Respiratory Care | SKYCTC

Respiratory Care

Help people breathe easier. Learn to use life-saving equipment and care for patients with lung or heart problems, while entering a field that’s full of opportunity.

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What is Respiratory Care?

The Respiratory Care program prepares the graduate to take an active role in the maintenance and/or restoration of cardiopulmonary homeostasis. The curriculum includes intensive course work in the supporting sciences and general education areas. Classroom instruction is supplemented with learning experiences in the campus laboratory and in area clinical affiliates. Students enrolled in the Respiratory Care program are required to achieve a minimum grade of "C" in each Respiratory Care course.

Students completing this five semester program will earn an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Respiratory Care and be qualified to take the national board examinations to earn the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Credential and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Credential from the National Board of Respiratory Care.

Mission Statement

The mission of the respiratory therapy program is to provide the instruction and resources necessary to enable students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes which are necessary to become a competent Registered Respiratory Therapist.

Respiratory Care Program Goals

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).

What are my career choices?

Career and advancement opportunities in respiratory care are excellent, especially for those willing to travel or relocate. Most states require licensure. Most employers require Certification and/or Registry by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Most graduates work in hospitals, but opportunities exist in home health care, nursing homes, and physicians offices. Summary of Occupation.

Credentials Available at SKYCTC

Respiratory Therapist Associate in Applied Science Degree: 68 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS Requirements

Employment Statistics

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Program Requirements

Applicant must:

  • be at least 17 years old with verification of age
  •  complete an application for admission to SKYCTC
  • take the ACT, or other placement exams and provide for admission
  • have both high school (or GED) and college transcripts sent to SKYCTC
  • meet all admission requirements to the college (SKYCTC)
  • attend college orientation (SOAR) session
  • attend a one on one pre-admissions conference, first advisement.
  • complete program application after pre-admissions conference.
  • apply for admission into the Respiratory Care Program prior to May 15
  • complete letter of intent to the Respiratory Care Program Director prior to May 15

Admission into the Respiratory Care Program is based on:

  • The selective admission process; based on academic performance (grades).
  • The student GPA (preference is given to a GPA of 2.5 or higher).

Pre-Requisites for Admission:

Passing the following courses with a grade of C or above:

  • BIO 137 Anatomy and Physiology
  • MAT 150 College Algebra OR MAT 146 Contemporary Math OR MAT 110 Applied Math

Step 1: The student must be enrolled in SKYCTC and meet all the admission requirements before being advised by the Program Faculty. 

Step 2: Starts with an initial advisement appointment. You can do this by calling (270) 901-1080 and setting up the appointment through our administrative assistant. 

Advisement is a required continuous process to ensure all educational requirements are being met. Also to ensure the individual student is academically aligned and taking the required courses. It is a two-way communication between the student and the program faculty.

The Respiratory Care Program is an Associates in Applied Science program and course requirements are mandatory for completion. The National Board of Respiratory Care requires a minimum of an Associates degree from an accredited Respiratory Care Program to be Board eligible.

Step 3: To be considered for the programs selective admission process; all applications must be received no later than 15 May.

The program accepts 15 students each year. All applicants will be notified of their status (select or non-select) by mail the last week of May. Those students selected into the program will be required to attend an acceptance briefing held by the program faculty.

**All students accepted into the program must complete the following on or before the established deadline given at the acceptance briefing:

  • A background check and drug screen.
  • Complete physical, and required labs/testing.

All requirements will be discussed at the acceptance briefing. Other items required for the clinical practice:

  • Malpractice Insurance (offered through the College)

  • AHA Healthcare Provider BLS with AED (offered through the program)

For success in the Respiratory Care Program, it is better to have the majority of the general education requirements completed prior to admission. At a minimum, one of the required math classes (MAT110, 146 or 150) and the first A&P class (BIO137) must be completed with a “C” or higher to be accepted into the program.

The selective admissions process: Selective admission is based on grades earned from the programs required general education class list. The points for selective admissions are based on the letter grade from each required class with a “C” or higher. Each letter grade earned is equal to a certain number of points, A’s earn more points than B’s and C’s earn less. The Math and BIO classes carry more weighted points than general education classes. The other components of the selective admissions process include GPA, other degrees, and current or previous documented healthcare work experience. Each May after the application deadline the selection process begins. The top 15 students from the selective process will be accepted into the program.

The Pre‐Admission Conference is required and is conducted during the student’s first advisement session. In order to be considered for the program, you must meet with program faculty and complete the pre‐conference check list. Followed with a letter of intent to the Program Director.

Clinical courses will involve rotation/assignments to a variety of clinical affiliates and different settings. Early mornings, travel, and some evening hours will be required to meet these requirements.

While a student is waiting to be selected into the Respiratory Care Program; the degree program the student is placed in is the Associates in Science. While the student is being advised the student will be guided to completing the requirements of the AS degree.

For more information about the Respiratory Care field visit the AARC (American Association for Respiratory Care) website ‐ Follow the links for education.

The respiratory therapist specializes in the application of scientific knowledge and theory to practical clinical problems of respiratory care as outlined in a description of the occupation found in the guidelines and essentials of the accredited educational program for the respiratory therapist. Therefore, in order to be successful in the program, a candidate should possess:

  1.  sufficient tactile and visual acuity, such as is needed in the accurate monitoring or life support systems and for the observation necessary for patient assessments;

  2. sufficient auditory perception to receive verbal communication from patients and members of the health care team to assess health needs of people through the use of monitoring devices such as cardiac monitors, stethoscopes, inhalers and fire alarms, etc.; 

  3.  sufficient gross and fine motor coordination to respond promptly and to implement respiratory therapy skills including the manipulation of equipment to meet health needs;

  4.  sufficient communication skills (verbal, non-verbal, and written) to interact with individuals and to communicate their needs promptly and effectively; and

  5.  sufficient intellectual and emotional functions to plan and implement respiratory care. 

 If you need special accommodations to meet these standards, please contact the Program Director.

Length of Program

The program consists of five consecutive semesters, with completion occurring in May, two years following entrance into the program.

Program Accreditation Information

The Respiratory Care program at SKYCTC is fully accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

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.

Outcome data from the Annual Report of Current Status from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

CoARC Program #200519

Institutional Accreditation

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website(

SACSCOC Accreditation Stamp

Note: The Commission is to be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support an institution's significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard.


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Program Contact

Dwight Austin

Respiratory Care Program Director


(270) 901-1076

Ken McKenney

Respiratory Care Director of Clinical Education

Associate Professor

(270) 901-1127