Respiratory Care student working with instructor

Respiratory Care Profession

The respiratory care profession is composed of certified and registered respiratory therapists, who provide assistance to persons experiencing respiratory difficulty. They are involved in all aspects of respiratory care, including newborn, emergency, diagnostics, and chronic rehabilitative therapies. They provide services ranging from simple respiratory care to complex life-saving techniques used in critical care settings for patients of all ages.  

Program Information

MVCC's Respiratory Care AAS degree program will prepare you for immediate entry into a career upon graduation, equipped with advanced training in critical care and advanced life support, and demonstrated competence in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs). The curriculum is designed to provide a broad knowledge base and hands-on experience through classroom lectures and laboratory and clinical experiences to ensure you are prepared to enter the profession as a responsible, competent member of a healthcare team in a variety of settings, including hospitals and other acute care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, physician offices, laboratories, and home care.

The Respiratory Care program is a two-year course of study requiring 65 credits for an Associate in Applied Science degree. It includes a series of general education and natural science courses, which can be completed prior to applying and enrolling in the program, which is recommended to reduce the course workload each semester (completion of these courses does not guarantee admission to the program). 

Upon graduation from MVCC's Respiratory Care program, you will be eligible to take National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) exams to earn certified and registered respiratory therapist credentials. Information on licensure contacts for each state can be obtained at

Unique program features

  • Enrollment limited to 28-30 students
  • Small lecture groups (maximum of 35 students)
  • Small clinical group ratios (one instructor to four to six students)
  • Each respiratory student has access to three respiratory faculty members as advisors
  • Seven hospital affiliates provide sites for clinical experiences
  • State-of-the-art Respiratory Care Laboratory and Health Professions Computer Lab
  • Respiratory Care Tutor — free of charge
  • Advisory Board involves of healthcare community members
  • Active Respiratory Care Club
  • Near 100% job placement within 12 months of graduation for last 10 years for those pursuing work

MVCC Respiratory Care program student outcomes

Respiratory Care graduate performance on national credentialing exams:

Graduation Year Passed TMC at High Cut Score Passed CSE Job Placement
2021 - 16 grads 13 - 81% 8 - 67% 10
2020 - 12 grads 11 - 92% 10 - 91% 10
2019 - 15 grads 15 - 100% 15 - 100% 15


* Up-to-date information about performance on national credentialing exams/job placement can be found at

See semester-by-semester degree plan, as well as end-of-program student learning outcomes.

How to apply to the Respiratory Care program

Admission to the Respiratory Care AAS degree program at MVCC is a competitive and time-sensitive process. For complete instructions on how to apply for the Respiratory Care program at MVCC, click here. Students also must be able to perform all essential functions listed here.

Important: Health requirements for some Health Sciences programs differ from MVCC health requirements. Click here for more information.


In order to be considered for admission to this program, prospective students must meet all of the following requirements prior to beginning their studies:

  • Students must have the most recent of the following:
    • minimum college GPA of 2.5 (minimum 12 credits or more) or
    • high school average of 80 
  • High school chemistry (with lab) or its equivalent with a minimum grade of 70, within seven years.
  • High school biology (with lab) is recommended.
  • An appropriate Mathematics Placement test result, or MA089 Arithmetic, MA090 Essential Math Skills, or MA091 Introductory Algebra.
  • The MVCC mathematics placement test is based on content presented in two high school mathematics courses or equivalent.
  • For students completing mathematics and chemistry prerequisites by taking equivalent courses, a minimum grade of C is required.
  • Acceptance into the Respiratory Care Program.
  • Proof of current American Heart Association CPR course for Healthcare Providers certification, on file in the Respiratory Care Office prior to starting clinical courses. CPR certification must be kept current throughout the program.
  • A Respiratory Care Student Physical Health Form and proof of immunizations must be submitted prior to participation in clinical courses, and updated annually at the student's expense.


The Respiratory Care program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) (Telephone: 817-283-2835, website: 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. Outcomes Data for programs accredited by the CoARC are available on the Programmatic Outcomes Data page at the CoARC website (search for program #200446).

Contact Us

Program Coordinator and Instructor John Ringlehan, BS, RRT
Payne Hall 373, Utica Campus
Phone: 315-792-5664

Clinical Coordinator/Instructor Michael Brown, BS, RRT
Payne Hall 351
Phone: 315-792-5671