Students Walking at ELAC Campus



A Message From Our Leadership Team

Welcome to the East Los Angeles College Respiratory Therapy Department Website. The Respiratory Therapy Program is a comprehensive and highly respected 2-year program that prepares students for a career in the Respiratory Care field. Our Program combines classroom instruction with hands-on laboratory and clinical experience to give students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as Respiratory Therapists. Graduates of the program are in high demand and have a strong track record of success in their careers. If you're interested in a career that helps patients breathe better, and that provides you with a chance to interact with patients, then the East Los Angeles College Respiratory Therapy Program is an excellent choice for you.


Why Choose a Career in Respiratory Therapy?

See what our students and faculty have to say about our Respiratory Therapy Program:


Respiratory Therapy Announcements

Respiratory Therapy Announcements

1. The Respiratory Therapy Application

If you have completed all the Respiratory Therapy Pre-requisites or are missing one or two classes, you can apply to the RT Program during the acceptance period, as long as you are enrolled and will complete all of the pre-requisites by the end of Spring 2024. See the Respiratory Therapy Application information towards the bottom of this page or email us at if you have questions.

The Respiratory Therapy Program will be accepting applications for the 2024 RT Cohort starting Monday, September 11, 2023, through Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at exactly 11:59 p.m.

The link to the Respiratory Therapy Application can be found here:

Please read everything carefully and upload the appropriate documentation. There should be a confirmation email of submission at the end, take a screenshot or print it at the end for your records.


As of June 2023, the Respiratory Therapy Program has changed the Mathematics Pre-Requisite needed to apply to the 2024 Respiratory Therapy Cohort. Anyone applying to the RT Program would need to have taken either:

  • Math 227 (Statistics), or;
  • Math 245 (College Algebra) or Higher Mathematics Class.



The ELAC RT Department is happy to announce that we will be offering Spring 2024 RT Zoom Information Day Sessions for all potential students. During each of our Zoom sessions, we will provide you with information regarding the RT Pre-Requisites, the Application Process, and the Multi-Grading Evaluation Process. All sessions will end with a question and answer for you to ask our RT Directors and Faculty any concerns you might have regarding the Respiratory Therapy Program and Career.

Zoom Information for all Spring 2024 Sessions:

All Zoom dates will be held at the following


 Meeting ID: 895 957 3673

Date & Zoom Link


February 8, 2024


February 15, 2024


March 13, 2024


April 16, 2024



February 22, 2024
Respiratory Therapy Department

ELAC Respiratory Therapy Students Join Assembly Member Miguel Santiago, LACCD Representatives in Support of Tuition Free Bachelor's Degrees.


Monterey Park, CA – On February 22, 2024, at 8:00 a.m., KCAL 9 featured a video showcasing the support of Los Angeles Assembly member Miguel Santiago, LACCD Chancellor Dr. Francisco C. Rodriguez, ELAC President Alberto Ròman, and ELAC Respiratory Therapy Students for a state legislature initiative advocating Tuition-Free Bachelor's Degrees. The implementation of such programs at colleges like ELAC aims to enhance educational accessibility and foster a more educated workforce.

Under the guidance of President Roman, Vice-President Tafoya, Dean Kendra Madrid, and Respiratory Therapy Department Chairperson Michael Haines, East Los Angeles College has presented a proposal for a B.S. degree in Respiratory Therapy. This proposed B.S. Degree signifies a significant milestone for our college, paving the way for the introduction of additional B.S. Degrees at ELAC and LACCD.

The KCAL 9 video segment can be viewed below.


August 6, 2020
Office of the President
(323) 265-8663 | @email

ELAC Respiratory Therapy Alumni, Andrew Ta, Recognized on ABC7 Health Care Heroes

Andy Ta Respiratory Therapist

Monterey Park, CA – On August 4th at 5:00 p.m., ABC7 aired a video showing local Health Care Heroes featuring an alumnus of the East Los Angeles College Respiratory Therapy program, Mr. Andrew Ta. ABC7 Eyewitness News features individuals and groups who make SoCal strong every week.

Andy was nominated for this recognition by his Nurse Case Manager at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, where he currently works. Andy attended ELAC from the Summer of 2014 through the Fall of 2017, graduating with an AS degree in Respiratory Therapy. When asked what he enjoyed most about attending ELAC, Andy said, “It was a very engaging and fun environment to learn the field of respiratory therapy.” After he graduated from ELAC, it took Andy about three months to find a job in the field that he studied for. “It’s all about consistency,” he said, referring to his job placement skills.

