Respiratory Care Applicants - Southwestern Illinois College

Application Requirements

Materials Needed to Apply

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Respiratory Care program before beginning program courses. Applicants must submit the following to the Enrollment Services Office:

1. Respiratory Care application

Applications are available between Sept. 1 and Feb. 1 each year for fall start.

Supporting documentation (transcripts, test scores, etc) must be on file by identified deadlines.

Proof of completion of prerequisite courses:

Prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry and algebra must be completed to be considered for admission.

  • Prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of Feb. 1.
  • Grades earned must be at least a C, although higher grades earn more points toward application.
  • College course grades supersede high school grades when both appear on official transcripts.
  • The most recent grades in courses meeting these requirements will be used.
2. Official Transcripts:
3. Test Scores:
  • ACT or SWIC GPA Option
  • Contact Academic Advising ( to determine placement testing needs. SWIC placement testing: The placement test identifies skill levels in math, reading and language. Students must score high enough to be eligible to enroll in ENG 101 and MATH 97. If placement test results are too low, students must complete required developmental courses prior to enrolling in ENG 101, BIOL 105, PSYC 151 and COMM 151/155.

Prepare to Apply

Complete Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry and algebra must be completed to apply for the RC program.

Fill out the Planning Guide

Entrance into the RC program is highly competitive. The RC Application Planning Guide explains application requirements and offers suggestions on how to maximize points in each section and increase chances of being accepted to the program.

Understand the Application Point System

Applications are rated by a point system, with points based on:

Meet with an Academic Advisor

Call or visit a Enrollment Services office for more information on entrance requirements for the RC program.

Applicant Selection

Application Point System

Applications for the RC program will be rated on a point system, with points based on:

Notification of Acceptance:

Applicants will be notified of their status regarding admission as quickly as possible given the number of applications received; typically late March or early April.

Fewer Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are fewer qualified candidates than there are spaces available, applications will continue to be accepted until the program’s maximum capacity has been reached or until the first week of classes during the fall semester.

The college reserves the right to fill the program in those years when there are fewer applicants than spaces available by whatever means it deems necessary to assure both academic integrity and fairness in the selection process.

More Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are more qualified applicants than spaces available in this program, those applicants residing outside the SWIC district or in a district that does not have a joint agreement with SWIC for this program will not be eligible for consideration or admission if there are more applicants than positions to be filled. Resident status is determined by address on file with the Enrollment Services Office by Feb. 1.

For a list of colleges that have joint agreements with SWIC, view the college catalog and search for Interdistrict Cooperative Agreements.

The admission procedures for the Respiratory Care program are in accordance with Illinois law. The law requires that programs not having sufficient space and resources to accommodate all applicants will accept those applicants best qualified, using rank, ability and achievement test scores as guides, with preference given to students residing in the district. Out-of-district students will be considered as in-district status for this application process if their community college has an Inter-district Cooperative/Career agreement with SWIC. Search the college catalog for Interdistrict Cooperative/Career Agreements to see if your college is listed. To qualify for the application process, the student must submit paperwork from their home district to SWIC Enrollment Services by the application deadline. Contact the secretary of the Board of Trustees at your home district school to get the required paperwork.

Other Requirements

The following criteria are required of accepted applicants, and all information will be explained in detail at program orientation meetings.

Orientation & Performance:

Applicants accepted to this program must attend all required orientation sessions and be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Applicants or enrolled students are encouraged to contact the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Health Insurance:

Health insurance is required during clinical education courses. Students are personally responsible for any costs incurred for injuries occurring during their clinical experience.

Medical Requirements:

These requirements do not have to be fulfilled until they are explained at the orientation meeting. RC students will be required to possess current AHA CPR certification at the Healthcare Provider level, show proof of immunizations, TB test, completion of the physical examination form and verify health insurance coverage before beginning any clinical experience.

Background Checks and Drug Testing:

Background checks and drug testing are required.

  • To participate in the clinical portion of the program, required clinical sites will be surveyed to determine if clinical placement can be accomplished for students with “disqualifying” offense(s). If the survey results indicate clinical sites prohibit the conviction, the student will be removed from the program. A complete list of disqualifying convictions is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health at
  • Drug testing will identify illegal and prescription drugs. If results are positive, the student must provide proof of prescription in his or her own name in order to pass the drug test. Medical marijuana, which is not FDA approved, is also considered a positive drug testing result.
Graduation Requirements:

Applicants admitted to the program must follow the requirements for graduation at the time they are admitted and must meet all course, program, degree and sequencing requirements specified. Students are responsible for program policies as listed in each year’s RC Student Handbook. Students who fail to meet program specific requirements will be dropped from the program and may be required to re-apply and compete for admission in the next application period.