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Respiratory Care Program: Associate Degree

Respiratory care is a high tech, direct patient care profession. This field is a life-supporting, life-enhancing allied health care profession practiced under qualified medical direction. Services provided to patients with disorders of the cardiopulmonary system include diagnostic testing, therapeutics, monitoring, and rehabilitation. Patient, family, and public education are essential to the mission of the profession. Respiratory care services are provided in all health care facilities (acute, subacute/long-term, skilled nursing) and in the home.


The curriculum consists of five consecutive semesters of study as well as additional clinical practice at affiliating hospitals.  The respiratory care and related courses must be taken in the sequence outlined once the student has been admitted into the program.  Admission requirements are listed under programs with selective admissions.


Upon completion of the program, the graduate qualifies for an associate in science degree and is eligible to apply to take the national Therapist Multiple Choice exam.  Examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Additionally, graduates are qualified to sit for the NBRC specialty exams for pulmonary diagnostics and neonatal pediatric specialty. 



Student Learning Objectives:  

Upon graduation from the program, the graduate must be competent in the following areas: psychomotor skills, affective skills and cognitive skills. Each area will be evaluated while enrolled in the program on a semester by semester basis. Learning is through a planned progression of knowledge and skills of increasing complexity. Upon successful completion of all program requirements, the graduate will be able to:


  • 1.      Incorporate principles of social, behavioral, biological sciences and humanities to the role of Respiratory Therapist.
  • 2.       Demonstrates technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill the role of respiratory therapist.
  • 3.       Utilize principles of pharmacology when caring for clients with cardiopulmonary disorders in a variety of settings.
  • 4.       Analyze patient information to assist patients affected by cardiopulmonary disorders.
  • 5.       Assist physicians in diagnosis, management and treatment of patients affected by cardiopulmonary disorders
  • 6.      Employ effective interpersonal, communication and teaching skills when interacting with individuals, families and members of the health team
  • 7.       Exhibit professional behaviors consistent with legal and ethical standards of the profession of respiratory therapy
  • 8.      Practice Respiratory Care in a safe and effective manner in a variety of settings.
  • 9.       Demonstrate proficiency as a respiratory therapist, as described by the National Board for Respiratory Care and the Committee  on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.


Graduates of the program receive an Associate in Science Degree and are eligible to take the national credentialing examination for Respiratory Care Practitioners to achieve the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Credential.



Mission Statement:

The Respiratory Care Program is designed to prepare students as Registered Respiratory Care Professionals. This program meets a community need for healthcare professionals. This affordable and accessible program offers an innovative program of study for the community's diverse population. The faculty believes that a nurturing educational environment will produce lifelong learners who are active and responsible leaders in their careers.



Employment and Career Opportunities

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  2012: median salary $55,870 Entry level education: Associate’s degree Job outlook 2012-2022:   19% growth (faster than average) employment of respiratory therapist is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2022. It is listed among the fastest growing occupations that require only an associate’s degree. ( Career information: A respiratory therapist (RRT) treats people who have breathing or cardiopulmonary problems. Among our patients are premature infants whose lungs are underdeveloped and children and adults who have lung disease such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and COPD. A respiratory therapist works in the intensive care unit and also delivers emergency care to heart attack and drowning victims or those people in shock. Some RRTs work in home care.


If you are interested in becoming a member of a health care team please visit NCC website- respiratory care or contact Maria Grayson 203-857-6917 or Or Deysy Pelaez 203-857-7284 or Office H111.



General Information:

  • Students must meet program admission requirements. (See Respiratory Care Information Packet)
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade of C in general education, science and RSP courses(unless otherwise specified).

  • To graduate from the program and the college students must maintain above a 2.0 GPA.
  • Additional costs such as travel, lab coats, uniforms, testing, stethoscopes and physical examinations are the responsibility of the student.
  • Students must follow the policies outlined in the Respiratory Care Student Handbook




The Respiratory Care Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244l.  Information about this program can be obtained by calling the CoARC office at         1-817-263-2835 or online at




Upon graduation, the student is eligible to sit for the Therapist Multiple Choice Exam. Upon successfully completing this examination, the student may obtain licensure. Licensure is granted on a state to state basis. The student will be required to disclose background information, including criminal history at the time of licensure application. Students may contact the CT Department of Health for more information on licensure requirements for Respiratory Care Professionals.