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Respiratory Therapy

About the Program

What is Respiratory Therapy?

Our two-year therapist program can prepare you for employment in the exciting high-tech health care field of respiratory care.

Respiratory therapists manage the ventilation of critically ill patients as well as provide acute and chronic care to patients with pulmonary disease. Most work is performed in the hospital environment. Program graduates are allowed to take all national board exams.

The Foothill College Respiratory Therapy Program has an excellent pass record for national board and state licensure examinations.

Training Programs

Foothill College offers two respiratory therapist training programs:

1. A two-year Associate in Science Degree starts in the fall each year.

2. A 4-course, fully online Certificate of Achievement for Interventional Pulmonology Assistant.


The Respiratory Therapy program also offers continuing education units for Practicing Therapists.

  • CEU's can be obtained by successfully completing specific courses.
  • One hour is given for each hour of class attendance.
  • Contact the Program Director to find out which courses are available for a specific quarter, 650.949.7466.

Career Opportunities

The Primary objectives of the program include:
  • Graduate students who demonstrate:
    • ability to comprehend, apply and evaluate information necessary to practice as an advanced respiratory care practitioner.
    • skills necessary to perform competently as an advanced respiratory care practitioner.
    • professional attitudes and behaviors
  • Provide graduates to the community who obtain their professional license (RCP) and credentials (CRT and RRT).
  • Educate students to obtain gainful employment.

Program Expectations and Student Evaluation

Prior to graduating from the program, all students must satisfy minimum competencies in didactic, laboratory and clinical education. Students must possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist and those expected of a licensed professional.

All RSPT major courses need to be completed in the sequence listed on the Curriculum Sheet. All courses must be completed with a "C" final grade or better. 

Secondary Objectives of the Program

  • Provide continuing education to practicing respiratory care practitioners.
  • Provide training for the National Board for Respiratory Care, Neonatal and Pediatric Specialty (NPS) Exam as well as the Certified and Registered Pulmonary Function Exams (CPFT and RPFT).

RSPT Program Goals

The program will 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).

Program Accreditation

The AS degree at Foothill College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoaARC).

The Foothill College Respiratory Therapy Program submits yearly accreditation assessments to CoaARC and is currently scheduled for a 10-year accreditation process to be completed in 2025.

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.

View the Programmatic Outcomes Data on the CoARC’s outcomes webpage

200017 is the Foothill respiratory therapy program CoARC number.

How to Apply for Program

Application Process

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