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Sinclair College Celebrates 50 Years of Training Students for Essential Careers in Respiratory Care

Sinclair College is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Respiratory Care Program during National Respiratory Care Week, October 24-30, 2021.  

Sinclair’s program was founded in 1971 with the first 18 graduates receiving their Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Respiratory Care in 1973.  Over the past five years, 110 students have graduated with associate degrees from Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program.  Many are now serving on the front lines in Dayton region hospitals, caring for COVID-19 patients.

In Fall 2021, Sinclair College expanded its Respiratory Care Program to increase the number of students in the program by 21% to meet the severe shortage of respiratory therapists in the Dayton region.

“For nearly two decades, Sinclair College has worked closely with our hospital partners in the Dayton region to develop strategies for addressing the critical need for respiratory therapists,” said Sanja B. Keller, Program Director/Department Chair for Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program.  “The expansion of our Respiratory Care Program allows more students to pursue this rewarding and lucrative career and make a real difference for patients in our community.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and the growth in the middle-aged and elderly population are leading to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions.  As a result, the demand for respiratory therapists is on the rise.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 19% through the year 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.  Right now, the median wage for respiratory therapists is $61,000. 

National Respiratory Care Week was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 to celebrate and recognize respiratory therapists and to promote careers in this rewarding, in-demand field.  The American Association of Respiratory Care identifies the dates each year for National Respiratory Care Week.

Sinclair’s Respiratory Care associate degree is designed to be completed in six (6) semesters on a full-time basis.  Successful completion results in students earning an Associate of Applied Science degree.  During the program, students work in the field as student therapists. The coursework for this program includes human biology, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and assessment and treatment of all respiratory care related needs for the adult, pediatric and neonatal patient.  

“Due to the high demand, we are seeing 100% employment for Sinclair respiratory care graduates,” added Keller.

For more information on Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program, visit