CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati has created an online degree program offering working respiratory therapists and new graduates a way to earn a Bachelor of Science in respiratory therapy.
The program, housed within the College of Allied Health Sciences, is a degree completion program targeted to respiratory therapists with an associate’s degree. The college is accepting students for the spring 2013 semester, which begins Jan. 7, 2013.
"Respiratory therapy is a rapidly growing profession. Having a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy provides a pathway for our students to move into leadership roles in education, research and management,” says program director K. Shane Keene, DHSc. "In addition, the degree prepares students for coveted opportunities in graduate school. Graduates will be in excellent position to take advantage of hospital-instituted clinical ladders and have a competitive advantage when applying for leadership positions.”
Keene, a registered respiratory therapist and neonatal pediatric specialist, was recruited to lead the program from East Tennessee State University, where he was the program director for cardiopulmonary science and the assistant chair for the university’s department of allied health. He is also a certified pulmonary function technologist, registered polysomnographic technologist and registered sleep technologist.
The first year of UC’s online program will focus on an integrated core of courses designed to enhance students’ skills in critical thinking, reflective writing, problem solving, research methods and team building.
In the second year, students will take advanced courses in designated fields and specialty areas in respiratory care. They will complete the program with a capstone course and clinical practicum at a clinical setting close to the student’s home.
"Our program is designed to challenge students and engage them simultaneously in preparation for leadership roles,” says Keene. "The curriculum will enhance their ability to perform critical thinking in advanced practice clinical settings and facilitate their ability to conduct creative writing and pilot research.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated a 28 percent growth rate for respiratory therapists in the next 10 years, faster than the average occupational outlook.
Keene says students can complete UC’s program completely online and in as little as 20 months with only part-time enrollment. Applications for the spring 2013 semester are due Dec. 1, 2012.
This will be the sixth online degree program housed by the College of Allied Health Sciences. The college offers undergraduate online degree completion programs in medical laboratory sciences and health information management, as well as graduate online programs in communication sciences and disorders, health administration and a recently-approved masters of health informatics program.