Respiratory Therapy

Contact(s): Tina Harper

The Respiratory Therapy curriculum offers career education for respiratory therapists, who specialize in the application of scientific knowledge and theory to clinical problems of respiratory care.

Respiratory therapists perform diagnostic testing, treatments, and management of patients with heart and lung diseases. The respiratory therapist is qualified to assume primary clinical responsibility for all respiratory care modalities and is frequently required to exercise considerable independent, clinical judgment in the respiratory care of patients under the direct or indirect supervision of a physician.

Students will master skills in patient assessment and treatment of cardiopulmonary diseases. These skills include ventilator management and monitoring, drug administration, and treatment of patients of all ages in a variety of settings. Graduates may be employed in wide variety of health-related areas including hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing care facilities, home care agencies, rehabilitation centers, industrial and educational institutions.

Upon completion of all required course work, the student will be awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree in Respiratory Therapy. Graduates of the Respiratory Therapy program are eligible to take the Entry Level Certification exam from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which will also allow them to apply for licensure in most states. (Licensure requirements vary by state.) Respiratory Therapy program graduates may also be eligible to take the Advanced Practitioner examinations from the NBRC.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Perform specialized therapeutic and diagnostic procedures in clinical practice required for a respiratory therapist entering the profession.
  • Create problem-solving strategies for therapeutic and life-supporting procedures based upon patient assessment.    
  • Develop therapeutic goals and respiratory care plans for patients with cardiopulmonary disease.         
  • Defend written and oral case studies with regards to evidence-based practice guidelines.          
  • Effectively employ interpersonal and communication skills to promote cardiopulmonary wellness and disease management given diverse population groups.
  • Exhibit ethical decision making and professional responsibility according to the AARC Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct.


The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244
(817) 283-2835

Respiratory Therapy – Associate in Applied Science – A45720

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
SummerCredit Hours
HSC 110 Orientation to Health Careers 1
 Credit Hours1
Second Year
BIO 163 Basic Anatomy & Physiology 5
MAT 143 Quantitative Literacy 3
RCP 110 Intro to Respiratory Care 4
RCP 114 C-P Anatomy & Physiology 3
RCP 115 C-P Pathophysiology 2
RCP 122 Special Practice Lab 1
 Credit Hours18
RCP 111 Therapeutics/Diagnostics 5
RCP 113 RCP Pharmacology 2
RCP 123 Special Practice Lab 1
RCP 145 RCP Clinical Practice II 5
 Credit Hours13
RCP 112 Patient Management 4
RCP 154 RCP Clinical Practice III 4
 Credit Hours8
Third Year
ENG 111 Writing and Inquiry 3
PSY 150 General Psychology 3
RCP 210 Critical Care Concepts 4
RCP 213 Neonatal/Ped's Concepts 2
RCP 222 Special Practice Lab 1
RCP 234 RCP Clinical Practice IV 4
 Credit Hours17
ENG 112
Writing and Research in the Disciplines
or Professional Research Reporting
RCP 211 Adv Monitoring/Procedures 4
RCP 215 Career Prep-Adv Level 1
RCP 245 RCP Clinical Practice V 5
Humanities Elective * 3
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours73

*Please see the Suggested Humanities and Social/Behavioral Science Elective List for AAS Majors webpage.

  • The Respiratory Therapy curriculum prepares individuals to function as respiratory therapists through demonstrated competence of respiratory care practices. Graduates perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures with exposure to current and emerging practice settings including the management and education of patients with cardiopulmonary diseases.
  • Students will master the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills required to operate within interprofessional teams and communicate effectively within a diverse patient population. Application of problem solving strategies, ethical decision making, and understanding professional responsibilities are emphasized.
  • Graduates should qualify for the credentialing examinations offered through the National Board of Respiratory Care. Graduates completing the credentialing process through the National Board for Respiratory Care may qualify for a license to practice in a variety of healthcare settings.


Applicants seeking admission in to the Respiratory Therapy program must complete steps 1 through 5 between May 1, 2017 and March 15, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. in order to be considered for acceptance for the Summer Semester 2018.

Print this admission procedure for your records to track completion of all steps.

Step 1: Application __________ (date completed)

  • Submit a completed application electronically for the Respiratory Therapy program (A45720) of the summer you wish to enroll by visiting the SCC homepage,, and clicking the link "new students start here". Application submissions are free of charge.
  • If you wish to take general education courses for the RCP program prior to admission, then an additional application must be completed as an Associate in General Education (AGE) with respiratory therapy interest applicant for the term and year you plan to begin general education courses. Please note this does not take the place of an application for the Respiratory Therapy program, nor is it required to be enrolled in the Respiratory Therapy program.
  • For questions on completing an application, contact the Eagle's One Stop at 704-991-0123 or by emailing

Step 2: Transcripts __________ (date completed)

  • Submit to the Admissions Office an official high school transcript and official post-secondary transcripts for all institutions attended. Applicants that obtained a GED/Adult High School diploma must submit an official GED/AHS transcript and a high school transcript even if you did not complete high school.
  • After the Admissions Office has received and evaluated other college transcripts, you may view transfer credit awarded by clicking the My Documents tab in Web Advisor. For questions related to transfer credits, call the records department at 704-991-0331.

