to receive up to a maximum of one re-admission. Click here  for information about the re-admission policy and process. 

Additional Requirements for Accepted Students

Deposit: If offered admission, a non-refundable $50.00 deposit will be required to secure your acceptance to this Program.

Mandatory Health Records:  All required health records, immunizations, and physicals MUST be filed in the STCC Health Services office by July 1 of the admission year. The Health Office is located in the Building 20 Suite, room 320 (third floor center) (413-755-4230). The college/program reserves the right to rescind the admission status of any student not meeting, as well as not submitting, all post-admission requirements in a timely manner. 

Background Check: Students enrolled in Health Professions Programs that involve potentially unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, or which includes a clinical affiliation, internship, or field placement with a private or public health care provider, will be required to undergo state-wide and/or national criminal background checks, including but not limited to  Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Record Information (SORI), Seven (7) year residential Search, and FBI Fingerprinting checks. Depending on the results of the background checks, a student may be deemed ineligible to participate in such academic or clinical activities, which may impact a student’s ability to complete program requirements. Furthermore, please be advised that eligibility to participate in College academic and/or clinical activities following a background check does not guarantee your eligibility to sit for a professional credentialing examination(s) or employment upon graduation.  It is your responsibility to contact the certification or licensure board for your particular health care profession to determine  the standards that must be met for credentialing, licensing and/or employment  in that field.

Drug Screening Policy for Clinical Placement: The School of Health & Patient Simulation is committed to high quality education and providing excellent clinical experiences to students in the health professions. Students are expected to perform at their highest functional level during all educational and clinical experiences in order to maximize the learning environment and ensure patient safety. Thus a student’s performance at all times must be free of any impairment caused by prescription or non-prescribed drugs or alcohol use. Students enrolling in Health Professions programs are required to undergo and pass a drug and/or alcohol screening analysis in order to be eligible for placement in a clinical facility. Students assigned to clinical education experiences at our contracted facilities may also be required to undergo and pass random drug screening analysis in order to remain at that clinical facility and in the program.  Students who fail a screening, or refuse to submit to a screening within the designated time frame will be ineligible for clinical placement, which will affect their status in the program. Students with a positive drug test may challenge the results of the test within five (5) days of notification of the drug test results. This challenge must be in writing and delivered to the college’s Director of Health Services. Students may re-apply for re-entry into a health program after one year.  Requests for re-admission will be considered on a case by case basis.

Students who are notified of a “negative-dilute” result will submit to a random drug test within 24 hours of the previous test in order to confirm the negative status of the screening. Additional random testing may also be required under the guidelines listed in your program’s handbook. A student who claims that he/she tested positive due to a prescription drug and was unable to clarify this matter with the medical review officer (MRO) from the drug testing lab shall be required to provide evidence from a health care provider of the type of prescription, dates of permissible use and dosage amounts within five (5) days of notification of the drug test results to the college’s Director of Health Services. Failure to complete this notification will result in the student being ineligible for clinical placement, which will affect their status in the program.

Students who test positive for marijuana are unable to continue in a clinical placement, which will affect their status in the health program. A student who has a prescription for Medical Marijuana and tests positive for marijuana will also be ineligible to participate in clinical placement due to the federal restriction on the use of marijuana. While the use of Medical Marijuana is permitted in Massachusetts, marijuana remains classified as a controlled substance under federal law and its use, possession, and/or cultivation at educational institutions remains prohibited.

Programmatic Technical Standards: Technical Standards reflect performance abilities  and essential skills that are necessary for a student to successfully complete the requirements of a specified program. Students with disabilities must be able to meet the technical standards of the program with reasonable accommodations as defined by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA.)  See the link below. Program Technical Standard forms found in your admission acceptance packet must be submitted to the Office of Health Services by July 1. Health Services office is located in building 20,  room 320 (413 755-4230)

Health Program Latex Policy  

Program Requirements and Advancement

  • Minimum Grade Requirements: To continue in the progression of courses offered in the Respiratory Care program no grade lower than a “C” (73) will be accepted toward graduation. Students not meeting this grade requirement in any course will be withdrawn from the program. Failure in an affiliation course will result in dismissal from the program. Grades lower than “C” (73) will not be accepted for transfer credit.
  • Program Length and Hours: This curriculum includes a summer session, clinical hours may deviate from published class times.
  • Graduates of this accredited program are eligible to sit for the National Board for Respiratory Car (NBRC)
  • Students must adhere to the strict attendance policy in lecture, lab and practicum in order to graduate.
  • Students will be re-admitted to the program one time only.

(RSPC.AS) Curriculum

Total (RSPC.AS) Curriculum Program Credits: 67

Department Personnel

Name Title Office Phone Email
Esther Perrelli Brookes Faculty/Department Chair 20/302D 413-755-5707 eperrelli@stcc.edu
Scott Frink Faculty/Academic Coordinator of Clinical Ed. 20/302B 413-755-4878 smfrink@stcc.edu

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