University Bulletin 2019-20

Print Bulletin Page

Cardiorespiratory Care

Cardiorespiratory Care Administrative Staff (251) 445-9284
Chair Timothy Op't Holt
Medical Director Philip Almalouf
Professors Chang, Op’t Holt
Associate Professor  
Senior Clinical Instructor Pruitt

Department of Cardiorespiratory Care website

The University of South Alabama offers a complete program in Cardiorespiratory Care leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. The curriculum provides a broad education in liberal arts and basic sciences and an in-depth study in respiratory therapy and non-invasive cardiovascular technology. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC),, Program #200267.  Student and graduate outcomes are found at:  Upon graduation students are eligible to sit for the National Board for Respiratory Care Examinations for entry into practice.

The curriculum is divided into two components: the Pre-Professional Component and the Professional Component.

Pre-Professional Component

The Pre-Professional Component (freshman and sophomore years) may be completed in two years and consists of 59-63 semester hours of prescribed and elective course work.

Professional Component

The Professional Component (junior and senior years) consists of two years of academic and clinical study in Cardiorespiratory Care. The program includes one summer term between the junior and senior years. All candidates must have satisfied the requirements of the Pre-Professional Component to qualify for admission to the Professional Component. Enrollment into the Pre-Professional Component as a Cardiorespiratory Care major does NOT automatically assure the student admission to the Professional Component. Enrollment in the Professional Component is limited and admission is based on academic record and aptitude for a career in respiratory therapy and non-invasive cardiovascular technology as evidenced by personal qualifications such as character and motivation.

Students will be required to complete formal application to the Professional Component. The application process normally begins in the spring semester of the sophomore year. 

cardiorespiratory care curriculum

The Cardiorespiratory Care curriculum incorporates problem-based learning and team-based learning in its curriculum.  These instructional methodologies require students to actively participate in the learning process.  Problem-based learning and team-based learning are used to develop and improve the students' problem-solving and decision-making skills.

In the two problem-based learning courses, students work in groups and solve case studies under the direction of faculty members. Students assume the major responsibility for resolving the problems in the case studies by utilizing a variety of resources.

This approach to learning emphasizes self-direction, independent thinking, decision-making, information gathering, and problem solving. All of these skills are needed to succeed in the clinical setting. Students also develop and improve communication skills through this process, as they interact with fellow students, instructors, and other health care personnel. Students learn the value of working together as a team through the small group process.

General Curriculum Description: Clinical Statement 

The curriculum includes over 800 hours of clinical experiences in adult, pediatric, and neonatal acute care and in specialty areas (such as sleep diagnostics, pulmonary function testing, pulmonary rehabilitation, cardiac catheterization, long-term care/home care), and in community service.  Each semester includes a clinical component.    

admission requirements for the professional component

  1. Completed application form submitted no later than March 15 of the year for which admission is requested. (Late applications will be evaluated based on individual circumstances.)
  2. A minimum of a 2.8 cumulative grade-point average in the mathematics and science prerequisites.
  3. A minimum of a 2.8 cumulative grade-point average in the Pre-Professional Component.
  4. A personal interview with the Cardiorespiratory Care Admissions Committee.
  5. Tour of hospital.
  6. International students must score a minimum of 76 on the TOEFL exam with the following minimum subscores on the IBT:
    • Listening 20
    • Speaking 20 
    • Reading 18
    • Writing 18

    or an IELTS score of 6.

Course Listing

Faculty Listing

Cardiorespiratory Care Faculty
Chang, David W. Cardiorespiratory Care Professor BA, University of Northern Iowa
MED, Columbus State University
EDD, Nova Southeastern University
Optholt, Timothy B. Cardiorespiratory Care Professor BS, Michigan State University
MS, Universit of Illinois -Chicago
EDD, Auburn University
Pruitt, William C. Cardiorespiratory Care Senior Instructor BA, Georgia College and State U
MBA, Brenau University