Exercise Science & Physical Education

Respiratory Therapy
Associate of Applied Science (Two year program)

The Respiratory Therapy Program is a two-year academic program leading to the Associate in Applied Science Degree. The objective of the program is to prepare students for entry level respiratory therapist positions in departments of respiratory care; fulfillment of this objective is attained through didactic instruction, college laboratory practice and experimentation, and practical application of skills at clinical affiliates of the Respiratory Therapy Program. Prerequisite and co-requisite courses are required to provide the student with the basic knowledge and skills necessary for comprehension of theoretical principles and application of the same in the performance of the duties of a respiratory therapist.

Emphasis during the respiratory program of study is placed upon the scientific-rational knowledge requisite to the delivery of competent respiratory care, mastery of fundamental respiratory therapy clinical skills, a fundamental knowledge base in cardiopulmonary disorders, and mastery of advanced cardiopulmonary therapeutic and monitoring skills. The extensive clinical practicum experience is necessary for the development of procedural competencies.

The Respiratory Therapy Program is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The CoARC accredits Entry into Professional Practice respiratory care programs at the Associate, Baccalaureate, and Master?s degree levels, as well as post-professional Degree Advancement respiratory care programs at the Baccalaureate and Master?s degree levels and Advanced Practice respiratory care programs at the graduate level. The CoARC also accredits certificate programs that train sleep disorders specialists offered by any of its accredited respiratory care programs. CoARC accreditation is limited to programs physically located in the United States and its territories. (2020)

As content and skills build within the respiratory therapy curriculum, respiratory therapy courses must be taken in the sequence listed and a minimum grade of C must be achieved in each respiratory therapy course to progress through the program and a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPS) of 2.0 must be maintained to graduate with an A.A.S. Degree in Respiratory Therapy.

Graduates of the Respiratory Therapy Program are eligible to take National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing examinations, i.e., Therapist Multiple Choice Examination (TMC) and Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE). Successful completion of the TMC examination grants the candidate a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) national credential and is a requirement to apply for state licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through either the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine or the Pennsylvania State Board of Osteopathic Medicine. After successfully completing both the TMC and CSE examinations the candidate is granted a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) national credential.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited b the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64) known as the "Controlled Substance, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act" or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country. Cohort or class size is based upon an accreditation assigned limit and availability of laboratory and clinical practicum sites available to the program. This is a selective program. Please refer to Health Science Programs Admission on pages 148 - 150 in the LCCC College Catalog.

Respiratory Therapy students must comply with the rules and policies as presented the respiratory therapy student handbook in addition to those listed in the LCCC College Catalog.

This program provides the student the opportunity to:

  • Understand respiratory therapy concepts and principles.
  • Learn the applicable skills to function as a respiratory care practitioner.

The graduate of this program is able to:

  • Demonstrate competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).
  • Demonstrate professional behavior consistent with employer expectations

The Respiratory Therapy Program at Luzerne County Community College tracks graduate information related to: 1.) Employment within 6 months of graduation; 2.) Success on the Therapist Multiple Choice Exam administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care which results in the graduate earning the credential of Certified Respiratory Therapist and also serves as a criterion for obtaining a Pennsylvania License as a Respiratory Care Practitioner; and 3.) The completion (retention) rate.

The most recent 3-year data on graduates of the program which was reported to the Commission for Accreditation in Respiratory Therapy (CoARC):

  • 97% of the graduates were employed within 6 months of graduation;
  • 100% of the graduates successfully completed the Therapist Multiple Choice Exam; and
  • 82% of the students enrolled successfully completed the program and earned the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Respiratory Therapy.

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