Respiratory Care Program Wins National Award

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – June 29, 2017) - - - For the second consecutive year, Columbia State’s respiratory care program has received the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award.

Awards are presented by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care at the annual American Association for Respiratory Care Summer Forum.

“Roger Major, Columbia State director of clinical education for respiratory care, and I focus our training efforts on giving students the skills they need to be successful respiratory care practitioners,” said R. David Johnson, program director and associate professor of respiratory care at Columbia State. “Students spend a great deal of time developing psychomotor skills as well as critical thinking abilities. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Maury Regional Medical Center, Trevecca Healthcare Center and Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital are just a few of facilities that routinely hire our graduates.”

The award recognizes the small group of respiratory care programs that meet the following criteria: (1) have three or more years of outcomes data; (2) hold accreditation without a progress report; (3) document first-attempt RRT credentialing success rates of 90% or above; and (4) meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for certified respiratory therapist credentialing success, attrition and positive in-field placement of graduates. 

According to the 2016 CoARC outcomes data report, the national average for graduates obtaining the RRT credential was 73 percent, while Columbia State averaged 92 percent. The national job placement average was 84 percent and Columbia State surpassed the national average with 98 in-field percent. 

Only 87 of the 432 respiratory care programs in the country were awarded for 2017. Out of the nine programs in Tennessee, only two received this recognition.

“We receive calls throughout the year from employers wanting to hire our graduates,” Johnson said. “Columbia State is making a positive impact on the health of Tennesseans.” 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job outlook for all occupations in the nation will increase by 7 percent between 2014-2024. The job outlook for respiratory therapists will increase by 12 percent. 

"Columbia State's respiratory care program combines challenging and meaningful classroom and clinical experiences to prepare graduates to consistently meet and exceed employer expectations for entry-level skills,” said Dr. Kae Fleming, Columbia State dean of health sciences and professor of radiologic technology.  “Student learning is enhanced by knowledge and skills of dedicated faculty as well as practicing therapists and physicians."

Columbia State’s respiratory care program was recently granted re-accreditation by the CoARC for the maximum allowable years. During the last peer review, the program resulted in zero deficiencies.

For more information about the respiratory care program, contact R. David Johnson, program director and associate professor of respiratory care at Columbia State at 931.540.2663 or online at www.ColumbiaState.edu/Respiratory-Care 

David Johnson and Roger Major with the 2016 COARC Award
Photo Caption:
R. David Johnson, Columbia State program director and associate professor of respiratory care at Columbia State and Roger Major, Columbia State director of clinical education for respiratory care. 

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu.

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.

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