Respiratory Care: AAS

Respiratory Care: AAS

Associate in Applied Science | 74 credit hours minimum

Area of Interest: Health Professions

Program Website

Academic Advising

Program Description:

The AAS Respiratory Care program prepares 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). Students learn to evaluate, treat, and manage patients with cardiopulmonary disorders in a variety of settings. Persons interested in the program should be team-oriented, compassionate individuals who derive satisfaction from helping others in time of need. They also should be able to tolerate moderate physical activity and long hours of standing, and work effectively under stress.

Graduates are eligible to take the Therapist Multiple Choice and Clinical Simulation examinations offered through the National Board for Respiratory Care in order to obtain the Registered Respiratory Therapy (RRT) credential.  

Application to the program is selective. The prerequisites for application to this program are based on professional standards and include the following:

  • Math proficiency: Complete ONE of the following prior to application to the program:
    • ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher OR SAT subscore of 540 or higher within the last 3 years
    • Place into MTH160 or higher, excluding MTH161, on the Accuplacer within the last 3 years
    • Completion of MTH140, MTH140S, or higher level math with a grade of "C" or higher within the last 5 years.
  • English Proficiency: Complete ONE of the following prior to application to the program:
    • English ACT score of 18 of higher OR SAT EBRW score of 500 or higher within the last 3 years.
    • Accuplacer (Next Gen) score of 250 or higher within the last 3 years OR high school GPA of 2.6 or higher
    • Placement into ENG 101 OR completion of ENG 101 (C or higher) will satisfy the English proficiency prerequisite
  • Chemistry: Complete ONE of the following within 5 years from application to the program
    • Two semesters of high school chemistry with lab with a grade of "C" or higher
    • One semester of college chemistry with lab (CHM101 or higher) with a grade of "C" or higher
  • Biology:
    • A&P I (BIO207) must be completed with a "C" or higher within 5 years from application to the program
      • Prerequisite: BIO 111 or BIO 140 or CHM 101 with a minimum grade of "C", or college-level course equivalent, and Reading Proficiency
    • A&P II (BIO208) must be completed with a "C" or higher before starting the AAS respiratory care coursework

The Respiratory Care Program (Program #200050) offering an Associate’s in Applied Science (AAS) degree at the Forest Park campus located at 5600 Oakland Avenue, St. Louis, MO is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Location. This program is offered in its entirety at Forest Park. 

Cost of Attendance.  For more information on cost of attendance visit MoSCORES

Program Career and Salary Information.  Pursuant to Missouri HB 1606 (2018), information regarding the number of credit hours, program length, employment rate, wage data, and graduates employed in careers related to their program of study at St. Louis Community College can be found at the following URL: https://scorecard.mo.gov/scorecard/. Search using School / Program “St. Louis Community College” and choose the degree or credential type of interest. 

The following limitations to the data apply: Information provided is based on the most recent cohorts available. Typically, most recent cohorts for wage and completion data are six years prior to the current academic year. Time to complete a program of study varies depending on the number of credit hours students earn per semester.

Interested in this program? Start the enrollment process by visiting the Apply to STLCC page.   

At the completion of the program, students are expected to:

  1. evaluate data to assess the cardiopulmonary status of a patient and appropriateness of prescribed respiratory care.
  2. develop respiratory care plans in a variety of settings and modify if necessary.
  3. initiate appropriate therapeutic interventions, monitor patient responses, and modify therapy to achieve goals.
  4. promote cardiopulmonary wellness, disease prevention and management, and patient/family/community education.
  5. perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in a safe and effective manner.
  6. apply problem-solving strategies in the patient care setting.
  7. demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  8. conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.

Missouri Civics Examination.  Students entering college for the very first time in fall 2019 and who intend to complete an associate’s degree must successfully complete a civics examination. Information on who is eligible for a waiver can be found on the STLCC website.

Program of Study

Pre-Entry Requirements
BIO 111Introductory Biology I (MOTR BIOL 100L)4-5
or BIO 140 Principles of Biology I (MOTR BIOL 150L)
or CHM 101 Fundamentals of Chemistry I (MOTR CHEM 100L)
BIO 207Anatomy and Physiology I (MOTR LIFS 150LAP)4
BIO 208Anatomy and Physiology II4
General Education
Written Communications Requirement (6 credit hours needed):6
College Composition I (MOTR ENGL 100)
College Composition II (MOTR ENGL 200)
Report Writing (MOTR ENGL 110)
PSY 200General Psychology (MOTR PSYC 100)3
XXX xxxSocial & Behavioral Sciences: Civics Requirement3
Program Requirements
RC 100Foundations of Respiratory Care3
RC 110Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology3
RC 120Respiratory Care Practices I6
RC 130Patient Assessment2
RC 140Respiratory Pharmacology2
RC 150Fundamentals of Respiratory Care II4
RC 160Mechanical Ventilation I4
RC 170Respiratory Care Clinical Practice I1
RC 180Cardiopulmonary Diseases3
RC 190Respiratory Care Clinical Practice II1
RC 200Adult Critical Care3
RC 210Mechanical Ventilation II4
RC 220Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care3
RC 230Respiratory Care Clinical Practice III2
RC 240Respiratory Care Specialties3
RC 250Respiratory Care Capstone4
RC 260Respiratory Care Clinical Practice IV2
Total Credit Hours74-75

