How may I learn more about the Respiratory Care program at IUP?
Individual appointments with the Allied Health coordinator may be made to discuss IUP’s respiratory care major. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Department of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at 724-357-7647. In addition, you will find details about curriculum requirements, the affiliating School of Respiratory Care, and more on the Current and Prospective Students and Programs of Study pages. The program director at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Respiratory Care is also available to share information about the program and the field of respiratory care. The program director may be reached at 412-578-7000.
When I am a respiratory care major at IUP, how will I know what courses to take and when I am ready to begin the respiratory care courses?
Every semester while at the IUP main campus, each respiratory care student meets individually with the Allied Health coordinator. During these meetings, the coordinator and student discuss courses in which the student is currently enrolled, plans for subsequent semesters, and the transition to the School of Respiratory Care. The coordinator continues to serve as the students’ academic advisor throughout the time they are registered for respiratory care courses.
What if I need help to succeed in some courses?
IUP has outstanding academic support services such as workshops, one-credit courses, and peer tutors. The Writing Center is another service that helps students succeed and excel. IUP faculty members also offer assistance during office hours, and many faculty members conduct review sessions outside of class time to help students prepare for exams. Once at the School of Respiratory Care, students often form study groups, seek tutoring from upper class students, and meet with faculty members for assistance and support.
How much will it cost to earn a degree?
While enrolled at IUP in the first phase of the program where students are enrolled in courses at IUP, students pay tuition and fees to IUP. For current costs, go to the Office of the Bursar. While enrolled in courses at the School of Respiratory Care, the student pays a nominal registration/administrative fee to IUP and pays tuition directly to the School of Respiratory Care at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital. Tuition rates at the school are similar to that at IUP. Students may still be eligible for financial aid through IUP while enrolled in the clinical phase of the program. In addition to textbooks, there are additional expenses associated with the clinical courses, such as health screening and clinical resource fees.
May I take courses during the summer at IUP or at another college or university?
Many students decide to take courses during one or more summer and/or winter sessions. This often permits students to register for a lighter course load during the Fall and/or Spring semester or helps them to stay on track with plans to progress to the second phase of the program. While some students elect to complete summer courses at IUP, other students take classes at a college or university closer to their homes. The Allied Health coordinator assists students who plan to take courses elsewhere. A helpful website to investigate equivalent courses is the Online Transfer Credit Equivalency System. All 300- and 400-level respiratory care courses must be completed at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Respiratory Care.
When will I be ready to start the clinical component of the program and when would I graduate?
Students should plan to complete all courses in the pre-clinical phase of the program before progressing to the portion of the program taught at the School of Respiratory Care. It is expected that students have a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 and a minimum grade point average of 2.25 in required science and math courses in order to be ready for the clinical phase of the program. C or higher grades in BIOL 150 Human Anatomy, BIOL 151 Human Physiology, and the math course will help students succeed in respiratory care courses. There are four semesters of sequenced respiratory care courses that begin only in a Fall semester, so students plan for a May graduation after completing the two academic years at the School of Respiratory Care.
Since IUP does not guarantee admission to the Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Respiratory Care what will I do if am not permitted to begin the respiratory courses?
Approximately 30 students are permitted to begin the 300 level courses at the School of Respiratory Care each fall semester. In recent years, all students who met the expected minimum grade point average have progressed to the School on schedule. If a student is not permitted to progress, it is most likely because of low grades, especially in key science courses. In this case, a student may decide to repeat courses to earn higher grades and then plan for progression at a later date.
May I enroll in the program on a part-time basis?
Students may enroll in the first phase of the program on a full-time or part-time basis. Once the student begins the courses at the School of Respiratory Care, full-time study is expected.
Where do I live while enrolled in courses at the School of Respiratory Care?
Students are typically in classes five days a week at the School of Respiratory Care so living close to The Western Pennsylvania Hospital is helpful. Most students look for apartments in the Bloomfield and Shadyside areas or plan to stay with family or friends located nearby. Some students elect to live in the residence hall at the hospital.
