Thirty-four community colleges in California are seeking to add four-year respiratory therapy degrees to their curriculums, according to a news article on

Schools are applying to the state to become one of 15 approved RT programs; the California Community Colleges Board of Directors will vote later this month on which 15 are approved, according to the article.

The article reported on the efforts of Napa Valley College to begin an accredited four-year respiratory therapy program in 2017. The college already offers a two-year RT degree, the article reported.

From the article:

“It was a matter of looking at what programs we have that could support expansion to four years, in areas with a need for a four-year degree – and respiratory therapy rose to the top,” said Terry Giugni, NVC’s vice president of instruction. “There is no public college in the state that offers it. Only one private school does, Loma Linda in Southern California. Those seeking bachelor’s degrees must go out of state.”

Students in the experimental four-year programs will pay a surcharge of $84 per on top of the $46-per-unit tuition standard for California’s two-year schools. That would allow students to complete a bachelor’s degree for about $10,000, well below the average four-year tuition of $21,888 in the California State University system or $53,200 within the University of California network.