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The Fresno City College Respiratory
Care Program is accredited by the
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244
Phone: 1-817-283-2835, Fax: 1-817-354-8519
Programmatic Outcomes
California Pass Rates

Student Information:
Fresno City College Campus Catalog
Program Major Sheet
Associate Degree Requirements 2016-2017

Respiratory Care Practitioner Program Course Descriptions
Program Handbook (2017)
Program Handbook 2016
Program Handbook (2015)

Financial Aid

Diana Day, MBA, RRT, RCP
Program Director

Victoria Frain, MSRC, RRT, RCP
Director - Clinical Education

Most people take breathing for granted. However, there are thousands of Americans who suffer from chronic and/or episodic problems associated with breathing. This group may include people with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). In addition, there is also a growing number of premature infants, post surgical patients, trauma patients, individuals with cystic fibrosis, and lung cancer who also need respiratory support.

In nearly all of these instances, the patient will interact with the Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP). While working under the direction of a physician, the RCP works to evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing problems in a wide variety of environments. 

The goal of the FCC RCP Program is: "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)."

Career Opportunities
The Department of Labor and Statistics have projected a shortage for Respiratory Care Practitioners into the next decade.  They play a vital role in the emergency response team of acute care medical facilities. Additionally, RCPs are working in the private offices of physicians, home health agencies, rehabilitation hospitals, medical equipment companies and are a part of product development/research and sales.

Our Respiratory Care Practitioner Program is preparing some of the best RCPs in the nation. This field needs individuals who:

  • Want to help others by working in the health care system
  • Are mechanically inclined
  • Have good interpersonal communication skills
  • Are capable of working well under stress

Fresno City College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and is a member of the American Association of Junior Colleges, the Community College League of California, and the National Commission on Accrediting. Appropriate courses are fully accepted on transfer by the University of California, The California State College system, and by private accredited four-year colleges and universities.

Essential Functions for Respiratory Care
Respiratory Therapy is a dynamic and challenging health care profession. Therapists function as members of an entire health care team. This team includes: physicians, nurses, dieticians, occupational and physical therapists. The Fresno City College Program promotes the development of critical care thinking as applied to individualized patient care. The Program does exist on a lottery system. When students graduate they become registry-eligible graduates and are capable of functioning in entry level positions.

As a graduate of the Respiratory Care Program, all graduates are tested by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Nationwide, the NBRC handles all credentialing for the Respiratory Care Profession. Following successful completion of our program, all graduates are eligible to sit for the:

  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
    The Registry Examination System was developed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills and abilities required of advanced respiratory therapists and to set uniform standards for measuring such knowledge.

  • Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist (CPFT)
    The Entry Level CPFT Examination is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills and abilities required of entry level pulmonary function technologists at beginning practice.

  • Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT)
    The RPFT Examination is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills and abilities required of an advanced pulmonary function technologist.

  • Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist (CRT-NPS or RRT-NPS)
    The Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialty Examination is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills and abilities required of respiratory therapists in this specialty area.

  • Sleep Disorders Specialty Credential
    The Specialty Examination for Respiratory Therapists Performing Sleep Disorders Testing and Therapeutic Intervention is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills and abilities required of respiratory therapists in this specialty area.

  • Adult Critical Care Exam
    Credentialing exam is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills and abilities required of respiratory therapists in critical care areas.

Upon successful completion of these national tests, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ask the NBRC to inform the Respiratory Care Board in California to ensure a timely California license.

Program Application Prerequisites

  • HS diploma/GED/(45/CHSPE)
  • Minimum GPA of 2.50
  • Math 103 (Intermediate Algebra) or higher math course
  • Biology 1 or 5 (college biology with lab)
  • Biology 20 (Human Anatomy) & Biology 22 (Human Physiology) OR
    Biology 21A (Human Anatomy & Physiology I) & Biology 21B (Human Anatomy & Physiology II)
  • Chemistry 3A (college chemistry with lab)
  • Biology 31 (Microbiology)

First Year Fall Semester
RCare 16 – Patient Assessment (3 units)
RCare 17 – Respiratory Care Pharmacology (4 units)
RCare 20 – Introduction to Respiratory Care (5 units)

First Year Spring Semester 
RCare 18 – Physiology (4 units)
RCare 21 – Applications and Procedures (11 units)

Second Year Fall Semester
RCare 22 – Clinical Application I and Ventilator Management (9-units)
RCare 24 - Neonatal & Pediatric Diseases (2 units)

Second Year Spring Semester
RCare 23 – Clinical Application II (9 units)
RCare 25 – Respiratory Disease (2 units)

In addition to the courses in the major, additional units in general education (GE) and electives are required for graduation. The Fresno City College Counseling Center will assist in identifying these general education courses. NOTE: All courses must be completed with a “C” grade or better.

Respiratory Care Board
All graduates within the state of California are licensed through the Respiratory Care Board in Sacramento. The “Board” may deny a license regulated by this code on the grounds that the applicant has one of the following:

  1. Been convicted of a crime…a plea or verdict of guilty.
  2. Done any act involving “dishonesty, fraud, or deceit…”

If you have been convicted of any offense other than a minor traffic violation, you are required to state this on your state board examination. Fingerprinting is part of the application for licensure. In addition, a background check will be performed. This could affect your eligibility to take the State examination or obtain licensure. For further clarification, please contact the Respiratory Care Board directly at (916) 263-2626.

Pre-Employment Background Evaluations
Per the direction of our clinical affiliates, the Fresno City College Respiratory Care Program is now required to obtain pre-program student background checks. You will be asked to sign a release that allows the check to occur. Additionally, the student is responsible for the fee (approximately $80.00).

Organizational Links for Respiratory Care Practitioners

AARC- American Association for Respiratory Care

National Board for Respiratory Care

Respiratory Care Board-California

CSRC – California Society for Respiratory Care

American Lung Association of Central California



Important Note: Programs, policies, and selection guidelines are subject to change

Last updated: 3/23/2017 4:07:10 PM