The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has approved a four-year degree program for respiratory therapy in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Indiana.

The current two-year Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy (ASRT) degree program will transition to a four-year Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) degree program in the fall of 2016.

In addition, the Respiratory Therapy Program also will offer a degree-completion section (AS degree to BS degree), which will allow current registered respiratory therapists (RRT) with a two-year associate degree to complete course requirements for the BSRT from USI entirely through distance education.

“This is an historic move for USI,” said Wes Phy, program chair. “Our program has served the community well for many years, but we will now be evolving into a much more advanced program that will move our profession into the next generation. USI will be one of only four programs in the state of Indiana to offer a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.”