Respiratory Care Program - Southwestern Illinois College

Overview Of The Respiratory Care Program

Applications for Fall 2024 are Accepted Sept. 1, 2023-Feb. 1, 2024.

Respiratory Care students must apply and be formally accepted into the Respiratory Care program prior to enrolling in any RC program courses.

Entrance into the Respiratory Care program is competitive.

Requirements to apply:

 – Online application is available in your eSTORM Student Center

 – Online Application Procedures

  1. Log in to eSTORM
  2. Click the tile that says “Program Applications”
  3. From the drop-down bar, select the program you wish to apply for. Active and upcoming applications will be listed after clicking the appropriate program.
  4. Select “Apply Now” for the cohort you wish to apply for.
  5. Complete the application by following the steps as indicated
  6. Click “Submit”

 – Steps to Apply

 – Download the RC Planning Guide for Application Requirements

Program Capacity

Respiratory Care program generally accepts 30 students each fall semester.

Program Location

The Respiratory Therapy program consists of general education courses, RC prefix courses and assigned clinical experiences. Specific locations depend on the course type.

General Education Courses

The required general education courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City, Red Bud campuses or online.

Respiratory Care Courses

The RC Program courses are only offered at the Belleville, IL campus during the day.

Clinical Education Experiences

Clinical experiences are completed at hospital/clinical facilities within the district and in the St. Louis region. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses. Backgrounds check and drug testing are required prior to first clinical experiences. Clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

Program Cost

Respiratory Care Degree program

For details, see the RC cost sheet.

Financial Aid is available!

SWIC Financial Aid Office

Financial aid is available subject to financial need and satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the college.

The student work program does not require financial aid eligibility.

SWIC Foundation

The SWIC Foundation offers more than 200 scholarships based on residency, enrollment and GPA criteria.

Time Commitment

First Year Students

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters:
  • Classroom and Lab: Monday and Thursdays (eight-hour days)
  • Classroom and Lab: Wednesdays 4-hour day (first fall semester only)
  • Clinical Experience: Wednesdays and Fridays (eight-hour shifts)

Second Year Students

Fall and Spring Semesters:
  • Classroom and Lab:Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Clinical Experience:Monday and Wednesdays (eight-hour shifts)

Program Accreditation

CoARC Accreditation

The Southwestern Illinois College Respiratory Care Program, Program Number 200489, awards an Associate in Applied Science at the Belleville Illinois Campus. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

The Respiratory Care Program, CoARC Program Number 200489, degree awarded: Associate of Applied Science Degree, located in Belleville, Illinois, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Verification of accreditation can be viewed on the CoARC website.

Accreditation Benefits

The program’s curriculum is guided by the standards developed by CoARC. Our accreditation status means SWIC has met the standards required and helps to assure the public that our curriculum will graduate competent clinicians. It also ensures that the college’s RC graduates are qualified to take the National Board for Respiratory Care certifications and registry examinations.

Program Data

View the Respiratory Care Programmatic Outcomes Data summary.

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.

Educational Goals

View the Respiratory Care educational goals.

Certification Requirements

Certification and Registry Exams

Upon successful completion of the RC curriculum, graduates are awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree in Respiratory Care. Graduates of the program are then qualified to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examinations. The Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMCE) is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required to entry-level respiratory therapists, as well as determine eligibility for the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE). There are two established cut scores for the TMCE. If a candidate achieves the lower cut score, they will earn the CRT credential. If the candidate achieves the higher cut score, they will earn the CRT credential AND become eligible for the CSE (provided that those eligibility requirements are met and the candidate is eligible to earn the RRT credential). Once the candidate passes the TMCE at the high-cut score and passes the CSE, they will earn the RRT Credential.

State Licensure Requirements

All states (except Alaska) require respiratory therapists to obtain a license. Passing the CRT exam qualifies respiratory therapists for state licenses. Supervisory positions and intensive-care specialties usually require the RRT or at least RRT eligibility.

Federal Disclosure Statement

View the Respiratory Care Federal Disclosure Statement.

Certification Pass Rate

Certification Pass Rate

Passing the Therapist Multiple Choice Exam (TMC), allows graduates to obtain state license and begin employment as a CRT. Passing the TMC & the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE) allows graduates to obtain state license and begin employment as an RRT. In 2022, 100% of SWIC graduates passed the TMC, and 92% of SWIC graduates who have attempted have passed the CSE.

Transfer Opportunities

The University of Kansas School of Health Professionals and Southwestern Illinois College have developed an agreement to facilitate a seamless transfer for SWIC credentialed and licensed graduates of the AAS RC Program, the ability to continue their education and complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Respiratory Care, if admission criteria is met.

Get Started

For more information, please fill out the contact form.


Elizabeth Repp