Jul 20, 2024  
2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Care, Plan I, B.S.

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Respiratory Care Program

Faculty: C. Hamilton, R. Speitel

The overall goal of the baccalaureate degree program in Respiratory Care is to provide an educational curriculum designed to prepare students for the National Board for Respiratory Care examinations, the practice of respiratory therapy, and to be educators, staff therapists and/or supervisors in the field of respiratory care. Students receive clinical training in affiliated hospitals.

The field of Respiratory Care requires respiratory care practitioners to administer various treatment modalities and medications, perform diagnostic procedures, and/or manage sophisticated life-support equipment. Although the majority of respiratory care practitioners are employed by hospitals, there are also opportunities to practice outside of the standard hospital setting. The student who satisfactorily completes all courses in the curriculum is awarded the Bachelor of Science degree.

Admissions Requirements

Students who wish to pursue a degree in Respiratory Care (RC) must apply to the RC Admissions Committee for acceptance. Students must be formally admitted to the Respiratory Care Program in order to take professional courses which begin in the junior year. Applications for admission are accepted from students who meet the following application requirements:

  1. Admission to Tennessee State University.
  2. A minimum high school grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Students should have taken either the ACT or the SAT exam. These scores should be provided to the department if they have not been provided to the University.
  3. One year of high school algebra, biology, and chemistry.
  4. Completion of the first two years of the CRCS curriculum with a grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  5. A “C” or better grade in supporting science and math courses.
  6. Two letters of recommendation from instructors who have taught the applicant.
  7. An interview with the RC Admissions and Retention Committee or its designee (An interview does not automatically guarantee admission into the program. The Admissions process is very competitive).
  8. Students must demonstrate that they have some aptitude in the field and the ability to perform essential respiratory care functions.

Applicants will be screened by the RC Admissions and Retention Committee and will be advised of the final decision regarding acceptance into the program by a representative of the Committee.

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening:

A specified drug screen and/or a designated criminal background check including both the state and federal level is a requirement for student placement within clinical agencies. Based on the results of these checks, an affiliated clinical agency or site may determine to not allow a student’s presence at their facility. This could result in a student’s inability to successfully complete the requirements of the respiratory care program. Additionally, a criminal background may preclude licensure or employment.

Degree IN-3 Students

Students may be accepted to the Degree IN-3 option if they meet the Admission criteria, in addition to the following criteria:

  1. 3.3 High School GPA
  2. Sophomores - 3.0 GPA and earned 30 credits in general education courses
  3. Earn 15 to 18 credits a semester for six semesters
  4. Earn 9 credits in mini terms, generally at no cost
  5. Earn 9 credits in regular summer sessions

Transfer Students

  1. Applications are accepted from transfer students from other colleges or universities, other departments at Tennessee State University.
  2. Applicants must have an overall college grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and meet the program admission requirements for entering applicants. Any exceptions must be approved by the Respiratory Care Admissions and Retention Committee.
  3. Transfer credits for non-major courses will be accepted according to University policies on admission with advanced standing. All transfer credits from accredited Respiratory Care programs will be accepted when evidence is provided that the content of the courses previously taken is essentially the same as the content for courses in the curriculum. No credit will be given for required courses in which the student has received a grade lower than a “C.”
  4. A Tennessee State University student who transfers to Respiratory Care is required to complete a Change of Major form. The Admission and Retention Committee will make the final decision about admission to the program. All candidates will be advised of the Committee’s final decision about their acceptance to the program.

Students with a Science Degree or Associate Degree in Respiratory Care

Students with a degree in Science may be admitted to the program if they meet the admission criteria. In addition, students who have taken the required science and general education courses may be able to accelerate their studies, but should consult the program director for details.

Special Requirements

Students are required to complete a physical examination and obtain medical and malpractice insurance prior to enrolling in their clinical rotations. During clinical rotations, students may be assigned to off-campus facilities. Students are responsible for transportation costs, clinic attire, and other expenses related to clinical experiences. In order to complete the degree, students must pass three exit exams with a 75% or above in the following courses: CRCS 3110 and 3120 , and CRCS 3224 . Students are also expected to become a member in the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).

Retention Policy

  1. Students who earn a non-passing grade in any supporting science course or any CRCS course will not be permitted to take the next sequential course(s). A course in which a student has failed may be repeated when it is offered again with the department chair’s permission provided space is available in the class. A grade of “C” is equivalent to 75% for all professional courses.
  2. Students will be dismissed from the professional program for any of the following reasons:
    1. Failure to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
    2. A grade of less than “C” in 6 or more semester hours within the major.
    3. A grade of “F” in more than 2 semester credit hours within the major.
    4. A grade of less than “C” in more than one clinical experience.
    5. A grade of less than “C” in a course that has been repeated.
    6. Withdrawal from any Respiratory Care course or failure to register for any semester without prior written approval from the department chair.
    7. Failure to comply with clinical and/or academic policies established by the Department.
  3. Students who have been dismissed from the program due to poor academic performance must reapply for admission during the next application cycle and compete for space in a subsequent class. Students who request readmission should present to the Admissions Committee evidence of a substantial change in circumstances that could lead to improved academic performance.

National Board Exam: Students who complete all the required courses for the BS degree are eligible to take the National Board Examinations.

Suggested Plan I *

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Summer Session

Senior Year

Total Credit Hours Required: 120


The Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

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