MCCC Respiratory Therapy Program Receives 10-year Accreditation, National Award and Appoints New Director

Monroe County Community College’s Respiratory Therapy Program has had a rewarding summer with accolades for quality programming and student success. 

In late July, The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care reaffirmed 10 -year ‘Continuing Accreditation’ for the Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy Program through 2032. During the program’s site visit earlier this year, CoARC officials noted the program faculty and clinical instructors are held in high regard by students for their effective teaching and management skills, the excellent classroom and lab facilities, inter-professional activities with nursing students at the college, extensive clinical opportunities with a variety of area healthcare facilities, and employers reporting their clinical sites prefer to hire MCCC RT program graduates. 

The site visit was the culmination of an extensive evaluation process that includes 57 areas of review, a comprehensive self-study evaluation report containing 6,000 pages of documentation including student records and clinical materials, and a two-day site visit that included interviews with faculty, administrators, first- and second- year students, graduates and employers. “In addition to the comprehensive evaluation every 10 years, CoARC regularly monitors the program’s compliance,” said Dr. Thomas R. Smalling, chief executive officer of CoARC in the announcement. “Annually, the program must submit a Report of Current Status and other documentation to ensure the established outcomes assessment thresholds are being met.”

In addition to the continuing accreditation, the MCCC RT program also received the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award at the recent CoARC Summer Forum. This is the eighth year in a row the program has received this recognition. 

The CoARC Board uses objective criteria based on key accreditation metrics documented in the Annual Report of Current Status in selecting programs for the recognition. Programs that attain the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award are required to have three or more years of outcomes data, hold full accreditation, document RRT credentialing success of 90 percent or above, and meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for certified respiratory therapist credentialing success, retention, on-time graduation rate, and overall employer and graduate satisfaction.

MCCC’s Respiratory Therapy Program exceeds even the distinguished program standards in nearly every category including:
•    100 percent (average for three years) passage of CRT (80 percent threshold)
•    94 percent (average for three years) retention rate (70 percent threshold)
•    95 percent (average for three years) job placement (10 percent threshold)
•    98 percent (average for three years) employer satisfaction (80 percent threshold)
•    100 percent (average for three years) graduate satisfaction (80 percent threshold)

“We are very proud of the success of our respiratory therapy program,” said Dr. Kim Lindquist, dean of health sciences at MCCC. “Our reputation not only in Michigan, but across the country, as an exceptional program and based on the success of our graduates, is due in large part to the leadership of our former program director, Dr. Ijaz Ahmed, who recently left the college for a position in Arizona, and the dedication and expertise of our faculty.  I’m excited to announce that Helen Stripling, RRT, RRT-ACCS, will be serving as Dr. Ahmed’s replacement effective August 21, 2022.  Ms. Stripling has been serving as the interim director since July and brings many fine academic and leadership qualities to the role.  I’m confident that she will be a very positive addition to the program serving in this capacity and will continue to move the program forward with an emphasis on quality and student success.”   

RT Photo Helen Stripling, Angela Prush, Kevin O'Neil

Dr. Kevin O’Neil, president of CoARC presenting the Distinguished Registered Respiratory
Therapist Credentialing Success Award to Helen Stripling, RT instructor and interim
Program Director (holding award) and Angela Prush, Director of Clinical
Education/Instructor of Respiratory Therapy.


Marketing & Communications

Joe Verkennes
Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161

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