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Clinical Education Progression

Progression in Program


The Health Science Curriculum is designed so that each semester’s requirements must be met before proceeding into the next. With extenuating circumstances, one exception may be allowed with written permission from the respiratory therapy program director and the respiratory therapy director of clinical education. One grade of C- in any one pre-requisite math, science, health science, or major course (RET) may be considered for this exception. These circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed.

A student receiving an incomplete in a prerequisite course will be allowed only two weeks into the following semester to remove the incomplete. If this is not done, the student will automatically be dropped from the course(s) in which he/she is currently enrolled. A grade of F will also replace the incomplete per University policy. This may require the student to sit out or take a “stop out” option until the courses are offered again the following semester, or following academic year. Health science students who receive less than a C (2.0 GPA on 4.0 scale) in any pre-requisite course or in any respiratory therapy major course (RET) will not be allowed to continue in the program until the course is taken again and at least a grade of C is earned. Respiratory therapy students are only allowed to re-take Respiratory Therapy or related science courses in which a grade of C-, D, or F was earned. A student may repeat a pre-requisite course or any course within the professional phase (RET,CLS) only once. If a second C-, D, or F is earned or if a C-, D, F is earned in another professional course the student will be immediately withdrawn from the program.

Respiratory therapy students who get a grade of C- in a respiratory therapy major course (RET,CLS) will not be permitted to progress within the program due to not being able to register for the following semester’s course sequence. The student will be withdrawn from or not permitted to register for any respiratory therapy courses sequenced after that class. Exceptions to this rule can be made on a case-by-case basis and will require written permission from the Respiratory Therapy Program Director and Director of Clinical Education.

Physical and emotional health is assessed upon admission to the Respiratory Care Program. (See Respiratory Therapy Professional Program Admission Procedure) Health records must be completed and updated annually for a student to progress, re-enter, or graduate. After admission, any student who presents physical or emotional health problems which do not respond to appropriate treatment or counseling within a specified time frame may be evaluated for dismissal (or withdrawal) from the program. At any time, a faculty member may remove a student from clinical practice if the faculty member feels that the student is demonstrating: behavior that is in conflict with safe respiratory care practices, lack of preparation in relation to skill performance or knowledge base, or lack of professional attitude and manner. (See clinical evaluation)

Students who are accepted under conditional acceptance will be required to fulfill all criteria deemed necessary by the program’s faculty to progress within the program. All students will be evaluated each semester for fulfillment of required criteria, and change of status to full acceptance. Students who do not obtain full acceptance into the program will not be allowed to register or attend senior level clinical experiences.

At any time the Respiratory Therapy Program Director and Director of Clinical Education may place a student on “contract”. This is a probationary step designed to help students fulfill any personal, academic, or professional/social issues that the faculty feel may be hindering the student’s academic or clinical performance. Students who are placed on contract are required to complete all criteria in the contract set forth by the Program Director and Director of Clinical Education. A student may not progress in the program until the contract criteria have been fulfilled. Each contract will state specific criteria that are required, along with deadlines and needed documentation that the student may need to provide. The student will receive ongoing written notification informing the student of fulfillment of the contract, renewal of the contract, or incompletion of the contract and new criteria. Students who do not fulfill their contracts by the given deadlines, or fail to provide the required proof of completion stated by the contract will be evaluated for dismissal from the program. (See also: 5.4 Clinical Probation/Suspension and 3.2-Dismissal for Unsafe Clinical Practice)

Progression for Senior Level Clinical Rotations

  • Students must successfully pass (grade of C or higher) all prerequisite courses prior to scheduling or attending senior level clinical experiences (RET-365 and higher). These courses include:
    BIO-127 CLS-121 RET-320
    BIO-128 RET-212 CLS-312
    BIO-129 RET-262 CLS-330
    MAT-105 or MAT-108 CLS-215 RET-330
    CHE-105 or CHE-110 + 121 RET-325 RET-340
    PHY-130 or PHY-110 + 121 RET-362 RET-345
    BIO-109 CLS-234 RET-363
    BIO-121 CLS-311 CLS-320

  • Students must have a current and updated physical on file, including physical exam, and proof of vaccinations.
  • Students must obtain a current and record free criminal background check and child abuse history clearance.
  • Student must submit to a random drug test and have a negative result.
  • Student must complete HIPAA, OSHA and SAFETY training prior to attending senior level clinical rotations.
  • Student must have current American Heart Association basic life support for healthcare provider certification (BLS-HCP)

  • All students MUST take and successfully pass the NBRC Comprehensive (Secure) Entry Level CRT Self-Assessment Examination. This exam is administered by the respiratory therapy program faculty the first week of the senior level clinical rotation. This exam serves as a basic competency and safety exam. Students who do not pass this exam will not be permitted to attend senior level clinical rotations and may be required to remediate or withdraw from senior level courses at the student’s expense. Should a student fail this exam, it will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Decisions regarding student progression, stop-out, or dismissal will be made by the program’s Director of Clinical Education and Program Director.
  • In addition to the NBRC Comprehensive (Secure) Entry Level CRT Self-Assessment Examination at the beginning of senior level clinical rotations, all students will be required to take the NBRC Comprehensive (Secure) RRT Written Self Assessment Examination and the NBRC Comprehensive (Secure) RRT Clinical Simulation Self Assessment Examination. These two RRT exams are administered by the Respiratory therapy program faculty at the end of the fall semester, senior year. Students who do not successfully pass the Written SAE, or the Clinical Simulation SAE will be required to take the RET-480 Advanced Clinical course prior to graduation. A student who does not pass these exams, and does not successfully pass this course, will not be eligible for graduation until the course has been passed with a grade of C or higher.
Failure of Clinical or Program Progression

Should a student fail to progress academically, or in the clinical setting the student must choose between three options.

  • Option 1- Withdrawal from the program. The student can choose to withdraw from the program. At that time the student would be required to change to another major.

  • Option 2- Leave of Absence. The student can apply to the Associate Academic Dean for a medical or academic leave of absence. This option would remove the student from all academic courses within the University for a determined amount of time.

  • Option 3- Stop-out. The stop out option is only available upon offer from the respiratory therapy Program Director and Director of Clinical Education. Students cannot use this option solely. All criteria and requirements for the stop-out will be determined by the respiratory therapy faculty.

Students returning after any of these options are required to officially re-apply to the professional phase of the Respiratory Therapy Program (see re-admittance procedures)

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