“Like so many of our students, Andy struggled at the beginning of the program, but he had a terrific work ethic that helped him persevere,” said ELAC Respiratory Therapy Program Director and Professor, Ms. Kevin M. Booth. “Once he entered the clinical environment, he really 'got' it. Andy was very personable with and considerate of both his peers and instructors, but the most distinguishing factor for me was his smile, which unfortunately because of the COVID crisis, isn't visible in the ABC7 photo. I'm betting that it's there, though: a big, contagious grin that just makes everyone who sees it want to start smiling, too.”

“It is truly rewarding to see one of our former students doing great work in our community, especially during these unprecedented times,” said ELAC Interim President, Dr. Alberto J. Román.

Andy has been working at Torrance Memorial Medical Center for close to three years now, and is also currently enrolled at Boise State University to earn a BS degree in Respiratory Therapy.

The ABC7 Health Care Heroes video segment can be viewed below.




The next RT Application submission period will begin in September 2023. Come back to this website in September to obtain the link to the RT Application for next year.

  1. You must have completed the following prerequisites before applying:
    1. Resp Th-101: Survey of Respiratory Therapy. (2 Units)
    2. HTH-TEK 133: Medical Terminology. (3 Units)
    3. Anatomy 001 or Bio 020: Human Anatomy w/ Lab. (4 Units)
    4. Physiology 001 or Bio 020: Human Physiology w/ Lab. (4 Units)
    5. Chem 051 or 065: Introduction to General Chemistry. (4-5 Units)
    6. Math 245 or higher.: College Algebra or Higher (4-5 Units); Math 227 (Statistics) will be accepted as well.
    7. Comm 101 or Comm 121: Public Speaking (3 Units)

Pre-Clinical Placement Health Requirements 

Note: Pre-clinical requirements may change under the guidelines of the Clinical Affiliates, the RT Department, and ELAC Administrators. All changes will be posted on this website.

The clinical affiliates require a student be examined by a licensed physician and to have specific laboratory tests performed as needed, to determine physical fitness for clinical placement. The Program Director is authorized to require that records of any such examination be released to the clinic. Such records may be used only to determine fitness for the program, and except for such use, the confidentiality of such records shall be maintained. 

The student must be free from any communicable disease, infection, physical and/or psychological disorder, or any other condition that would prevent the successful performance of the responsibilities and tasks required in the classroom and clinical training of the Respiratory Therapy Program. Students with pre-existing conditions MUST be cleared by their attending physician as able to work in the acute care environment BEFORE they will be permitted to attend a clinical rotation. 

Any condition, as described above, that is developed by the student after admission to the program will require clearance from their physician that it is safe for them to return to the classroom and/ or clinical area. 

1. OSHA Blood-borne Pathogen (BBP) Standards: Although medical training students are not addressed in these mandatory standards, since respiratory therapists are at-risk employees(probable exposure), student RCPs have the same designation and must follow these procedures.

2. Gross contamination: OSHA Standards mandate changing grossly contaminated work clothes immediately. Should such occur, despite wearing personal protective equipment (PPE); the student should remove and discard the contaminated uniform, then change to a clean uniform. It is therefore advised that the students have a change of clothing with them in the advent of such an event.

3. Student training: Since OSHA Standards mandate training, BBP instruction will occur via a UCLAHealth Systems online education module titled OSHA Infection Control. Following such training and demonstrating competence, a certificate of completion will be earned. All clinical affiliates will receive notice of this certificate. Students will receive the forms on which all documentation must be recorded.

NOTE: Students must turn in proof of the following items in an original ELAC RT Health Record with all other health records and documents, prior to the start of RT 201.

The RT Program requires documentation of immunization and/ or seropositivity for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (T-DAP), Hepatitis B, varicella titer, COVID-19 and seasonal influenza vaccines.

COVID vaccination

Students will be required to obtain the COVID vaccination series plus two COVID booster shots prior to the start of the Summer Semester. This is a requirement of our clinical sites. A declination of the vaccine or booster may be requested. As such, placement into clinical will be based on site acceptance of vaccine declination. You will be required to wear a surgical mask during your rotations if you decline the vaccine or booster.

For those who did not start their COVID vaccine series to immediately start getting the vaccine as soon as possible or at the beginning of their 1st year Fall Semester. Since this process requires a series of 3 (or 4) injections over a period of months, students must return on their own time, as scheduled, for the remainder of the injections.


Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) vaccination

Since respiratory therapists are at-risk employees, student RCPs have the same designation, so the following criteria will be required:

1. All students must sign a statement, either consenting to the HBV vaccination series or declining it.

2. At present, the ELAC Student Health Center offers the HBV vaccine to registered RT students. Since the process requires a series of 3 injections over a period of months, students must return on their own time, as scheduled, for the remainder of the injections.


