Respiratory Care Technology


This curriculum prepares students as advanced practitioners in respiratory care technology. Students learn diagnostic and therapeutic procedures applicable to pulmonary care. Therapeutic procedures include use and administration of oxygen and other medical gases, aerosolization of drugs for inhalation, set up and maintenance of mechanical ventilators (to assist or control ventilation), performance of chest physical therapy maneuvers and certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Respiratory care personnel perform diagnostic procedures such as pulmonary function studies and arterial blood gas analysis, and are involved in rehabilitation of the patient with cardiopulmonary abnormalities. The Respiratory Care Technology program is a 22-consecutive-month associate’s degree program that is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. The program's graduates are eligible to sit for all credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, including the entry-level examination, the written registry and clinical simulation examinations and specialty exams in pulmonary function technology and neonatal/pediatric respiratory care. In addition, graduates are eligible for Pennsylvania state licensure, a requirement for practicing in the state, and licensure in all states. Students will also become student members of the American Association for Respiratory Care.

In addition to classroom and laboratory program components, clinical experience at selected area hospitals and health care facilities is required. The clinical phase requires the student to be in the hospital approximately eight hours per day, up to five days per week, starting as early as 7 a.m. As a prerequisite to the clinical phase of the program, students must provide evidence of personal medical insurance, certification in all CPR techniques and the results of complete physical examination. Laboratory test results will include a complete blood count, serology and urinalysis. A tuberculosis skin test is also required and, if indicated, a chest X-ray may be necessary. In addition, recent immunization documentation must be provided for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and Hepatitis B. A second complete physical exam is required prior to beginning the second year of the program. Health problems that might interfere with the ability to meet stated program objectives will be considered on an individual basis.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Explain the structure, function, and pathophysiology of the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems
  • Assess and treat patients with acute and chronic respiratory diseases by using critical thinking skills to recommend appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • Provide age-specific treatment, management, and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities associated with respiration and ventilation
  • Recommend and perform procedures to maintain the airway, remove secretions, and assure ventilation and tissue oxygenation
  • Perform a full physical assessment and provide safe respiratory care by modifying therapy based on the patient’s response to their current therapeutic regimen
  • Perform cardiopulmonary therapeutic procedures and modalities appropriate to the level of training
  • Initiate, conduct, or modify respiratory care techniques in an emergency
  • Promote disease prevention and wellness by educating patients on the proper use and care of respiratory equipment
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to successfully pass the National Board of Respiratory Care licensing exams for the certified respiratory therapist (CRT) and the registered respiratory therapist (RRT)

Program Entry Requirements:

To apply to the program, applicants must have a diploma from an accredited high school or a state equivalency diploma.

Applicants must also fulfill the following requirements:

  • Required knowledge and competency in anatomy and physiology as demonstrated by having taken and passed a four-credit, college-level Anatomy and Physiology I course (such as BIOL 109) with a grade of C or better.  The course must have been taken within the past 5 years.
  • Placement in FNMT 118: Intermediate Algebra or higher placement
  • Placement in ENGL 101: English Composition I
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Attainment of sufficient skills in reading, writing and mathematics as demonstrated by performance on the Kaplan Health Care Test.

Applicants will be admitted only upon favorable recommendation of the Respiratory Care Technology faculty. Admission is considered conditional until all health and background information is received and reviewed.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the clinical experience.


Students petitioning for a second admission to the program must have a 2.75 grade point average and will be readmitted only upon favorable recommendation of the entire faculty.

Clinical Experience Requirements:

Clinical experience in the program includes contact with children. Acceptance to the program is conditional pending receipt and evaluation of a criminal background check and child abuse clearance check. Completed checks must be received by the program director by August 15, prior to the fall semester of the first year of the program.

The following guidelines are used in making decisions about an applicant's criminal and child abuse background:

Child Abuse Clearance:

Any record results in denial of admission into the Respiratory Care program.

Criminal Background Checks:

  • Any felony conviction within the past 10 years results in denial of admission to the Respiratory Care program.
  • Any felony conviction more than 10 years old will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense and any explanatory letters/materials submitted by the applicant or student.
  • Any misdemeanor will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense and explanatory letter/materials submitted by the applicant or student. (Any punishment over one year indicates a felony according to federal sentencing guidelines.)

Note: The State has the final decision when granting a license.