Step 3: Complete one course of Biology, Algebra, and Chemistry with a grade of "C" or better. __________ (date completed)

  • Submit evidence of successful completion of one unit of biology, high school algebra, and high school chemistry with a grade of "C" or higher or the equivalent at a post-secondary institution (BIO 090 or higher, MAT 070/DMA 040 or higher, CHEM 090 or higher). Students may choose to complete these subjects through SCC's Adult High School program. The Adult High School courses are self-paced classes that will take approximately 2-3 months or more to complete. Students may choose seated or online classes, and must score 85 or higher to receive credit. Contact the College and Career Readiness Department at 704-991-0279 for more information or to sign-up for the Adult High School courses. Applicants wishing to complete these credits at other colleges should contact the Admissions Office at Stanly Community College to ensure that the credits are acceptable.
  • To determine if you are awarded credit for these required courses, view the My Documents tab in your Web Advisor account or contact your academic advisor.

Step 4: Complete either Option A OR B

Placement Testing__________ (date completed and scores)

  • Option A: The Accuplacer, DAP, Compass, or Asset placement scores can be used for this requirement. The required scores are listed in the table below:

NC DAP (newest placement test)



Classes/Transfer Credit


Writing and Reading Composite: 151 or higher









7 or higher on
DMA 010, 020, 030, 040, and 050

7 or higher on DMA 010, 020, 030, 040, and 050 or 55 Pre-Algebra 55 Algebra

47 Pre-Algebra
46 Algebra

41 Pre-Algebra
41 Algebra

Successful completion of DMA 010, 020, 030, 040, 050 or MAT 140 or higher within the last 5 years. Math transfer courses outside the NC Community College system will be evaluated on an individual basis.

  • Please note that applicants who fail to achieve the required minimum scores on the first attempt of the placement test may retest once during a twelve-month period. When retesting, applicants will retest only on those sections of the test that were not successfully completed on a previous attempt. Placement test scores older than five years are not valid for admission consideration. Placement testing is free for applicants of SCC.
  • It is encouraged that you prepare for this test. Practice items can be located on the SCC homepage under the testing and tutoring link of the current students tab. For questions related to how to schedule the placement test, contact the Eagle's One Stop at (704) 991-0123 or
  • SAT, ACT, or PLAN scores do not satisfy this requirement for respiratory program admissions.

If unable to meet the required placement test scores, an applicant can complete ALL general education courses required within the respiratory therapy program of study. See option B below:

  • Option B: Complete ALL general education courses required for the RCP program with a minimum GPA of 2.0 by the required application deadline.
    • These courses include: ENG 111 and 112 or 114, BIO 163, PSY 150, MAT 143, and a Humanities elective.
    • If general education courses are completed at institutions other than Stanly Community College, official transcripts must be received in the SCC Admissions Office before a student will be eligible for admission to the respiratory therapy program.

Step 5: Maintain 2.0 GPA (ongoing)

  • For the applicant who has completed any college level courses taken with SCC prior to admission into the RCP program, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required.

After conditional acceptance is granted by the admissions office, applicants must provide successful completion of the following:

Step 6: Submit a properly completed medical form. The medical form is to be signed by a licensed physician, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner.

Step 7: Submit current CPR certification for healthcare providers that is endorsed by the American Heart Association. Current CPR certification is required throughout the student's attendance in the RT program.


  • The Respiratory Therapy program accepts a maximum of 20 students each year. Applicants are conditionally accepted based upon their completion of steps 1 through 5 of the admission requirements. The applicants will be ranked in order by the date applied and by their completion of these steps. Applicants who apply to the RT program after the 20 seats are filled will be placed on an alternate list in the order in which they completed all admission requirements. If any of the applicants who have been accepted to the program should forfeit their acceptance, those applicants on the alternate list will be contacted in the order in which their names appear on the list and will be given an opportunity to enroll. If an applicant whose name appears on the alternate list is not afforded an opportunity to begin classes during the year in which he or she has made application, that applicant will need to submit another application in order to be considered for admission the following year. (Admission requirements may change from year to year). Any applicant who forfeits his or her acceptance will not be guaranteed acceptance in any subsequent year. The applicant must reapply if he or she wishes to be considered for acceptance at a later date.
  • Readmission to the respiratory therapy program has a time limit of 3 years from the semester of withdrawal for any continuing student*. (Example - if you withdraw in March, 2017, you must be readmitted by January, 2020 in order to attempt completion of the program**)

*student must successfully pass any reentry competencies
**any new admission guidelines will apply