California Attorney General and United States Senate candidate Kamala D. Harris got a firsthand look at the facility that will house Modesto Junior College’s new Respiratory Baccalaureate Program as she visited the college campus Thursday.
MJC is one of 15 California Community Colleges that will offer a baccalaureate degree program in the California Community College System. Aligned with her Freedom to Learn tour, AG Harris’ visit included Glacier Hall’s simulation laboratory and classrooms. The facility, brought to MJC by the support of the community through Measure E Bond funding, largely houses MJC’s allied health programs and will also serve as home to the new Respiratory Care Baccalaureate Program, beginning in fall 2017.
The goal of the respiratory care bachelor's program is to increase the preparation and technical expertise of respiratory care practitioners. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Respiratory Therapists is expected to grow by 19 percent by 2022, due in part to the growth in the middle-aged and elderly population that often leads to increased respiratory conditions.
“We are delighted to be able to serve the community in this expanded capacity by offering students the opportunity to increase their education in this area,” said Chancellor Joan Smith. “And, we are delighted AG Harris was able to learn more about the program by touring the facility and visiting with program faculty, staff, and students.”
Program graduates will be prepared to serve in leadership roles, education roles, and case management roles related to patient care in the field of respiratory care. Students will acquire advanced knowledge and skills in neonatal, pediatric, and adult critical respiratory care; management skills in respiratory care settings; advanced clinical practice, teaching, and research skills to serve as members of multidisciplinary teams in patient education and disease management of acute and chronic illnesses and to contribute to the diverse field of respiratory care.
Harris was joined Wednesday by Yosemite Community College District Board of Trustees member Tom Hallinan, who also toured with the group.
“AG Harris, who is no stranger to the Central Valley, was impressed with the state-of-the-art facility and how we are preparing students for the jobs of the future,” said Hallinan.