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    Jun 13, 2024  
MCCC College Catalog 2024-2025 
MCCC College Catalog 2024-2025

Respiratory Therapy, A.A.S.

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Associate of Applied Science Degree

Respiratory therapy (RT), or respiratory care, is an allied health profession specializing in cardiopulmonary diseases. A respiratory therapist can be instrumental in assisting in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide spectrum of disorders affecting the heart and lungs.

A registered respiratory therapist (RRT) requires a minimum of a two-year degree, and most RRTs work in a hospital. Graduates must sit for a national board exam to earn their credential. Graduates from the Monroe County Community College Respiratory Therapy Program exceed the national averages for success on these board exams. 

Future employment for registered respiratory therapists is considered excellent nationwide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022), the national average salary for a respiratory therapist is approximately $74,310. Information on Michigan salary and other employment data can be found below.

Graduate therapists are prepared to:

  • Assume basic or advanced respiratory care positions in hospitals, nursing homes, sub-acute care centers, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, home care companies, asthma clinics, sleep disorder laboratories and pulmonary function laboratories.
  • Continue higher education, if desired.

Transfer Information

Upon program completion, students may be eligible to enroll in a bachelor’s level RT degree completion program. MCCC’s RT program currently has articulation with a regional four-year university.

Additionally, MCCC’s RT program works with a regional four-year university to offer a 1-2-1 option for students to get a head start on a BSRT degree prior to starting MCCC’s program. Students interested in more information regarding this program may contact the Health Sciences Division Office (734.384.4102) or the Admission’s Office (734.384.4104). A student who wishes to transfer into the MCCC RT Program from another RT program must meet the transfer criteria as listed in the RT Student Handbook which can be found on the Respiratory Therapy Program section of the college’s website.

Additional Program Information

The Respiratory Therapy Program (CoARC #200295) Associate of Applied Science degree at Monroe County Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

The CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented. For additional information comparing the student outcomes for the MCCC program with those from all other accredited programs in the country go to

Admission Criteria

The respiratory therapy program is a selective admissions program. RT program applicants must meet established minimum criteria to be considered for the program. Students must apply to the program prior to the last Thursday of June of the year the student wishes to enter the respiratory therapy program.  Applicants enrolled in any prerequisite classes that finish after the application deadline but before the start of fall semester may still be considered for admission to the program contingent upon completion with “C” or better in the missing prerequisite class(es) and seat availability.

Applicants for the respiratory therapy program tend to be well-qualified and will be accepted until the class is fully enrolled, up to 30 students per year. Minimum admission criteria, respiratory therapy selection criteria, the program application, and other program information sheets are available for review by visiting the Respiratory Therapy Program section of the MCCC website. Students can also receive application information by contacting the Health Sciences Division office at 734.384.4102 or by contacting the MCCC Admissions office at 734.384.4104.