Mantoux Tuberculin Skin Test

  1. If you develop a positive TB test, you must clear your required reports through ELAC StudentHealth Services prior to submitting TB documents to the RT Program Office. If you have had adverse reactions to TB testing and are being asked to have the 2-step PPD process, you may have the QuantiFERON® TB test.

  2. If you have never had a TB test OR if it has been over 12 months since receiving a negative TBtest:

       A. A baseline “Two-Step” Mantoux Test (PPD) is required for all students regardless of prior BCG inoculation.

       B. After baseline testing, all healthcare students must have an annual Mantoux Test. If the interval between testing is greater than 12 months, the Two-Step will be repeated.

3.  If you have a documented negative TB test within 12 months of entering the program:

       A. A “One-Step” is required ONLY if a negative Mantoux test result is documented within the previous 12 months. Date done and proof of this past testing is required.

       B.“Two-Step” baseline testing will be accepted only if done no more than 3 months prior to enrollment.

4.  After baseline testing, all healthcare students must have an annual Mantoux Test. If the interval between testing is greater than 12 months, the Two-Step will be repeated.

5. If you do NOT have documentation for a negative TB test done within 12 months of entering the program.

       A. A repeat baseline Two-Step” Mantoux Test (PPD) is required. There is no danger in having these tests repeated. This is if documentation is not available to you.

      B. After baseline testing, all healthcare students must have an annual Mantoux Test. If the interval between testing is greater than 12 months, the Two-Step will be repeated.

6.  If you have previously had a positive Mantoux (PPD) test:

      A. All new students with a previously positive Mantoux must provide the following documentation:

                i.the reported induration measured in mm AND

       chest radiograph to exclude a diagnosis of TB disease. After this baseline chest radiograph is performed and the result is documented, repeat radiographs are not needed unless symptoms or signs of TB disease develop or a clinician recommends a repeat chest radiograph, OR

               iii. have a BAMT (blood assay for M. tuberculosis). If the latter, proof of testing with a complete report which provides an interpretation of the test result and indicates the concentration of interferon-gamma. If the BAMT results are “inconclusive” or “positive”, a report of a negative chest x-ray is to be provided.


Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Varicella Screening 

The following criteria will be observed: 

1. Written documentation of MMR vaccinations in persons born after 1950, the 1st given on or after the first birthday, and the 2nd after 1980; or one MMR vaccination as an adult; or serologic (antibody titers) evidence of immunity to measles and rubella (German measles).

2. Serologic evidence of immunity to varicella (Chicken pox).


Seasonal Influenza Immunization 

Students will be required to obtain the seasonal influenza vaccine prior to the start of the fall semester. A declination of the vaccine is possible, however, this is site dependent and any student who does not receive the vaccine will be required to wear a mask during their rotations. 


Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis)

Tdap or Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) are dangerous and life-threatening. A Tdap vaccine is required by our clinical affiliates. For those who were already inoculated with the Tdap vaccine, it must be within 10 years prior to the start of your clinical rotation, or as required by our clinical site. 


Tuberculosis (TB) Screening

This must be done prior to the start of RT 201 (skin test or Interferon Gamma Release Assay or IGRA or chest x-ray, if necessary). Individuals with a positive skin test (PPD) must provide proof of a negative chest x-ray obtained within the past year, and a documented Positive TB test (PPD) result. The PPD may have to be repeated during the clinical year. Low-cost TB tests are available to registered RT students at the ELAC Student Health Center. 


Clinical Compliance with Health Records 

At any time should a student’s annual health clearances, malpractice insurance and/or CPR certification expire (in other words, if a renewal is not completed before the expiration date), the student is considered non-compliant. Any student out of compliance cannot attend clinical rotations, and this may result in dismissal from the program. It is the student’s responsibility to remain current in all requirements and to supply proof to the RT Program before the expiration dates. 

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Therapy or CoARC is the Accrediting Body for the East Los Angeles Respiratory Therapy Program. Below is more information about CoARC:

  1. CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.CoARC's Outcome Webpage is
  2. CoARC's Main Webpage is:
  3. East Los Angeles College's Respiratory Therapy Program Number is: 200102


Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) :

264 Precision Blvd, Telford, TN  37690


Respiratory Therapy Links

AARC (American Association of Respiratory Care)
CSRC (California Society for Respiratory Care)
CoARC (Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care)
NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care)
RCB (Respiratory Care Board of California)
BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Contact Information

Office Location

Dept. Locations G5-211 & C2-126A


For Questions or Comments
Send us an email to our RT Email Address

Dept. Location: G5-211

Michael Haines
Chairperson and Director of Clinical Education
Email: @email
Phone: (323) 265-8711

Dept. Location: G5-211

Allan Gonzales
Program Director
Phone: (323) 265-8647


Juan Loza
Senior Office Assistant
Phone: (323) 265-8813