Daytona State College to begin offering Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Science degree in Fall 2023

Area hospitals see increased demand for Respiratory Therapists with advanced degrees


[NOTE: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has approved Daytona State College's Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Science degree.]

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (May 8, 2023) – Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Daytona State College will offer an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Science degree that can be taken fully online, with options for in-person class meetings on the Daytona Beach Campus, beginning in Fall 2023. The program addresses the increasing demand for Respiratory Therapists with advanced training and skills. It has already received approval from Florida’s State Board of Education.

Daytona State already offers an accelerated Associate of Science degree in Respiratory Care, and the new program will address the needs of regional health care providers and the desires of practicing Respiratory Therapists who are seeking to advance in their careers by obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
"We are committed to anticipate and meet the educational and workforce needs of our constituents – the citizens and business leaders of Volusia and Flagler counties,” said Daytona State College President Dr. Tom LoBasso. “Several of our local hospital partners have told us they prefer to hire Registered Respiratory Therapists who have earned a bachelor’s degree. And many of our graduates have expressed interest in continuing their education locally."

The program anticipates approximately 100 students a year and applications can be submitted year-round.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 14% increase in the job outlook for Respiratory Therapists over the next 10 years. The need for Respiratory Therapists with bachelor's degrees has increased locally and nationwide due to the increasing scope of practice, regulatory requirements in labs, and to fill roles in leadership and education.

“Our hospital partners said they prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor's degree to reduce the orientation time and leadership training required for new employees,” said Dr. Colin Chesley, Associate Vice President of the College of Health and Public Services. “Adding this bachelor of science program and incorporating training in advanced modalities and management skills is a win-win for everyone involved.”

The 36-credit hour / 12 course program will be offered completely online. Applicants must have already earned an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree from a Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) accredited program. Though not required to apply, students must also obtain the Registered Respiratory Therapist credential to complete the program. Courses may be taken in any sequence and some courses are offered in half-semester format.

The program will include content associated with management, education, research, legal and ethical issues, quality improvement, advanced technical competencies, advanced pharmacology and pathophysiology. Graduates will have an expanded scope of knowledge in the cardiopulmonary field, opportunities in leadership and education, manage moderate complexity labs, opportunities in tele-health medicine, and participate in drafting legislation to allow direct provision and billing of services through Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services.

This program will be the first BS in Cardiopulmonary Science degree program in the Florida College System to seek provisional accreditation from CoARC.

The program will be eligible for federal financial aid and the state’s Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

For more information, contact Academic Advisor, Melissa Brown at 386-506-3052 or, Program Director, Melanie McDonough at 386-506-3759 or, or Program Faculty, Misty Carlson at 386-506-3780 or

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Offering more than 100 certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs, Daytona State College is the leader in education and workforce training needs of Volusia and Flagler counties and beyond for more than 60 years. The College enrolls approximately 23,000 students a year at its seven campuses, with graduates serving in critical fields including healthcare, emergency services and public safety, business, education, hospitality, engineering, technology, digital media, and more.

Daytona State has been recognized as a leader in higher education numerous times. U.S. News & World Report ranks the College among the Top Tier Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center ranks DSC among the top 50 most affordable public four-year institutions in the country, with less than half the tuition of the national average. And U.S. News & World Report has ranked DSC among its Top Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans multiple times.