Under the direction of doctors, Respiratory Therapists work with patients who have trouble breathing, e.g., from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. Cardiopulmonary patients may range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients who have diseased lungs. They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, drowning, or shock.

The respiratory program’s main program goal is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

This program is offered through a collaboration with Catawba Valley Community College. While the degree is earned through CVCC, all students accepted into this program will take the entirety of the program courses at Gaston College’s Dallas campus.

Respiratory Therapy

Demand is High for Respiratory Therapists

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*This program is expected to begin Fall 2023.

While Respiratory Therapists have always been an important part of a health care team, they have become even more vital due to the recent increase of care needed in this area since the coronavirus pandemic began.

In just 5 semesters, you can now earn your Associate in Applied Science and be eligible for your licensure exam from the National Board for Respiratory Care.

Strong Job Outlook

The employment of Respiratory Therapists is expected to grow 23% by 2030—much faster than average for all occupations.

Hands-on Clinical Experience

As part of this program, you will have opportunities to apply your classroom learning in a clinical setting at CaroMont facilities in Gaston County or Atrium facilities in Lincoln and Cleveland counties prior to graduation.

Small Class Sizes

Enrollment in the Respiratory Therapy program is limited to a maximum of 15 students for an optimum learning experience. You’ll need to meet all General Admission requirements before applying for the program. 

General Education courses for the program are typically offered online or at our Dallas Campus. The respiratory therapy courses will be taught at the Dallas Campus.


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Associate of Applied Science

Because this program is offered through Catawba Valley Community College on Gaston College’s campus, the information in the link above will direct you to the CVCC website. Any questions about the program should be directed to the contact below.

The Catawba Valley Community College – Gaston Satellite Respiratory Program, CoARC number 300039 – AAS Degree Entry into Respiratory Care Professional Practice Program, holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com).


Rachel McDowell, Academic Advisor
Health & Human Services