Respiratory Therapy at Cleveland Clinic

Beginning in 2022, Kent State University at Ashtabula will offer the complete Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy degree program at Cleveland Clinic's main campus location in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.  The program is designed to both provide access to participants to train for the in-demand and highly rewarding profession of respiratory care and to support the career ladder for program graduates and current practicing RTs with a pathway to admission in the 100 percent online bachelor's degree program.

Courses in the respiratory therapy program will be delivered live and remotely through online instruction by Kent State Ashtabula faculty. Laboratory instruction and clinical rotations will be completed at Cleveland Clinic facilities, where students will learn alongside the experienced RTs of the Clinic’s Respiratory Therapy Institute.  Prerequisite coursework can be completed through a combination of online or in-person classes through the Kent State system or credits can be transferred in from another institution.

Students can begin prerequisite coursework beginning in Summer or Fall 2022. The first respiratory courses will be offered beginning in Spring 2023.

Kent State Ashtabula respiratory therapy graduates have excelled at professional placement, with each member of the most recent graduating classes landing an RRT position prior to graduation. Those positions are in great demand for the foreseeable future, with 19 percent expected job growth between now and 2029. Median pay for RRTs is $62,810 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Respiratory Therapy Program accepts transfer students and coursework based on KSU’s transfer policies, however advanced placement in the Respiratory Therapy Program is not offered.


Program Features

  • Online options, flexible scheduling

  • Nationally recognized for credentialing success

  • All faculty are nationally accredited Registered Respiratory Therapists

  • On-Campus program that is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

  • Financial aid, scholarships and tuition assistance programs available – including Cleveland Clinic employees seeking to further their careers


About the Respiratory Therapy Program
The Kent State University at Ashtabula Associate of Applies Science in Respiratory Therapy degree program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and has received the accrediting body’s Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award for three consecutive years. The program’s job placement rate, retention rate, employer satisfaction rate and student satisfaction rate all rank above the national averages.

About the Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Institute
At Cleveland Clinic's Respiratory Institute, we provide world-class patient care by combining our strengths in clinical care, research and education. With more than 170 pulmonologists, allergists/immunologists, infectious disease experts and critical care specialists, the Respiratory Institute staff diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of disorders in our outpatient offices, inpatient hospital floors, and intensive care units. We treat over 200,000 patients annually in our outpatient clinics and our Pulmonary program is ranked No. 4 in the country by US News and World Report.


Prospective Students

About the Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy program

Course Information and Roadmap

What is Respiratory Care?

Scope of Practice

Apply Now


Cleveland Clinic Employees

Tuition Reimbursement


The AAS  Degree  Respiratory  Therapy  program  at  Kent  State  University  at Ashtabula located in Ashtabula, OH, program number 200574, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (https://www.coarc.com). The Kent State University at Ashtabula's Bachelor of Science Degree in Respiratory Care, CoARC number 510014 holds Provisional Accreditation.

Kent State University at Ashtabula is currently in the process of seeking CoARC accreditation for a respiratory care program at Cleveland Clinic. However, Kent State can provide no assurance that accreditation will be granted by the CoARC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does a Respiratory Therapist Do?
Where do Respiratory Therapists Work?

Respiratory therapists provide hands-on care that helps people recover from a wide range of medical conditions. Therapists get to know their patients, and their patients’ families. Whenever breathing is an issue, they are there.

You’ll find RTs:

  • In hospitals giving breathing treatments to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
  • In intensive care units managing ventilators that keep the critically ill alive.
  • In emergency rooms delivering life-saving treatments.
  • In newborn and pediatric units helping kids with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis.
  • In operating rooms working with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery.
  • In patient’s homes providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital.
  • In sleep laboratories helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea.
  • In skilled nursing facilities and pulmonary rehabilitation programs helping older people breathe easier and get more out of life.
  • In doctor’s offices conducting pulmonary function tests and providing patient education.
  • In asthma education programs helping kids and adults alike learn how to cope with the condition.
  • In smoking cessation programs assisting those who want to kick the habit for good.
  • In air transport and ambulance programs rushing to rescue people in need of immediate medical attention.
  • In case management programs helping devise long-term care plans for patients.

Information obtained from aarc.org.

How is the Respiratory Care Program at Cleveland Clinic structured?

Our respiratory therapist program is two years in length and upon completion, awards the Associate of Applied Science degree. Prior to acceptance, pre-application classes (Anatomy & Physiology 1, and Chemistry) must be completed with at least a “C” in, and your overall GPA must be at least 2.70.

When do I start learning about Respiratory Therapy?

You will begin learning about Respiratory Therapy your first semester in the program (which starts in the spring). You will view online lectures and participate in labs (only 1 day per week) at Cleveland Clinic’s SIM Center. Clinicals at Cleveland Clinic will begin in the third semester (the first fall). Clinical is the time that you spend at the bedside working with a licensed respiratory therapist on actual patients.

When can I begin working as a Respiratory Therapist

Yes. When you complete the professional course year, you will graduate with an Associate Degree (AAS). Upon graduation, you are eligible to take the credentialing exams. After successful completion of the credentialing exams, you can receive a state license to practice.

Is the Bachelor's Degree required?

Currently, the BS degree is not required to practice as a Respiratory Therapist. It is recommended for advancement in the career. Our Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care degree is set up for working professionals. All of the courses are online and can be completed at your own pace.

Will I be able to find a job after graduation and what can I expect to earn?

The field of respiratory care provides excellent opportunities for those interested in a dynamic and exciting career in cardiopulmonary sciences. Salaries for respiratory therapists are excellent and compare favorably with other allied health fields. The median annual wage of respiratory therapists is $62,000. Job opportunities for new graduates are also very good. While U.S. employment in general is forecast to increase by 15 percent, the need for respiratory therapists will grow by up to 26 percent making respiratory care one of the fastest growing occupations!

Information obtained from aarc.org.