Respiratory Care


Program Description
The respiratory care profession is a rapidly expanding dynamic allied health career. SUNY Erie's Respiratory Care Program trains individuals to become respiratory therapists who, under medical direction, work in the treatment, management, diagnostic evaluation and overall care and education of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system. Respiratory therapists are involved with patients of all ages, from the premature newborn whose lungs are not fully developed to the elderly whose lungs become diseased. The overall goal of the Respiratory Care 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 (RRT's).

Utilizing classroom lecture, laboratory and clinical experiences, the Respiratory Care Program prepares students to assume responsible positions as part of a health care team. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad knowledge so that students are academically prepared and competent to enter the profession. Students are prepared to practice in a variety of settings and as graduates can find employment in hospitals and other acute care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, physician offices, laboratories and home care.

Graduates of the program become eligible to obtain certified and registered respiratory therapist credentials. Graduates can then apply for a license to practice through The Office of Professions, New York State Education Department. Most states currently require a license to practice as a respiratory therapist.


Program Details

Campus: North

Pre-Admission Recommendations:

Application to the college and program are to be completed on the college website at  Applications are processed on a continuous basis and students are encouraged to apply early. Applicants are selected in the spring semester for the following fall start. Due to the competitive nature of the program, applicants are ranked based on their academic history and preparation. Once a student applies, they should contact the Respiratory Care department for further information and advisement.

Coursework older than ten years and (P-pass) or (S-satisfactory) grades will not be transferred, and any SUNY Erie Community College course older than ten years will not be accepted or used in the ranking of the applicant. Courses with grades less than C will not be transferred, and any SUNY ECC course with a grade less than C will not be accepted or used in the ranking of an applicant. English and math placement exams will be required of all students who cannot show competency within three years of application and there is no advanced placement based on work, previous college credits or otherwise.

Because of the competitive nature of the program and the number of applicants, most students complete most, if not all, the general education courses prior to beginning the professional coursework. Applicants who do not meet minimum requirements will be individually advised to improve their academic success. This path provides an opportunity to meet program requirements and improve ranking. Students may begin this option at any time, spring, summer or fall semester. The Respiratory Care Program faculty will act as the student’s adviser along the way. Acceptance to begin Respiratory Care Program coursework will be based on a student’s academic success and space availability.

Clinical Experiences:

  • the program utilizes many clinical affiliates throughout Western New York
  • students will be assigned to several clinical sites throughout the educational experience
  • students must provide his/her own transportation to clinical affiliates
  • students must purchase uniforms and other specific equipment prior to clinical coursework
  • students must provide evidence of updated required immunizations and a completed physical exam ensuring that they are in good physical and mental health and are capable of completing the requirements of the clinical part of the program
  • students must maintain current CPR certification throughout their clinical experience
  • students in the program may be subjected to drug testing and criminal background checks at their own expense; failure to meet clinical site requirements may preclude completion of the Respiratory Care Program
  • students will never be used as a substitute for clinical, instructional, or administrative staff and cannot receive any form of payment for patient care provided while acting as a student during a clinical course period

SUNY Erie Community College Respiratory Care curriculum and its program of study meets the educational requirements set by the Board of Regents in New York State to award an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) with a major in Respiratory Care. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), and our graduates are eligible to take national credentialing exams needed for licensure as a Respiratory Therapist or Respiratory Therapy technician in New York State. In addition, the core credentials that we are eligible for are recognized by 49 states and the District of Columbia for licensure. The state of Alaska currently does not have licensure for Respiratory therapy but recognizes the national credentials needed for employment in that state. To search a State’s Respiratory Therapy license requirement, please visit:

  Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
2019 - 2020 (2020 grads) 18 / 18 (100%) 17 / 18 (94%)
2018 - 2019 (2019 grads) 21 / 21 (100%) 21 / 21 (100%)
2017 - 2018 (2018 grads) 21 / 21 (100%) 21 / 21 (100%)

The SUNY Erie Community College North Campus Respiratory Care Program (program #200130) offers an AAS degree and is accredited by the: Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. 
The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (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. Our program outcomes can be found at:

For more information:
James Bierl, North Campus
Room G200B
6205 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221
(716) 851-1531