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History

The Respiratory Care Program of Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University) began in September of 1972 and has maintained full accreditation since the first site visit in 1974.  The Texas State University Respiratory Care Program offering the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care degree and the Polysomnography Option Program at the San Marcos, Texas campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com).

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

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The program is a joint effort of the university with seven major hospitals in Austin and San Antonio and multiple specialty hospitals throughout the state and country. Didactic and laboratory courses are taught on campus in San Marcos, while clinical rotations are conducted in the Austin and San Antonio affiliates.

In 1972, the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree for Respiratory Therapy was established and a certificate program from entry level technicians was added in 1980. In June of 1992, both program names were changed from Respiratory Therapy to Respiratory Care in accordance with national trends and nomenclature.

In April of 1993, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the university’s request to add the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (BSRC) degree and to delete the AAS degree. The BSRC was implemented in September 1993 with an initial enrollment of 41 students. The last AAS graduates completed the program in 1994.

The BSRC program has continued to evolve in response to changing dynamics in the profession to include internships which allow students to specialize in an area of interest pertinent to career goal development. Clinical affiliates found within the state, the nation and internationally, offer students the opportunity to develop special skills that may lead to additional subspecialty credentials. Internship specialization include neonatal and pediatric critical care specialties, adult critical care specialties, emergent care, pulmonary rehabilitation, biomedical research, homecare, pulmonary function testing, asthma education, polysomnography, case management, hospital administration/management and higher education.  Qualified BSRC students may sit for the Certificated Respiratory Therapist (CRT), Registered Respiratory Therapist Written Exam (RRT-Written), and the Registered Respiratory Therapist Clinical Simulation Exam (RRT-CSE) prior to graduation through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

The Department of Respiratory Care also offers a Master of Science in Respiratory Care (MSRC) with a Polysomnography track and a Leadership track. The online, post-professional MSRC is preparing respiratory therapists for advanced roles in research, academia, leadership, and clinical specialization. Polysomnography board exams are offered  by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (e.g. Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT)) and the National Board for Respiratory Care (e.g. Sleep Disorders Specialist (SDS)).