Beginning in the spring of 2017, Modesto Junior College will offer a four-year Bachelor of Science degree.
MJC was selected by the Board of Governors and Chancellor’s Office of California Community Colleges to offer a four-year degree in Respiratory Care.
“I am thrilled that Modesto Junior College has been selected as one of fifteen California Community Colleges to offer a pilot baccalaureate degree program," said MJC President Jill Stearns. "The MJC pilot program is a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care. This advanced level of care training for respiratory care professionals will address the unique needs of the Central Valley for practitioners skilled in treating the incidence of asthma and related respiratory disease. MJC is honored to be among the colleges selected for the pilot and we look forward to serving our community with this new degree.”
MJC’s program calls for submitting curriculum to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in November 2015; recruiting clinical instructors from January to March 2016; admitting the first cohort of students to the program in January 2017 and starting a new cohort every January after that through 2021. MJC’s first class would graduate in December of 2018. The program, which is only a pilot baccalaureate program, would end on June 30, 2023.
MJC’s program will be comprised of two sections. The first section is MJC’s current 72.5 unit Associate of Science Degree in respiratory care, which prepares graduates for the Registered Respiratory Therapy exam and subsequent licensure by the Respiratory Care Board of California. In the current program. A group of 24 students begins each January and graduates two years later in December.
Students will need to start phase one of the Bachelor’s degree program by beginning the AS degree program in Respiratory Care currently offered at MJC, unless they have already completed an AS degree in this field.
The second section will include curriculum in research, education, management, and supervision. It will also include additional education in higher levels of clinical practice, such as adult critical care, pediatric critical care, neonatal critical care, pulmonary function technology, cardiopulmonary diagnostics, polysomnography, and other key clinical areas.
The new Allied Health building that opened in spring 2013 at MJC’s West Campus, Glacier Hall, provides state-of-the-art facilities in which to offer the four-year degree pilot program in respiratory care.
“Glacier Hall offers up-to-date classroom and laboratory environments that would provide excellent facilities for an expanded respiratory care program,” said Stearns. “The building offers an experiential learning environment and teaching facility, with a Human Patient Simulation Laboratory that is one of the finest, state-of-the-art patient care simulation labs in the state. This center allows students to learn important skills through the use of simulation mannequins and then review their own efforts via an advanced audio visual system.”
Currently MJC and Fresno City College are the only two community colleges in the Central Valley with state-approved respiratory care programs. Collectively, these two institutions average 35 annual completions for 42 job openings, resulting in an unmet need in the workforce for respiratory care practitioners. There are no educational institutions in the region with bachelor’s degree programs in this field.
“Modesto Junior College’s baccalaureate in Respiratory Care program will also prepare leaders, who are able to plan, develop, and deliver high quality, cost effective health care services,” said Stearns. “Increasing higher education opportunities in the greater Modesto area is a strategic need for attracting business and industry to the county and improving job opportunities and quality of life in our community.”
Students completing MJC’s four-year degree program in respiratory care will be able to work in a wide variety of facilities, including acute care hospitals, durable medical equipment companies, sub-acute facilities, home care agencies, physician’s offices, managed care organizations, sleep labs, and pulmonary function labs.
The Associate’s degree coursework will continue to cost $46 per unit for the first two years, unless rates are increased by the State of California. The last two years of the program would cost $84 per unit. The State estimates the cost of completing one of the new Bachelor’s degree to be approximately $10,000, which is significantly less than an average four-year school.
For comparison, California State University, Stanislaus, one of the more affordable universities in California, has $3,341 in tuition and fees per semester. If fees remained flat for the next four years, a Bachelor’s degree would be more than $25,000 at CSU Stanislaus.
More information on MJC’s current Associate’s degree in respiratory care and to see the frequently asked questions of the new four-year degree, click here.