Jan 16, 2021  
2017-2018 College Catalog 
2017-2018 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Therapy, AAS

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degrees and Certificates

The Respiratory Therapy program (RPT) is a balanced curriculum including both respiratory and general education courses. Course content includes the role of the respiratory therapist, health care concepts, and technical observations and skills. It provides the student with a strong background in the use of respiratory equipment, cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, diagnostic procedures, sleep disorders, and pathophysiology. The student receives direct, hands-on, patient care experience in various hospitals and facilities throughout their clinical education. The respiratory courses must be taken in sequential order.

The Respiratory Therapy Program at Shelton State Community College holds Continuing Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) (www.coarc.com). This status signifies that a program has demonstrated sufficient compliance with CoARC standards.  It is recognized by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) toward eligibility to the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). CoARC is located at 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244.  CoARC can be contacted by phone at 817.283.2835.

Admission Procedure

  1. Apply online for admission to Shelton State Community College.
  2. Submit copies of official transcripts of all colleges and universities attended to the Office of Enrollment Services. All transcripts must be evaluated by Enrollment Services for determination of course credits and GPA calculations.
  3. Submit transcript verification form to the Office of Enrollment Services.
  4. Meet all academic requirements and complete any program admission requirements (listed below).
  5. After successful completion of all academic and admission requirements, the student may submit the online application for admission to the Respiratory Therapy program. Applications are accepted between May 1 and June 1 for fall admission.
  6. Complete application checklist provided after submission of the online respiratory application.

Minimum Admission Requirements for the RPT Program:

Only students who have met all the criteria and submitted all required paperwork by the deadline will be considered for admission.

  1. June 1 application deadline with selection of students in July of each year.
  2. An official transcript of all college work.
  3. A copy of current class schedule, if enrolled.
  4. An overall GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale on all college work completed and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale on all prerequisite courses.
  5. Completion of all prerequisite courses with a letter grade of C (70) or above: MTH 100 , ENG 101 , BIO 201 , BIO 202 , and RPT 256  .
    1. Note: BIO 202  must be taken within last five years. 
  6. Submit a hard copy of Accuplacer, Compass, OR ACT Reading Scores.

    NOTE: The Accuplacer Reading score must be a 70 or higher and taken within the last three (3) years, Compass Reading score must be a 76 or higher score and taken within the last three (3) years, or the ACT Reading Score must be 17 or higher and taken within the last three (3) years.

Application does not ensure acceptance.

Policies for the Respiratory Therapy Program

Grading Policy and Academic Standards

In the Respiratory Therapy program, each student is evaluated on a scheduled basis as to comprehension of theoretical concepts, safe performance, psychomotor skills in clinical areas, and ethical and effective behavior expected of the professional practitioner. The Respiratory Therapy program uses the following academic grading system:

A=90-100 Excellent
B=80-89 Good
C=75-79 Average
D=60-74 Failing in the RPT Program
F=0-59 Failure

Progression Policy

  1. Students must achieve a minimum grade of C (75) or above in each RPT course and a grade of 70 or above in every academic course for which they are registered during the semester to continue in the Program.
  2. Respiratory curriculum courses are taught sequentially. (A student must have a minimum grade of C in every course in a given semester’s work to proceed to the courses taught in the next semester.)
  3. Students will be tracked and counseled as it relates to academic progress. A plan for success will be developed and placed in the student’s file when deficiencies are noted.
  4. In the event that a student makes a grade below 75 in any RPT course or below 70 in an academic course, the student must withdraw from the Program immediately.
  5. Failure of two or more RPT courses in the same semester will require the student to apply as a new student.

Readmission Policy

  1. The student may apply for readmission to the Program.  Acceptance is conditional upon the following:
    1. completion of Request for Readmission form
    2. fulfillment of admission criteria (academic and clinical)
    3. space availability in the next class and next clinical
    4. one prior admission
    5. successful completion of validation requirements in Psychomotor Domain and Cognitive/Knowledge/Academic Content Domain
  2. After readmission, if the student does not achieve the minimum 75 grade in the second attempt of the same RPT course or fails to achieve the minimum 75 in any other RPT course, then the student will be withdrawn from the Program.  The student will NOT eligible to apply to the Respiratory Therapy Program as a new student or readmission student because the student has failed a Respiratory Therapy Program course twice.
  3. A student absent from the respiratory course sequence for more than three semesters must apply as a new student.
  4. A student will not be readmitted to the Program more than once.
  5. A student may not be admitted to the Program as a new student more than two times.  After the second admission as a new student, without success, the student will have to wait a period of three years to apply to the SSCC RPT Program.

