Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Programs >> Health >> Respiratory Therapy Program

Respiratory Therapy Program in Aurora, CO

The Respiratory Therapy Program application process is now open. Please contact Jackie Holland, Program Director to set up an interview for Fall 2022 ( Interviews will be conducted from January 10th through March 8th for fall, 2022.

Students are instructed in the basic Sciences, Cardiopulmonary Physiology, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Mechanical Ventilation and are provided clinical experience. The student will be RRT eligible after completion of both the Community College and Pickens Technical College components. Program graduates will be eligible to take the NBRC, Registered Respiratory Therapist Exams (RRT).

Applicants must be physically able to exert up to twenty-five pounds of force to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. Program attendance requires the ability to perceive attributes of objects such as size, shape, temperature, or texture by means of receptors in the skin, particularly those in the fingertips. Must have the ability to discriminate and perceive differences in breath sounds and heart tones. Also, must be able to differentiate multiple skins and tissue colors.

  • Students are required to complete a criminal background check prior to beginning clinical rotations.
  • Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or G.E.D.

The following certificate may be earned: AAS in RESPIRATORY THERAPY


The fully accredited Associates of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy is conducted in collaboration with the Community College of Aurora (CCA). THE GENERAL EDUCATION COMPONENT MUST BE COMPLETED (or evaluated) AT CCA PRIOR TO ENROLLING AT PICKENS. When completing the general education component, students must enroll as Respiratory Therapy students at CCA.

For information contact the CCA Advising Department: 303-360-4700, option 3 For more information contact SJ Casillas Student Affairs Advisor for the Health Pathway at Community College of Aurora.

SJ Casillas – Health Pathway Advisor 303-340-5213

Respiratory Care Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

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. Pickens Technical College’s Respiratory Therapy program’s CoARC code is 200431


The enrollment process for the Respiratory Therapy program includes a personal interview. The personal interview will consist of reviewing the unofficial transcript, and a conversation with program faculty around knowledge of and motivation to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). This is a selective process.

Prerequisite Rules:

-At CCA BIO 111 must be completed before students can enroll in either BIO 201 or BIO 204

-At CCA, MAT 121 must be completed before students can enroll in BIO 111

Residency Requirement:

Students must take 19.5 credits at CCA regardless of prior course history. This is because CCA is the degree-granting institution for the Respiratory Therapy program, and 25% of courses must be taken at the degree-granting institution for a degree to be awarded. Ultimately, this means that students must take a minimum of 19.5 credits at CCA for the Respiratory Therapy program, regardless of whether they have prior credit for prerequisite coursework from another institution. This requirement is part of the articulated degree agreement that allows students to sit for the state exam. Please see your CCA advisor to review the courses you will need to take.

Enrollment in prerequisite coursework does not guarantee enrollment in the Respiratory Therapy Program. Prerequisites are as follows:

  • MAT 107 Career Mathematics (MAT 121 preferred)
  • ENG 121 English Composition
  • PSY 101 General Psychology
  • CHE 101 Introduction to Chemistry I with Lab
  • BIO 201 Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIO 202 Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • BIO 204 Microbiology
  • Completion of BIO 201 Anatomy and Physiology I with a passing grade (C or higher) before enrollment at Pickens Technical College

Program graduates also have the opportunity to continue their education at other institutions to earn their Bachelor degrees:
AAS to BS with Metro State University

Please click on the links below to learn more about the RT Program.





Instructor Joanna Van Gieson

Joanna Van Gieson is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) through the National Board of Respiratory Care and is the Director of Clinical Education.

Joanna came to Pickens Technical College from Parker Adventist Hospital where she worked for 18 years; moving from a staff therapist to supervisor to Respiratory Therapy department manager. Joanna is a graduate of the Pickens Technical College respiratory therapy program, served on the advisory board and was an ICU clinical instructor. Joanna believes her leadership background brings a unique advantage to students as they navigate the respiratory therapy program. 

Joanna holds a Bachelor of Science, Respiratory Therapy degree from Pima Medical Institute and is planning to start her Master’s Degree in the coming year.

Joanna feels Pickens Technical College is a great opportunity for students to pursue their interests and when finished with the program make an impact in the lives of others.

Program Director: Jackie Holland

Jackie Holland is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) through the National Board of Respiratory Care and acting Director of Clinical Education.

Jackie has taught at Pickens Technical College for 7 years. She came to Pickens from Presbyterian/St. Lukes Hospital where she was a Neonatal Transport Therapist for Air Life. At Children’s Hospital, Jackie worked in all areas of Respiratory Therapy including the intensive care unit. Jackie loves being part of a multi-disciplinary team that is helping patients live a better life.

Prior to moving to Colorado, Jackie taught Health Education to both High School and Middle School students in Dallas, Texas. She has served on the Colorado Society for Respiratory Care board as Secretary.

Jackie earned her Associate degree in Respiratory Therapy from PIMA Medical Institute, holds a Bachelor Degree and teaching certification in Health Education from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse and is currently working on her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

Jackie feels that Pickens Technical College is a great opportunity for both educators and students to specialize in an area of their interests and expertise. The students in Respiratory Therapy earn their AAS in Respiratory Therapy from Community College of Aurora and even have the opportunity to continue their education at Metro State University or Pueblo Community College.

Ready to get started