Program Promotion

A student in the Respiratory Care program must receive a satisfactory (minimum “C”) rating in Respiratory Care didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses in order to promote through the program.  If a student receives less than a “C” grade in any respiratory care course, the student will be placed on academic probation and the student will not be able to move forward in the program until that course(s) have been completed with a “C” grade or higher.  Students who fail 3 or more courses in a semester will be dismissed from the program and will not be eligible for re-entry to the program.  Students with 2 or more “F” grades in a semester will be dismissed from the program and will not be eligible for re-entry to the program.  Students must also attain a “C” grade in all math and science general education courses to graduate from the program. 

In each combined respiratory care course that has didactic and lab, the student must obtain a 75% or higher grade in the didactic and lab portions to pass the course.  A student with <7074% didactic or lab grade will have an automatic “D” in the course.   A student who has <70% didactic or lab grade will have an automatic “F” in the course. 

Lab grades may consist of assignments, quizzes, lab competencies and a final lab practicum.  Students must receive “satisfactory” ratings on all required lab competencies. Students are given three total attempts to pass a laboratory competency.  If a student fails to receive a “satisfactory” laboratory rating on a competency after three attempts, the result will be a course failure, regardless of the didactic or overall laboratory grade. If a student misses a performance evaluation due to an absence or receives an “unsatisfactory” on their first attempt, it will be up to the student to arrange a time for making up the evaluation in question. Students will not be permitted to complete any other performance evaluations until all previous ones are satisfactorily completed.  Failure to satisfactorily complete a performance evaluation in a timely manner may cause a student to receive point deductions for any subsequently missed performance evaluations.   

In each respiratory care clinical course, an “unsatisfactory” rating on any skill competency (after two previous unsuccessful attempts) will result in a course failure, regardless of the overall clinical grade. 

Respiratory Care Program Requirements Checklist

Respiratory Care Student Handbook

Missouri Civics Examination.  Students entering college for the very first time in fall 2019 and who intend to complete an associate’s degree must successfully complete a civics examination. Information on who is eligible for a waiver can be found on the STLCC website.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you originally enrolled at STLCC prior to Fall 2024, you may need to view an archived catalog for your correct program requirements.  Please speak with an advisor or the program coordinator for more information.

This plan is a suggested semester-by-semester course schedule. It is designed to keep you on track for a timely graduation. This plan is not a substitute for academic advising. Contact an advisor for further information regarding placement based on Placement exam scores, scheduling, degree requirements, and graduation requirements.  The Respiratory Care Program has additional admission criteria that must be met in order to enroll in the Respiratory courses.  Contact an advisor or the Program Coordinator for specific information.

Additional information is available at https://stlcc.edu/programs-academics/pathways/health-professions/respiratory-care/associates.aspx

Prerequisites to Apply to the Respiratory Care Program:

  1. English Proficiency can be met by ONE of the following:
    • English ACT score of 18 or higher OR SAT EBRW score of 500 or higher within the last 3 years; or
    • Accuplacer (Next Gen) score of 250 or higher within the last 3 years OR high school GPA of 2.6 or higher; or
    • Placement into ENG 101 OR completion of ENG 101 with a "C" or higher.
  2. Reading Proficiency can be met by ONE of the following:
    • Reading ACT score of 18 or higher OR SAT EBRW score of 500 or higher within the last 3 years; or
    • Accuplacer (Next Gen) score of 250 or higher within the last 3 years OR high school GPA of 2.6 or higher; or
    • Proof of completion of a 3 credit hour course (100 level or higher) with a grade of "C" or higher from a U.S. accredited institution; or
    • Demonstrate college-level reading competency.
  3. Math Proficiency can be met by ONE of the following:
    • ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher OR SAT math score of 540 or higher within the last 3 years; or
    • Place into MTH 160 or higher on the Accuplacer within the last 3 years; or  
    • Completion of MTH 140, MTH 140S, or higher level math with a grade of "C" or higher within the last 5 years.
  4. Science Prerequisites can be met by completing ALL of the following:
    • Chemistry: Students must have completed two semesters of high school chemistry with lab OR one semester of college chemistry with lab (STLCC CHM 101 or higher) with a grade of "C" or higher within the last 5 years
    • BIO 207 Anatomy & Physiology I with a grade of "C" or higher within the last 5 years (If BIO 207 was already taken over 5 years ago, BIO 208 may be taken within the last 5 years to satisfy the time frame.)
  5. Minimum Cumulative GPA: Students must have a GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale) in high school or for 15 hours of college work (100 level or higher). Students with fewer than 15 hours of college credit must have both a 2.5 GPA in high school and a 2.5 GPA in college
    • 2.5 GPA MUST be maintained while on the waiting list.
    • GED Applicants: must have 15 hours of (100 level or higher) college credits with a 2.5 or higher GPA
    • STLCC students with at least 15 college-level credits with a 2.5 GPA: will have met this requirement, regardless of the GPA at other colleges.
    • College transfer students with fewer than 15 STLCC credits: must have a cumulative 2.5 GPA in college-level credits earned at all colleges attended.

