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VC Respiratory Care Program only community college in Texas recognized with national award

By Victoria Advocate
May 18, 2012 at 12:18 a.m.
Updated May 19, 2012 at 12:19 a.m.

Victoria College Respiratory Care Program graduates Savana Barela, left, and Amber New, right, successfully completed the program in 2010.

Victoria College's Respiratory Care Program was recently recognized with the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Care Therapist Credentialing Success Award by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

The program is among 32 programs of about 440 in the nation to receive this recognition. Of the four programs recognized in the state of Texas, VC's program is the only one at a community college

"This award is an honor for our program and demonstrates the success of our students in passing the credentialing exam at a very high rate," said LeAnn Wagner, dean of Allied Health and Public Service. "I certainly congratulate our graduates and commend VC's faculty for receiving this outstanding award."

Criteria for the award include meeting the commission's high standards for reporting outcomes data, holding accreditation without a progress report and documenting a more than 90 percent success rate for RRT credentialing. Additionally, recognized programs must meet minimum standards for credentialing success, attrition and positive job placement.

With a 92 percent success rate, VC's Respiratory Care Program exceeds the commission's minimum standards.

"Our graduates who desire to work after graduation achieve a 100 percent job placement rate," said Chris Kallus, respiratory program chairman. "Occasionally, we have a few students who may choose to go in a different direction, obtain more education or simply take some time off before beginning their career in respiratory care."

The college's small class sizes also gives students as much access to their instructors as they need, which in turn helps VC's instructors support student success individually.

"We make sure we engage our students as active participants throughout the entire program starting with classroom instruction, all the way through their clinical requirements," said Ceci Oldmixon, respiratory care program clinical director. "And, because we have such close daily contact with the students and each other, Chris and I can make sure we support each student in the areas they need most."

The program also stays current with the latest industry trends, Kallus said.

"We are very diligent in making sure we are up-to-date with industry needs and are committed to providing the best entrance to the profession for our graduates that we possibly can," said Kallus.

Students who need more hands-on instruction to enhance their understanding of classroom material get the attention they need, along with students who need more assistance throughout their clinical requirements.

"We also stay in close touch with our clinical instructors, so we know right away if a student is struggling and needs more help," said Oldmixon.

Students in the Respiratory Care Program also benefit from "second year" mentoring, where students who have already successfully completed the first year of the program help guide and support new students as they work through their first year.

Kallus attributes the success of VC's program to good community relationships.

"This recognition is an acknowledgement that the work we do in collaboration with our clinical instructors, our advisory committee and the medical community ensures that we not only meet, but exceed our goals, and those of our graduates."

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