FAMU School of Allied Health Sciences Respiratory Care Program Receives Distinguished Credentialing Award

June 14, 2022
SOAH Students
FAMU School of Allied Health Sciences Respiratory Care Program Receives Distinguished Credentialing Award

Respiratory care students in the School of Allied Health Sciences.

Florida A&M University School of Allied Health Sciences’ (SOAHS) respiratory care program received the Distinguished RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) Credentialing Success Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

“This award acknowledges the level of student success we strive to attain at FAMU. I commend the students, faculty, and staff for their efforts,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “Our respiratory care program has prepared students and graduates to play important roles in health care, in particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”


CoARC President Kevin O’Neil, in a June 1 letter, wrote that FAMU “is among a select group of programs that will be recognized.” 

“This award is presented as part of CoARC’s continued efforts to value the RRT credential as a standard of professional achievement,” O’Neil wrote to Mary Simmons, Ph.D., director of Cardiopulmonary Science in SOAHS. “From a program effectiveness perspective, the CoARC views the RRT credential as a measure of a program’s success in inspiring its graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations.

“The CoARC extends its sincere congratulations to you, your faculty, students, and graduates for meeting these rigorous criteria,” O’Neil concluded. CoARC’s primary responsibility is to accredit programs based on their compliance with established accreditation standards.

In selecting programs for this recognition, the CoARC Board used objective criteria based on key accreditation metrics. These programs were required to: (1) have three or more years of outcomes data; (2) hold accreditation without a progress report at the end of the year;

(3) document RRT credentialing success of 90 percent or above, and (4) meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for Therapist Multiple Choice (TMC exam) high cut score and retention. 

Outgoing SOAHS Dean Cynthia Hughes Harris, Ph.D., texted a message of congratulations to faculty, students, and staff.

“The best always rises to the top, and CoARC knows  we’re the best.  So proud,” said Hughes- Harris, who retires on June 30.

Simmons said the award reflects the consistent performance of students in the program.

“It means  that over a three-year period, 90 percent of our students are becoming registered therapists and being able to practice in the field,” Simmons said. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, SOAHS loaned ventilators to Tallahassee area hospitals. Graduates and students on clinical rotations worked on the frontlines caring for COVID-19 patients.

“Our students were in high demand at that time because they did their clinical rotations, so they were also able to assist with COVID patients and those patients who were sick with flu-like symptoms,” Simmons said. “We take care of patients from the cradle to the grave. 

They go into delivery rooms for babies or high-risk deliveries. They care for patients with asthma, chronic bronchitis and other breathing issues who need to be on ventilators.”