Health and Health Related Policies

Because participation in clinical instruction is an integral part of the Respiratory Therapy program curriculum, each student is required to comply with all the policies and procedures of the clinical agencies and the RPT program. Therefore, each student is expected to uphold the contractual terms of the clinical agencies used upon being admitted to the RPT program. All costs/expenses associated with meeting the health and general policy requirements of the program are the responsibility of the student. The following policies and procedures are required by all students upon acceptance to the Respiratory Therapy program:

  1. Proof of completion of a physical examination which demonstrates the student is free from disease (physically and psychologically) and must be documented on the Shelton State Community College Medical Record by a licensed health care provider, physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner
  2. Vaccinations including the following:
    1. hepatitis B series or evidence of immunity
    2. MMR (German measles, mumps, rubella) if born after 1957 or evidence of immunity
    3. Varicella immunity (immunization or titer)
    4. proof of tetanus vaccination
    5. current influenza vaccination
    6. documentation of TB skin test
  3. Purchase of liability and accident insurance available through the College
  4. Completion of pre-clinical drug screen prior to admission and being assigned to a clinical agency
  5. The complete drug screen policy is located in the RPT program Student Handbook.
  6. Background check prior to admission and before the first day of class. All students must give permission to perform a background check as required by federal law. The student must abide by the nursing program background check policy and clinical agency policy for which the student is assigned.
  7. Proof of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification at the health care provider level (BLS/infant/child) prior to admission and/or before the first clinical course
  8. Written proof of current health insurance
  9. Completion of training on universal precautions, OSHA requirements, and the prevention and management of the spread of diseases. Training is given in the introductory/fundamentals course. Additional information is given related to hospital policies including, but not limited to, issues of confidentiality, procedures, fire and safety procedures, and documentation policies.

Essential Function Standards

The Alabama Community College System and SSCC endorse the Americans with Disabilities Act. In accordance with College policy, when requested, reasonable accommodations may be provided for individuals with disabilities. Physical, cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and social abilities are required in unique combinations to provide safe and effective respiratory care. The applicant/student must be able to meet the essential function standards with or without reasonable accommodations throughout the program of learning. Admission, progression, and graduation are contingent upon one’s ability to demonstrate the essential functions delineated for the Respiratory Therapy Program with or without reasonable accommodations. The student may request disability accommodations in writing to the Office of Disability Services, 205.391.3958, located on the second floor of the Martin Campus. Any reasonable accommodations made by the RPT program must originate from the Office of Disability Services.

The essential functions delineated below are necessary for Respiratory Therapy Program admission, progression, graduation, and for the provisions of safe and effective respiratory care. The essential functions include but are not limited to the ability to do the following:

  1. Lifting and Carrying
    1. Lifting 50 lbs. maximum with frequent lifting and/or carrying of objects weighing up to 25 lbs.
  2. Coordination
    1. Ability to coordinate eyes and hands or fingers rapidly and accurately in making precise movements with speed
    2. Ability to make a movement response quickly and accurately
    3. Ability to move the fingers and manipulate small objects with the fingers rapidly and/or accurately
    4. Ability to move the hands easily and skillfully; to work with the hands in placing and turning motions
  3. Climbing and/or Balance
    1. Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, and ramps and using the feet, legs, hands, and arms
    2. Maintaining body equilibrium to prevent falling when walking, standing, crouching, or running on narrow, slippery, or erratically moving surfaces
  4. Stooping, Kneeling, Crouching, and/or Crawling
    1. Stooping: Bending the body downward and forward by bending the spine at the waist
    2. Kneeling: Bending the legs at the knee to come to rest on the knee or knees
    3. Crouching: Bending the body downward and forward by bending the legs and spine
    4. Crawling: Moving about on the hands and knees or hands and feet
  5. Reaching, Handling, Fingering, and/or Feeling
    1. Reaching: Extending the hands and arms in any direction
    2. Handling: Seizing, holding, grasping, turning, or otherwise working with the hand or hands
    3. Fingering: Picking, pinching, or otherwise working primarily with the fingers
    4. Feeling: Perceiving such attributes of objects and materials as size, shape, temperature or texture, by means of receptors in the skin, particularly those of the fingertips
  6. Talking, Hearing, Seeing, and Smelling
    1. Talking: Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word
    2. Hearing: Perceiving the nature of sounds by the ear in order to communicate
    3. Seeing: Use of vision or corrected vision to determine the characteristics of objects
    4. Smelling: Ability to smell body and environmental odors such as bodily secretions or electrical equipment burning

