Respiratory Care

Associate in Science Degree

The Respiratory Care Program started out as a hospital based program at Orange Memorial Hospital in Orlando back in 1968.  All students took their academic course work at Valencia Junior College on Oak Ridge Road.  All clinical practicum was implemented and carried out at Orange Memorial Hospital (now a division of the Orlando Regional Healthcare System).

The Respiratory Care Program at Valencia College has been fully accredited since 1972.  In 1977, a Self-Study process for reaccreditation was initiated and, after the on-site visit, corrections were made and the program received full accreditation status.  This process was repeated every five years until 2003 whereupon with repeated successful annual reports the program was transitioned to a ten-year cycle.

Today the Respiratory Care Program is considered one of the longest running programs in the country with some of the most excellent facilities available to it for clinical practice.  One such affiliate is the Orlando Regional Healthcare System consisting of Orlando Regional Medical Center, Arnold Palmer, Winnie Palmer, Dr. P. Phillips, South Lake, South Seminole and St. Cloud divisions staffed with very dedicated and competent therapists.  The other affiliate is the Florida Hospital System.

The success of the program has been proven by the job placement rate which has been 100% for every graduating class so far with many of the graduates holding at least supervisor status.

Valencia College student turns personal tragedy into a change of careerManuel Rivera decided to become a respiratory therapist after his infant son nearly drowned when a babysitter left him unattended in the bathtub. Manny credits his son's survival, in part, to the care he received from the respiratory therapists at the hospital.

Our communities of interest include the local health care facilities, the University of Central Florida, Seminole State College, and our students.  The local Health Care facilities offer a wide range of services.  Florida is a dynamic state for respiratory care and can be viewed as a broad community of interest.  Our citizens’ health care is a primary concern given the number of older people residing here.  Respiratory care delivery by professionals is regulated by the Florida Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, Board of Respiratory Care.

The Program Guide, application and application deadline may be found at

The Respiratory Care program at Valencia College is committed to providing our community with information regarding program outcomes as a continued effort to assess program viability, effectiveness, and success.

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) has completed the verification of the Programmatic Outcomes Data from the 2011 Annual Report of Current Status (RCS). This outcome data for Respiratory Care (Program #200152) and Polysomnography (Program #400152) at Valencia College are based on a 3 year average.


Respiratory Care is a premier learning program that transforms lives, strengthens the healthcare community and inspires individuals to excellence.


The Valencia Respiratory Care Program is committed to the development of competent, entry-level Respiratory Therapists specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with acute and chronic cardiopulmonary disease.  The program strives to graduate therapists to meet the growing needs of the healthcare community. Valencia’s program provides a strong educational base in therapeutic techniques using online courses, a state-of-the art simulation lab, and hands-on experience at some of the community’s major medical centers and physician offices.  Students will gain diverse clinical experiences through interaction with physicians, adult, pediatric and neonatal patients.  The program emphasizes critical thinking, effective communication, professionalism, collaboration within the healthcare team and the pursuit of life long learning.

Bachelor of Science Degree

Students with a completed Associate degree in Respiratory Care, Cardiovascular Technology, or Cardiopulmonary Technology may continue their education by pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Cardiopulmonary Sciences at Valencia College. The Cardiopulmonary Sciences professions are challenging and growing professions with career opportunities in areas such ascardiopulmonary diagnostics, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, community health, and polysomnography. With professional experience and additional education at the baccalaureate level, opportunities for management and education career options are enhanced.

The program guide may be found at