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Respiratory Care Program Honored for Credentialing Success

Thursday, August 3, 2023

St. Louis Community College's respiratory care program recently received the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Credentialing Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Therapy Care. 

Lindsay Fox and Sarah VarekojisThis is the fourth consecutive year the College has received this award, given to programs that attain more than 90% RRT credentialing success for three straight years.

The College's success rate is 97%.

STLCC’s respiratory care associate degree program has been accredited since 1968, and this fall will accept applications for the first cohort of the entry-level bachelor’s degree in respiratory care. The bachelor’s degree provides for a greater return on investment, including positioning a student for future leadership positions.

STLCC is one of only two community colleges in the state to offer a bachelor’s degree in respiratory care. STLCC, along with Ozarks Technical College, both sought to offer bachelor's degrees in respiratory care because both institutions planned to expand their programs, and CoARC now requires that any new respiratory therapy programs offer bachelor's degrees. The bachelor's degree programs were approved by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education in 2021.

Hospitals are in dire need locally and across the nation for respiratory care practitioners, with St. Louis facing an estimated vacancy rate of 16.3 percent.

The credentialing award is presented as part of the CoARC’s continued effort to value the RRT credential as a measure of a program’s success in inspiring graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations.

​Programs are required to have three or more years of outcome data, hold accreditation without a progress report, document Registered Respiratory Therapist credentialing success of 90% or above, and meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for Therapist Multiple Choice high cut score and retention. 

Full-time faculty members are Lindsay Fox, associate professor who is the program coordinator; and Blake Anyan, assistant professor who also is the clinical coordinator. Dr. Kurtis Sobush serves as the program’s medical director, and Danielle Gutierrez is an adjunct instructor.

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