An applicant who believes that an error of fact has been made in terms of the information provided to the decision-making committee can request reconsideration by the committee. This request must be made in writing within 10 days from the date of the letter notifying the applicant of the decision. The reconsideration should address what the applicant considers to be errors of fact.

Following reconsideration by the decision-making committee, the applicant can appeal the committee's decision to the Vice President for Academic and Student Success whose decision is final.


To remain in the Respiratory Care program students must maintain a grade of "C" or better in all Respiratory Care and required pre- and co-requisite courses. During all clinical laboratory experiences, the student must maintain client safety and receive a passing grade for any clinical component of a course. Failure to do so will result in either a failure in the course or administrative or student-initiated withdrawal.

Students whose attitudes and behaviors appear inconsistent with professional standards may not be admitted or may be dropped from the program at any time, pending the results of a departmental hearing.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree as a respiratory care practitioner, a student must complete 70 credit hours as prescribed and attain a grade point average of 2.0 ("C" average).

For Reference:

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine and the Pennsylvania State Board of Osteopathic Medicine reserves the right to deny certification to any candidate who has been convicted of a felonious act. Conviction includes a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere, probation without verdict, or incomplete ARD. Further, the board shall not issue a license to any applicant who has been:

1. convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64) known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act; or

2. 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 unless:

  • at least 10 years have elapsed from the date of the conviction;
  • the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the board significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure should not create a substantial risk of further violations; and
  • the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in this act.

Involvement in any incident which resulted in disciplinary action against a student at Community College of Philadelphia or any post-secondary institution is considered in the admissions process.

The Respiratory Care Technology program reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant who has a documented history of violating College rules and regulations or who has been previously suspended or expelled from the College or any other post-secondary educational institution.

Course Sequence:

Semester 1

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
RESP 100 - Introduction to Respiratory Care Technologies RESP 101 with a grade of "C" or better, which must be taken concurrently 4 credits  
RESP 101 - Respiratory Care Techniques RESP 100 with a grade of "C" or better, must be taken concurrently 4 credits  
ENGL 101 - English Composition I   3 credits ENGL 101
BIOL 110 - Anatomy and Physiology II BIOL 109 with a grade of "C" or better 4 credits Natural Sciences
FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra   3 credits Mathematics

Semester 2

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
RESP 102 - Respiratory Pharmacology, Modalities, and Airway Management RESP 100 and RESP 101 with a grade of "C" or better 4 credits  
CIS 103 - Applied Computer Technology   3 credits Tech Comp
ENGL 102 - The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better 3 credits ENGL 102, Info Lit

Summer 1

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
RESP 103 - Introduction to Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology RESP 102 with a grade of "C" or better 3 credits  
CHEM 110 - Introductory Chemistry or
CHEM 101 - Fundamentals of Chemistry I (Lab Based)
  4 credits  

Summer 2

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
RESP 104 - Clinical Practicum I RESP 103 with a grade of "C" or better 3 credits Interpretive Studies

Semester 3

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
RESP 210 - Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology I BIOL 110 with a grade of "C" or better; CHEM 110 or CHEM 101, with a grade of "C" or better; CIS 103,  ENGL 102, or RESP 104 with a grade of "C" or better; and RESP 220, which must be taken concurrently 4 credits  
RESP 220 - Advanced Respiratory Care Procedures RESP 104 with a grade of "C" or better, RESP 210 must be taken concurrently 5 credits  
BIOL 241 - Principles of Microbiology BIOL 106 or BIOL 108, and BIOL 109 or BIOL 123, both with a grade "C" or better 4 credits  

Semester 4

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
ENGL 115 - Public Speaking ENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently 3 credits Humanities
RESP 211 - Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology II BIOL 241 with a grade of "C" or better, RESP 210 with a grade of "C" or better, RESP 211 which must be taken concurrently 4 credits  
SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology   3 credits

Social Sciences
American/Global Diversity
Writing Intensive

RESP 221 - Adult Critical Care RESP 220 with a grade of "C" or better, RESP 211 which must be taken concurrently 6 credits  

Summer 1

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
RESP 299 - Clinical Practicum II RESP 211 and RESP 221 with a grade of "C" or better 3 credits  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


General Education Requirements:

All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must complete a course substitution request form. To access the form, login to the MyCCP portal, and in the Student tab, under Electronic Forms, click on the Records and Registration Forms link, then choose Request For Course Substitution Of Graduation Requirement link. A more detailed explanation of the College’s general education requirements is also available.

For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Math, Science and Health Careers, Room W1-1, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8430; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.