Bachelor's Degree For Respiratory Therapy Approved For Dalton State

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Dalton State respiratory therapy students familiarize themselves with a mechanical ventilator on the first day of summer semester classes. Pictured are, from left: Emily Liner, Casey Broome, and Denise Hight.
Dalton State respiratory therapy students familiarize themselves with a mechanical ventilator on the first day of summer semester classes. Pictured are, from left: Emily Liner, Casey Broome, and Denise Hight.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia today approved Dalton State College’s application to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory therapy, bringing to 18 the number of four-year degrees offered by the College. 

The new degree is offered as a completion program for practicing Registered Respiratory Therapists and will be effective fall 2014.  Dalton State has offered the Associate of Applied Science in respiratory therapy, a two-year degree, since 2006.

The 2013 job placement rate for Dalton State respiratory therapy graduates was 100 percent.

“Although a BS degree is not yet required for entry level employment, practitioners holding the degree are given preference in promotions to administrative positions as well as broader clinical responsibilities,” said Dr. Sandra Stone, vice president for academic affairs.

“This new program provides current holders of the AAS credential a fast track for obtaining the BS degree while still allowing them to work and provide for their families,” she said. The program will be delivered using traditional classroom methods in combination with hybrid and/or fully online formats, and classes will be offered predominantly in the early evening one night a week to accommodate students’ work schedules.

Because the students have already achieved the advanced Registered Respiratory Therapy credential, there will be no additional clinical practicum requirement, and students should be able to complete the degree within five semesters.

“We have received strong support from regional hospitals and other health care providers in both Georgia and Tennessee for this program, and we have a number of former and current students, along with other practicing RRTs, who are eagerly waiting to enroll,” Dr. Stone said.

“The addition of this new bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy strengthens our program offerings in the health professions,” said Dr. Stone.

Work begins soon to renovate Dalton State’s former Technical Building into the new home for the School of Health Professions. The new space will be home to the College’s nursing and allied health programs, including the bachelor of science in nursing, associate of science in nursing, licensed practical nursing, respiratory therapy, radiologic technology, medical lab technology, medical office assisting, and phlebotomy.

Dalton State’s Respiratory Therapy program was recognized in 2012 with the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. Only eight percent of accredited programs nationwide receive such recognition, according to Max Pierce, director of the program at Dalton State.

“Dalton State has a proud tradition of producing highly skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals for the Northwest Georgia region,” said Dr. John O. Schwenn, president. “This new bachelor’s degree program will allow more respiratory therapists to broaden their knowledge base and skillset, making them more competitive in the marketplace and more proficient in the healthcare setting.”

Those interested in learning more about the Bachelor’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy are invited to call Dalton State’s School of Health Professions at 706-272-2457.




Chattanooga Area Food Bank Receives $15,000 Grant From Arby’s Foundation To Help Walker County Schools

The Chattanooga Area Food Bank will be able to complement its Sack Pack Program with a School Mobile Pantry Program thanks to a recent partnership with the Arby’s Foundation.  Sack Packs are given to food insecure children at many schools across our twenty counties. The $15,000 Arby’s Foundation grant will enable the CAFB to expand the Walker County Sack Pack Program during ... (click for more)

Local Student Discusses Benefits Of Cleveland State's Cooperative Education Class

When Haze Geren signed up for a cooperative education class at Cleveland State, she thought she was simply taking a class to gain some experience to put on a resume,  advice she was given during a proactive interviewing workshop offered by the Business and Technology Department. She had no idea the wealth of knowledge that she would gain during the co-op and that it would lead ... (click for more)

$40 Million Traffic Improvement Set To Connect Hamilton Place More Directly With I-75 And Ease Congestion On Shallowford Road

The city, state and CBL & Associates are cooperating on a $40 million plan to make the Hamilton Place section more accessible to Interstate 75. The upcoming project will provide a direct connection for southbound I-75 traffic with Hamilton Place Boulevard. The project will also provide a new connection for those on Hamilton Place Boulevard to enter I-75 northbound. ... (click for more)

Report Says Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Exceeded Allowable Driving Hours

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board on a June 25 wreck at the Ooltewah exit that killed six people says the driver of the truck that caused the multiple-vehicle wreck "had exceeded the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation hours-of-service when the crash occurred." It says Benjamin Brewer began his return trip to London, Ky., from Florida at 4:30 ... (click for more)

How To Be #ChattanoogaStrong

Chattanooga is my home; I was born here 35 years ago. Without a doubt, this has been one of the most challenging times in our city's history. The #ChattanoogaStrong hashtag will remain for quite some time, but it means so much more than 18 characters on social media. It represents the sorrow and mourning, as well as the resilience and compassion, of our exceptional community.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)