Do I need my own car?
If you live on or near campus during the first phase of the program it is not necessary to have your own car. Depending on the housing you select while at the School of Respiratory Care, you may need your own transportation or plan to use the public transit system.
Do many students have part-time jobs while in college?
The majority of students at IUP find part-time jobs while taking classes and many students use the summer months to earn money to help them pay for college expenses. Once students have completed one semester of respiratory care courses at the School of Respiratory Care, many opt to register for an elective preceptorship course for the remaining semesters including the summer. This course provides an opportunity to gain additional experience in a hospital while earning a salary.
Do I earn a degree from IUP even though the respiratory care courses are taught at the Western Pennsylvania School of Respiratory Care?
When you have completed all degree requirements, you will have earned a Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care from IUP.
What do students like most about IUP’s respiratory care program?
While at IUP during the first phase of the program, students enjoy campus life, the diverse activities available to them, and the opportunity to meet new friends. Students often speak highly of their interactions with the faculty and the valuable learning support services. While at the School of Respiratory Care, students are impressed with the quality of instruction from the faculty and the support they receive as they progress in their courses. Most of all, they find it rewarding to work with patients and make valuable contributions to the quality of patient care.
Where do graduates find jobs?
Some of the May 2010 graduates are beginning their careers as respiratory therapists at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital. Other graduates accepted positions in other Pittsburgh area hospitals. One graduate began her career at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In previous years, graduates have accepted positions at other prestigious health care institutions such as Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and the University of Virginia Health System. Every year, new graduates are fortunate to receive job offers from locations across the country.
I am already a Certified Respiratory Therapist. How many more courses will I have to complete to earn my Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Care?
Students who have already earned the CRT and graduated from an accredited associate degree or certificate program have 33 credits posted to their IUP transcript and are exempt from 100- and 300-level respiratory care courses. Students in this track must complete the remaining 400-level courses (27 credits) offered at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Respiratory Care. Transcripts are reviewed on a course-by-course basis to determine what liberal studies courses still need to be completed. Students must earn at least 120 credits, and 45 of those credits must be IUP courses. Since students earn 27 credits in IUP 400-level respiratory courses, they need only complete another 18 credits from IUP to meet this residency requirement. These courses may be completed at IUP’s main campus or the Northpointe campus, located only thirty-five minutes from Pittsburgh along Route 28. Many IUP courses are also available on line.
For the CRT Track: Is part-time study an option?
Students may elect to register for their remaining liberal studies requirements on a part-time basis. In addition, the faculty at the School of Respiratory Care confer with each student in the CRT track to plan for full-time or part-time study of the respiratory courses that best suit the student’s needs.
For the CRT Track: What are the expenses associated with the program?
Information about tuition and fees for the IUP courses is available at the Office of the Bursar. While enrolled in the respiratory care courses, tuition is paid directly to The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Respiratory Care at a rate similar to that at IUP. A nominal registration and administrative fee is paid to IUP each semester the student is enrolled in courses at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital. In addition to textbooks, there are additional expenses associated with the clinical courses, such as health screening and clinical resource fees.
How will completing the bachelor’s degree help me in my career?
The bachelor’s degree helps the CRT sharpen clinical and teaching skills and further develop management/leadership abilities. Many high-level positions in the profession require the bachelor’s degree, which also opens opportunities for admission to a master’s degree program in areas such as health care administration, business, and education. The liberal studies component of the curriculum further supports the graduates’ ability to live rich full lives and play constructive roles in their community.
I already have a bachelor’s degree. How many more courses will I have to complete to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Care?
Students who have already earned a first bachelor’s degree from a college or university are admitted to the respiratory care program with advanced placement. Often, especially if the first degree is in a science area, students must only complete a few remaining science courses before progressing to the clinical phase of the program at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital. In some cases, students may complete the second degree in as few as five semesters.
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