General Information

  1. Selection of qualified respiratory therapy applicants is done through a numerical process. Meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission to the program.
  2. Immunizations and health examinations are required at the student’s expense to ensure that the student can meet the technical standards of the program and the requirements of partner clinical agencies.
  3. An active American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for professional rescuer of infant, child and adult will be required during the program. More information will be provided to students at the beginning of the program.
  4. Students admitted to health science programs must consent to background/security checks including a criminal background check and drug screening. The student is responsible for any cost associated with the background/security/drug screening checks. Certain criminal convictions may render a student ineligible to train at clinical sites which are necessary in order to successfully complete the program. Additionally, certain criminal convictions may render an individual ineligible to take the licensing/certification exam or to be licensed/certified in the State of Michigan or other states. The college will review the results and determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether to deny admission to any individual based on the results of the background check, criminal background check, and drug screening. Despite the passage of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act in November 2018, the possession of marijuana remains prohibited under United States Federal Law and MCCC policy (6.21). The College and Health Sciences Division prohibits employees, students, and members of the public from possessing or using marijuana (legal or medicinal) on College property or during any College activity. Health occupation students must consent to random drug screening with negative results for marijuana or any illicit substance. Failure to provide a negative drug screen will prevent participation in the program and/or result in program dismissal.
  5. Respiratory therapy students are required to have professional liability and personal health insurance. The professional liability insurance is provided by the college. Personal health insurance must be obtained by the student and maintained throughout the program in order to comply with clinical agency requirements. Proof of insurance will be required prior to participating in the first clinical activity.
  6. Respiratory care involves the provision of direct care for individuals and families and is characterized by the application of verified knowledge in the skillful performance of respiratory care modalities. Therefore, in order to be considered for admission or to continue in the program, all applicants must be able to meet the health sciences technical standards available in the Respiratory Therapy section of the MCCC website. A prospective student or participant in the program with a disability for which accommodations may be appropriate can request reasonable accommodations to meet technical standards. The College will provide appropriate accommodations, but is not required to fundamentally alter the requirements or nature of the program or lower its academic standards. Requests for accommodations should be directed to a disability services counselor in the Student Success Center. To make an appointment, please call 734.384.4167.
  7. All respiratory therapy students utilize internet services and resources to supplement instruction. Students must have reliable internet access. Students enrolled in the respiratory therapy program will be required to take assessments (i.e., exams, quizzes, etc.) electronically using an online assessment program called ExamSoft Examplify. Students enrolled in these courses will be required to provide their own portable computer (including webcam and microphone) that will support the assessment software. The software can be used on most modern Microsoft Windows- based computers and Mac OS X devices. Information related to minimum system requirements can be located by visiting Since all respiratory therapy program software is compatible with Windows operating systems, students are encouraged to purchase a Windows-based laptop that meets or exceeds the specifications outline in the above link. Students are encouraged to check with the Health Sciences Division or the program director for a complete list of minimum system requirements.
  8. In conjunction with requirements set forth by the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs agency, information related to the student complaint process, career opportunities by state and licensing requirements by state can be accessed by visiting the following websites: a) Student Complaint Process: found in the Consumer Information section of the MCCC website; b) Career opportunities by state:; and c) Licensure requirements by state:
  9. This program is designed to meet the educational requirements for respiratory therapists in Michigan and Ohio. Upon completion, students are eligible for CRT and RRT examinations. MCCC has not determined if the respiratory therapy program meets the state education requirements in any other state or U.S. territory. Students are encouraged to contact the state regulatory agency for respiratory care in any other state for which this information is needed. The National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) has resources that may be helpful in providing contact information for various state regulatory agencies. (Please visit the link provided below.) For more information, please contact the Program Director Helen Stripling, State licensure information:
  10. In addition to the general college rules, respiratory therapy students are required to adhere to policies and procedures outlined in the Respiratory Therapy Student Handbook. Students are encouraged to review the handbook prior to application. A copy of the Student Handbook is available in the Health Sciences Division section of the MCCC website and at with clinical agency requirements. Proof of insurance will be required prior to participating in the first clinical activity.

Technical Standards

The purpose of the technical standards is to inform students choosing to enter into a health occupation program of the basic minimal technical standard requirements that must be met in order to complete all coursework, objectives and student outcomes. The listed standards encompass what is minimally required to perform necessary tasks. This list is not exhaustive, and can be modified as the college deems necessary at any time. Students enrolled in a health occupation program at MCCC must provide care that is safe and effective. These technical standards apply to any student enrolling in any one of the health occupations programs. The student must be able to demonstrate sufficient cognitive, professional, motor (physical), sensory and other abilities, with or without accommodation, to meet program technical standards. Technical standard requirements are listed below. Examples of tasks associated with each requirement and standard are available for review by visiting the Health Sciences Division section of the MCCC website. Prospective students are encouraged to review the Technical Standards for Health Occupational Programs document in its entirety prior to enrolling in or applying to any health occupation course or program.

  • Critical Thinking and Cognitive Competencies:
    Sufficient critical thinking and cognitive abilities in classroom and clinical settings.
  • Professionalism:
    Interpersonal skills sufficient for professional interaction with a diverse population of individuals, families and groups.
  • Communication:
    Communication sufficient for professional interactions.
  • Mobility:
    Physical abilities sufficient for movement from room to room and in small spaces.
  • Motor Skills:
    Gross and fine motor abilities which are sufficiently effective and safe for providing allied health care.
  • Sensory:
    Auditory and visual ability sufficient for observing, monitoring and assessing health needs.
  • Observation:
    Ability to sufficiently make observations in a health care environment consistent with program competencies.
  • Tactile sense:
    Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment.

Required General Education Courses

See the General Education Requirements  for a list of courses that satisfy the General Education Learning Competencies.

Required Courses and Sequence

* General Education requirement. Suggested as a pre-admission course; however, not required to be completed prior to application.
** Required non-respiratory course: must be completed in the order presented above or prior to the semester indicated.
1Can be satisfied through a competency test (Computer Literacy Competency)


Summer Semester (3rd)

Winter Semester (5th)

Total Degree Requirements: 79.5-85.5 credits

Total Degree Costs: 126-132 minimum billable contact hours

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