RT Program Earns Award from Accrediting Organization

Each fall, PCC Respiratory Therapy students hold an open house on campus to showcase their program's facilities, equipment and training.

WINTERVILLE—The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) has recognized the Pitt Community College Respiratory Therapy program with a “Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Credentialing Success Award.”

The honor, which was announced this month, recognizes the program’s success with inspiring graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations. This is the third year PCC’s respiratory therapy program has earned the accolade.

“The faculty and I were very humbled to receive this distinguished honor,” said PCC Respiratory Therapy Program Director Rusty Sugg. “We are very fortunate to have a strong and supportive administration that provides the needed funds and resources to make this program function at a high level.”

Sugg said all three of the respiratory therapy program’s current faculty members are PCC graduates.

“As Pitt Community College alumni, they understand the importance of strong student advising and how it impacts credentialing success,” he said. “Our goal is to maintain these high standards to ensure we graduate competent and knowledgeable respiratory therapists.”

Earlier this year, eight respiratory therapy students from Pitt joined the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and performed admirably. Through the recently reinstated Respiratory Care Assistant program, the second-year students were able to work under the supervision of licensed respiratory therapists, which helped area health care facilities address significant staffing shortages that resulted from the pandemic.

To select programs for the Credentialing Success Award, CoARC utilized objective criteria based on key accreditation standards outlined in its 2019 Annual Report of Current Status. PCC and this year’s other recipients were required to meet several rigorous standards, including an RRT success rate of 90 percent or better and meeting or exceeding established CoARC thresholds for Certified Respiratory Therapist credentialing success and retention.

Based in Telford, Tenn., CoARC’s primary responsibility is to accredit respiratory therapy programs based on their compliance with established certification standards. From a program effectiveness perspective, the organization considers the RRT credential as the benchmark for a program’s success.