~KSU Geauga/TAC Prepares Students for Rewarding Healthcare Career~
By Estelle R. Brown
Always working to stay ahead of the curve in the marketplace, administrators at Kent State University Geauga and the Twinsburg Academic Center (TAC) offer students pathways to gain professional skills and certifications that are in demand. Considering the urgent need for respiratory therapists in the healthcare industry, an Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy degree program is now being offered at the Geauga Campus and Twinsburg Academic Center.
“This is an amazing program,” says Megan Krippel, Director of Enrollment Management. “By putting together a schedule that is more accommodating to our students, this will increase enrollment and increase opportunities for local students.”
Previously, program participants were required to attend respiratory therapy classes two days a week at KSU’s Ashtabula regional campus. Now, students can stay on campus in Burton or Twinsburg for lectures live-streamed from Ashtabula via Zoom once a week. Then students commute to Ashtabula for one lab session per week. Furthermore, students can take all of their core classes and program prerequisites at their local Kent State regional campus.
“As a profession, respiratory therapy is in high demand and it pays well,” says Yvonne George, Director of the Respiratory Therapy Program at Kent State Ashtabula. “Students can start working in the field after completing their first year of this two-year program, with a limited permit from the State of Ohio.”
A growing population of older Americans with chronic lung conditions — including COPD, asthma, emphysema and other cardiopulmonary diseases — has been driving the urgent need for more respiratory therapists.
“We were critically short on staff in Ohio anyway,” George says. “Now, with the respiratory component of COVID-19, we need respiratory therapists more than ever to work in hospital and home-care settings. With COVID-19, we keep hearing about the need for more ventilators. Respiratory therapists are the ones who operate those ventilators.”
George says that students can earn $18-$20 per hour before completing the program, and can anticipate a $60,000+ median salary after graduating. Student outcomes from Ashtabula’s 10-year-old program are excellent, with award-winning licensure exam results and 100 percent job placement after graduation. Fifty percent of associate degree recipients go on to pursue their 100-percent online bachelor’s degree component within two years. Oftentimes, their current employers cover tuition costs.
“If you’re looking for a healthcare career but you’re not sure if you want to go into nursing, this is a great option. It also appeals to those who like operating high-tech equipment. This career path offers lots of variety, mobility and interest,” George adds.
Students interested in pursuing this Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy should begin taking prerequisites now to be eligible to apply by the November 1, 2020 deadline and start the program in Spring 2021. For more information, call (216) 245-9641 or email email@example.com.