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Associate of Science
Respiratory Therapy

Help Patients Breathe Easier as a Respiratory Therapist

Why Respiratory Therapist?

The Associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy program at CCSD trains you in the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career helping patients in hospitals, sleep labs, long-term care centers and physicians’ offices. As a respiratory therapist (RT), you will be involved in caring for patients with chronic breathing problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema.

You’ll receive specialized training that prepares you to manage therapeutic and life-support services, administer gasses and aerosol therapy, and provide cardiopulmonary assessment and monitoring. Our degree program provides you with necessary clinical experience, usually through a clinical externship, and prepares you for your licensure exam.1

CCSD’s Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). With your degree and necessary licensure, you’ll be prepared to work in this exciting career field, where you can make a real difference in the lives of others.

Great news: you can earn your degree in as few as 21 months2—faster than traditional colleges and universities! And your tuition includes a new laptop that you can use in school and keep after you graduate.

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Career Paths
The Associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy program will help prepare you for a variety of rewarding healthcare career positions, including:

  • Respiratory therapist
  • Sleep center technician
  • Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT)
  • Pulmonary Function Technician

What You Will Learn
As a Respiratory Therapy student at California College San Diego, we will teach you a variety of RT knowledge and skills, such as:

  • Airway management
  • Cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology
  • Cardiopulmonary pharmacology
  • Cardiopulmonary pathophysiology
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Lung hyperinflation therapy
  • Bronchial hygiene therapy
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Neonatal and pediatric care
  • Clinical practice

Preparation for Medical Certifications
Most states require licensure in order to practice as a Respiratory Therapist. When you graduate from CCSD’s CoARC-approved Respiratory Therapy program, you will be eligible to sit for the licensure exam in your state. You will also be eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exam.Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). All states that license respiratory therapists require RT license candidates to complete an accredited degree program in respiratory care recognized by CoARC.

Sample Courses from the Respiratory Therapy Program

Below are several of the courses you may take during your Respiratory Therapy program.

Note: Courses are subject to change and vary by campus.

BIO131 Cardiopulmonary and Renal Anatomy and Physiology

This course focuses on a detailed study of the structure and the function of the human cardiac, pulmonary, and renal systems. Associated medical terminology is also covered.

RES118 Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology I

This is part one of two courses focusing on the general principles of pharmacology with an emphasis on drugs affecting the cardiopulmonary system. Topics include adrenergic bronchodilators, anticholinergic bronchodilators, xanthines, and mucus controlling medications. Upon completion, students will be able to discuss the indications, contraindications, effects, and common usage of frequently prescribed cardiopulmonary medications.

RES116 Airway Management

This course focuses on the theory, application, and monitoring of airway management.

RES125 Medical Gas Therapy/Humidity and Aerosol Therapy

This course covers the therapeutic application and monitoring of oxygen and specialized gas mixtures. You will also be introduced to hyperbaric medical procedures.

RES256 Neonatal and Pediatric Care

This course focuses on the theory and application of the care of pediatric and perinatal patients.

Which Campuses Offer the Respiratory Therapy (AS) Program?

  • San Diego, CA
  • Online through our affiliated institution, Independence University.

Respiratory Therapy Accreditation

The Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy degree program at the San Diego, CA; San Marcos, CA; and National City, CA campuses is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

California College San Diego is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). ACCSC is a recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education.

Respiratory Therapy Program Costs and Financial Aid

Unlike many colleges and universities, at California College San Diego, your tuition covers everything you need to complete your Associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy, without any hidden extra charges or fees. That means textbooks, learning materials, and tutoring are all included in the price of your tuition. We also provide parking, uniforms, and lab supplies, and we even include a laptop that you can use in college and keep after you graduate!
In addition, financial aid is available to those who qualify. Our friendly financial planners will meet with you one-on-one to help you find all the student loans and grants you may qualify for. We also have a limited number of scholarships offered through our Good Neighbor Initiative to help make your Respiratory Therapy degree more affordable. These scholarships are not based exclusively on grades or past test scores.

“I was a high school dropout and didn’t know what I wanted to do. Since I achieved my degree from CCSD, I feel like the sky’s the limit!”
Dallas, Graduate
Respiratory Therapy

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Getting Started with
California College San Diego


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  1. Certifications are not awarded by the college and will typically require extra study and cost during school and/or after graduation.
  2. General timeframe for completion of an Associate’s degree.

California College San Diego admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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