Upon admission, an individual who discloses a disability can request reasonable accommodations. Individuals will be asked to provide documentation for the disability in order to assist with the provision of appropriate, reasonable accommodation. The College will provide reasonable accommodation but is not required to substantially alter the requirements or nature of the program or reasonable accommodations that inflict an undue burden on the College. In order to be admitted, one must be able to perform all of the essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations. If an individual’s health changes during the program of learning, so that the essential functions cannot be met with or without reasonable accommodations, the student will be withdrawn from the Respiratory Therapy program. The respiratory faculty reserves the right at any time to require an additional medical examination at the student’s expense in order to assist with the evaluation of the student’s ability to perform the essential functions.

NOTE: Respiratory Therapy program information, policies, and curriculum are subject to change without prior notice due to accrediting requirements.

Graduation Requirements and Comprehensive Achievement Exams

In the interest of preparing students for success in obtaining the NBRC CRT and RRT credential, SSCC RPT students are required to take a comprehensive review seminar and a comprehensive two-part assessment exam prior to graduation from the Program.  Students are also required to take Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination and Clinical Simulation Self-Assessment Exams (SAE) during the fourth semester in the RPT-243 course and pass with the NBRC’s passing score requirement.

Each student will have three (3) attempts to pass the two-part comprehensive assessment exams during the fourth semester. If a student fails all three attempts on the comprehensive assessment exams, the student will receive an “I” for the RPT 243  course. During the next semester the student will be given the opportunity to complete remedial work and allowed one additional attempt to pass the self-assessment exam(s). If the student fails a fourth time, they will receive a letter grade of “F” for the RPT 243  course. If this failure was the student’s first failure in the program, they may apply for readmission to the program and retake the failed course. If the student fails the RPT 243  course a second time, then they must apply for admission to the program as a new student.

Students are responsible for the costs of the review course and examinations. Every effort is made to keep the costs to a minimum, but the students should plan for approximately $300.00 for the comprehensive review seminar, $190.00 for the NBRC Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (CRT credential), and $200.00 for the NBRC Clinical Simulation Examination (RRT credential).

Graduates will be able to sit for the NBRC Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination immediately after graduation. There will be two established cut scores for the NBRC Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination. If a candidate achieves the lower cut score, they will earn the CRT credential. If a candidate achieves the higher cut score, they will earn the CRT credential AND become eligible for the NBRC Clinical Simulation Examination (provided that those eligibility requirements are met and the candidate is eligible to earn the CRT credential). After successfully earning the NBRC CRT credential, the student will be eligible for the NBRC CSE exam. Then the registration fees for the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE) will be sent in order for the graduate to obtain the RRT credential.

Note: The costs of the review course, on-line exam review account, comprehensive assessment exams, and the NBRC examinations are subject to change. Students will be informed of any increase as soon as information becomes available.

Area I - Written Composition: 3 Hours

Area II - Humanities and Fine Arts: 3 Hours


*Prerequisite: BIO 103  Principles of Biology I. Students may take BIO 103  CLEP test through SSCC Testing Center.

BIO 201  and BIO 202  must be completed within the last 5 years. If not, BIO 202  must be taken again.

Area IV - History, Social, and Behavioral Sciences: 4 Hours

Total Credit Hours Required for Degree: 74 Hours

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degrees and Certificates