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CCAC & Youngstown State University provide new educational opportunities through agreement

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

PITTSBURGH-The Community College of Allegheny County and Youngstown State University have recently signed an articulation agreement that provides a pathway for graduates of CCAC's Respiratory Therapy Associate of Science program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy at YSU. The agreement enables CCAC graduates to seamlessly transfer to YSU and earn a bachelor's degree through convenient online classes.

"It's a real boon for our students," said Professor Richard Laurent, program coordinator, Respiratory Therapy and department chair, Allied Health. "We encourage them to go get higher degrees, which can lead to advancement in the field."  

The Respiratory Therapy Associate of Science program at CCAC Allegheny Campus consistently boasts a 100 percent placement rate. Many of the students who graduated in December already had jobs lined up prior to graduation. Several of the graduates are also interested in pursuing the bachelor's degree at YSU.

According to Laurent, there is a growing shortage of respiratory therapists because the first round of therapists in the relatively young field is nearing retirement age. As a result, CCAC students are often offered prospective jobs after just a couple of weeks in clinical internships where prospective employers can observe their work ethic.

Laurent, who graduated with the first cohort of the CCAC Respiratory Therapy program in the 1970s, remarked that the students are getting into this profession at exactly the right time. The graduates can practically choose wherever they want to work, in part due to the increasing number of medical facilities in the region, he said.

CCAC offers a Respiratory Therapy day program that starts in the fall as well as an evening and weekend program for nontraditional students that begins in May, with open enrollment all year. The evening program recruits a lot of individuals who have a degree in another field but who are underemployed or are looking for a career change.

For more information about CCAC's Respiratory Therapy program, contact Richard Laurent at rlaurent@ccac.edu or 412.237.2704.

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