Pre-Entry Requirements: 

BIO 111Introductory Biology I (MOTR BIOL 100L) (Must pass with a “C” or higher)4-5
or BIO 140 Principles of Biology I (MOTR BIOL 150L)
or CHM 101 Fundamentals of Chemistry I (MOTR CHEM 100L)
BIO 207Anatomy and Physiology I (MOTR LIFS 150LAP) (Must pass with a “C” or higher)4
BIO 208Anatomy and Physiology II (Must pass with a “C” or higher)4
Total Credit Hours12-13

Full-Time Academic Plan

New PlanGrids
First Year
Fall Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
RC 100 Foundations of Respiratory Care3Reading Proficiency
RC 110 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology3Admission to the AAS Respiratory Care or BS Respiratory Care Program, BIO 208 with a minimum grade of "C", and Reading Proficiency
RC 120 Respiratory Care Practices I6Program Admission, BIO 208 with a minimum grade of "C", and Reading Proficiency
RC 130 Patient Assessment2Program Admission, BIO 208 with a minimum grade of "C" and Reading Proficiency
Credit Hours14
Spring Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
RC 140 Respiratory Pharmacology2Concurrent or prior enrollment in RC 110 with a minimum grade of "C", and Reading Proficiency
RC 150 Fundamentals of Respiratory Care II4RC 110, RC 125, and RC 135 with minimum grades of "C", and Reading Proficiency
RC 160 Mechanical Ventilation I4RC 110, RC 125, and RC 135 with minimum grades of "C", and Reading Proficiency
RC 170 Respiratory Care Clinical Practice I1RC 100, RC 110, RC 120, RC 130 all with minimum grades of "C", and Reading Proficiency
ENG 101 College Composition I (MOTR ENGL 100)
or College Composition II (MOTR ENGL 200)
or Report Writing (MOTR ENGL 110)
3Placement score or ENG 030 or ENG 070 with a grade of "C" or better or recommendation of department and Reading Proficiency or concurrent enrollment in RDG 079Six credits in ENG 101, 102 or 103 are required.
Credit Hours14
Summer Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
RC 180 Cardiopulmonary Diseases3RC 125 and RC 140 with minimum grades of "C", and Reading Proficiency
RC 190 Respiratory Care Clinical Practice II1RC 140, RC 150, RC 160, RC 170 all with minimum grades of "C", and Reading Proficiency
ENG 101 College Composition I (MOTR ENGL 100)
or College Composition II (MOTR ENGL 200)
or Report Writing (MOTR ENGL 110)
3Placement score or ENG 030 or ENG 070 with a grade of "C" or better or recommendation of department and Reading Proficiency or concurrent enrollment in RDG 079Six credits in ENG 101, 102 or 103 are required.
Credit Hours7
Second Year
Fall Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
RC 200 Adult Critical Care3RC 180 with grade of "C" or higher, and Reading Proficiency
RC 210 Mechanical Ventilation II4RC 150, RC 160, and RC 180 with grades of "C" or higher, and Reading Proficiency
RC 220 Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care3RC 180 and RC 190 with grades of "C" or higher, and Reading Proficiency
RC 230 Respiratory Care Clinical Practice III2RC 180 and RC 190 with grades of "C" or higher, and Reading Proficiency
Credit Hours12
Spring Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
RC 240 Respiratory Care Specialties3RC 180 with a grade of "C" or higher, and Reading ProficiencyApply for graduation
RC 250 Respiratory Care Capstone4RC 200, RC 210, RC 220, RC 230 all with grades of "C" or higher, and Reading ProficiencyComplete National Board Review Exams
RC 260 Respiratory Care Clinical Practice IV2RC 200, RC 210, RC 220, RC 230 all with grades of "C" or higher, and Reading Proficiency
PSY 200 General Psychology (MOTR PSYC 100)3Reading Proficiency or concurrent enrollment in RDG 079
XXX xxxSocial & Behavioral Sciences: Civics Requirement3  
Credit Hours15
Total Credit Hours62

*Click on the hyperlinked course number to view additional information about the course.

**Students completing a course that has been assigned a MOTR number may transfer that course to any public institution in Missouri. Those who complete CORE 42 requirements will have that verification on their transcript.

*** It is your responsibility to verify that the courses listed above will transfer to the four-year institution of your choice.  Maximize your transfer credits/classes by meeting with an academic advisor.