Crafton Hills College Respiratory Therapy program graduates its 40th class

Crafton Hills College's 40th Respiratory Therapy Class cheers after the graduation on Dec. 13.

Graduation season continues at Crafton Hills College with the latest Respiratory Therapy class celebrating its success on Dec. 13.

Twenty-five successfully completed the program which looks to shape individuals looking into the field to become “working professionals” when they graduate, explained Paige Dulay, program secretary.

“Our instructors take pride in their career field and it shows through every graduating class,” she said. “Our students this semester were very hard-working and learned to manage their time efficiently.”

Program students take more than 103.5 units required to complete the program, with many taking up to 29 units per semester to reach their goal. The number of units is close to 800 clinical hours said Daniel Rojas, CHC’s director of clinical education, adding no day is the same. One day students could be working a 12-hour rotation of off-campus learning from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. or observing patients at a sleep study.

“They’ve been exposed to all kinds of scenarios,” he said.

While the program might be tough, there are other obstacles that could come into play.

For Naomy Ramirez, it was time management, particularly balancing “work and play.” But, she explained, she had a strong support system behind her who understood time spent away studying would eventually pay off.

“It was a matter of understanding that this wasn't going to be forever,” the Calimesa resident said. “I want to be a (great) respiratory therapist ... and my long-term goal is to give back to the medical community by education and mentoring newbies like others did for me.”

The 40th Respiratory Therapy Class included Kaylie Arden; Justin Bundschuh; Doricela Cabral; Victoria Campbell; Oscar Flores; Manuel Garrido; Timothy Gattie; Zulema Gil; Erika Gonzales; Amanda Halloran; Ada Jimenez; Jim McDowell; Ilse Mejia; Alfredo Mendez; Alexandra Panaguiton; April Ragels; Naomy Ramirez; Ashley Roark; Michael Salazar; Pamela Santos; Lindsey Scott; Luis Solis; Marisela Vasquez; Amy Wolter and Jessica Woodburn.

Since its opening in 1972, more than 100,000 people of different ages, interests, and backgrounds have attended CHC, drawn to the outstanding educational opportunities available to students interested in earning two-year associate degrees, transferring to four-year colleges and universities to obtain bachelor's degrees, career and technical education programs, and general education to increase job effectiveness or learn new skills.

Crafton Hills College is located at 11711 Sand Canyon Rd., Yucaipa. For more information, call 794-2161.

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