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Purdue University Global

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Liberty University

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Grand Canyon University

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Penn Foster High School

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How Can I Verify that a Respiratory Therapy Degree Program Is Accredited?

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) is the accrediting agency for respiratory therapy programs. Learn about accreditation and how to determine if a respiratory therapy degree program is accredited.

Overview On Verifying The Accreditation Of Respiratory Therapy Degree Programs

As of April 2019, all states except for Alaska require respiratory therapists to be licensed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While specific requirements for licensure vary by state, most states require applicants to have completed an accredited respiratory therapy program. The current accrediting body for respiratory therapy programs is the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC); however, this is a newer organization that has only existed since 2009. Prior to November 2009, respiratory programs were accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), and some states may still accept licensure applicants who have completed a CAAHEP-accredited program.

Important Information About Accredited Respiratory Therapy Degree Programs

Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent; previous courses in chemistry or biology
Online Availability Full or partial accredited courses can be found online
Common Courses Respiratory care pharmacology, respiratory care therapeutics, cardiopulmonary diagnostics
Continuing Education Certified Respiratory Therapy (CRT) certification and Registered Respiratory Therapy (RRT) certification
Median Salary (2018) High school diploma or equivalent; previous courses in chemistry or biology
Job Growth (2016-2026) 23%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

The mission of the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care is to provide an efficient process in handling accreditation, appeals, and complaints for respiratory care programs. The organization is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education's Council for Higher Education Accreditation as a programmatic accrediting organization. The CoARC standard is also recognized by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), a certifying health board offering voluntary certifications to respiratory therapists.

CoARC accredits associate's, bachelor's and master's-level degree programs in respiratory care, as well as certificate programs in polysomnography. Students who select a CoARC-accredited program are assured they are enrolling in a program that meets the educational standards of the respiratory therapy profession and are prepared to apply for professional licensure and/or certification upon graduation.

Verifying Accreditation

Students wishing to enroll in a CoARC-accredited program can check the schools accreditation status on the CoARC website. Most schools also include accreditation information within in the program information on their website. If a respiratory care program doesn't list its credentials online, prospective students could email or call the school to ask for the information.