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Respiratory Care - Program Information

  1. What credentials are required to practice respiratory care?
    • Graduates are eligible to apply for the national examinations required to become a registered respiratory therapist through the NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care).
    • In order to practice, a therapist must be registered by the NBRC and licensed by the state of Ohio.
    • For more information regarding credentials see
  2. How is the program designed?
    • The program combines classroom, laboratory and clinical learning experiences.
    • Clinical practicum experiences are provided at area hospitals in Stark and surrounding counties.
    • Clinical simulation lab experiences are provided to assist with critical thinking skills. Students will participate in patient simulation scenarios in clinical simulation labs on and off campus.
    • Students participate in advanced cardiac life support certification courses.
  3. What is the goal of the program?
    The goal of the Respiratory Care program is "to prepare 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)."
  4. What are the eligibility requirements to apply for the program?
    • Overall GPA of 2.5 or higher
    • B or higher in Intro to Anatomy and Physiology, Intro to Chemistry, and Intermediate Algebra
    • Completion of a tour of an area hospital’s respiratory care department
    • Background check
    • See the respiratory care checklist/application packet for more details
  5. Is Stark State College an equal opportunity institution?
    • Stark State College is committed to equal opportunity for all and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.
  6. How do I apply to the program?
    • Apply to  Stark State College.
    • Meet with an admissions counselor.
    • Obtain the respiratory care checklist/application and tour form from the admissions office or online.
    • After the first semester contact your science advisor for an appointment to assist with the application process.
    • Complete required background checks.
    • Complete the above course and GPA application requirements.
    • Contact an area hospital for a tour of a respiratory care department and shadowing experience.
    • Complete the tour form and application.
    • When you have completed all application requirements contact the Respiratory Care Program Director for an appointment to review your application at (330) 966-5458, ext. 4390 or
    • You must bring the completed application, tour form and background eligibility notification to the appointment.
    • You will be notified of your acceptance via mail/email.
  7. What are some important things I should know?
    • Students must maintain a “C” or better in all courses in the curriculum (technical and non-technical).
    • Students may not be able to be placed at clinical sites, obtain licensure to practice or find employment if they have a positive background check. See health and public services criminal background check information for a list of potential disqualifying offenses.
    • You may have difficulty finding a job if you smoke.
  8. Are there essential functions required to participate in the program?
    • Respiratory care practitioners must have the necessary clinical skills to carry out the duties and responsibilities allowing them to practice in a safe and effective manner. Respiratory care practitioners make use of the following: hearing, mobility, physical endurance and strength, motor skills, tactile senses, and visual acuity.

      Ability sufficient to hear and understand patients and staff, assess and monitor patient sounds,  hear normal speech, hear without seeing lips, hear faint body sounds, hear alarms.

      Mobility - Physical endurance and strength:
      Mobility sufficient to support and move patients, stoop/squat, move quickly, climb/bend, lift 25 pounds of weight, push light equipment, push heavy equipment, walk, stand during procedures, sustain repetitive motion.

      Motor Skills:
      Perform multiple tasks at the same time. Fine and gross motor skills sufficient to handle equipment and provide safe and effective patient care; steady arm and hand movements while manipulating objects or assisting patients.  Sit and maintain balance; stand and maintain balance; reach above shoulders; reach below waist; pick up small objects with hands; type using a computer.

      The ability to sense and or touch in a manner sufficient to assess the patient’s response to therapy.  Feel vibrations; detect temperature (determine changes, warm, cold).

      A sufficient ability to monitor and assess patients and equipment function; to have visual acuity in order to provide safe and effective respiratory care.  See objects 20 inches away; see objects 20 feet away; distinguish color.

      Should a student feel that he/she may not be able to meet the technical standards or physical requirements, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the Program Director/Department Chair and the Disability Support Services Office.

  9. Is Stark State College’s respiratory care program accredited?
    • Stark State College's respiratory care program, COARC program #200354, awards an Associate of Applied Science degree and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (COARC), 1248 Harwood Rd. Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835,
    • See the COARC website for more information and program outcomes.