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OTC Respiratory Care Program Receives National Accreditation

Okefenokee Technical College (OTC) president, Dr. Glenn Deibert, proudly announces that the OTC Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree respiratory care technology program has been awarded Continuing Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

CoARC conducted an on-site review of the respiratory care program June 16-17, 2013. Following the review, at its November 2013 meeting, the Commission issued the award, which signifies the program’s compliance with nationally established accreditation standards. The next comprehensive evaluation for the program, including an on-site review, is scheduled for 2023.

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) is the sole nationally recognized authority for the accreditation of first professional degree programs in respiratory care. CoARC’s mission is to serve the public by promoting high quality respiratory care education through accreditation services.

CoARC and its sponsoring organizations cooperate to establish, maintain, and promote educational standards of quality to prepare individuals for respiratory care practice, and to provide recognition for degree-granting, postsecondary educational programs that meet the minimum requirements outlined in the Accreditation Standards for the Profession of Respiratory Care (the “Standards”). The accreditation process is voluntary and initiated only at the request of an institution that meets the criteria for sponsorship.

Dr. Faye Mathis, respiratory care program director, who steered the program through its initial accreditation in 1993, explained that the re-accreditation process begins with the self-evaluation twelve or thirteen months before the on-site team arrives. The official accreditation report came to the College five months after the on-site team gave its preliminary report.

According to Dr. Abraham Pallas, academic dean for allied health, the primary goal of accreditation is program improvement. A willingness to pursue accreditation supports a culture of accountability and higher standards of excellence in education.

“Both Dr. Mathis and Clinical Coordinator Mandy Lee work diligently to ensure their students are successful, not only in the classroom, but as future employees,” stated Dr. Pallas.  “Program graduates are sought not only in the immediate service area, but in surrounding areas as well.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Mathis and Ms. Mandy Lee on this accomplishment,” stated Teresa Allen, OTC institutional effectiveness director.  “The on-site evaluation team was impressed with the dedication of the instructional staff and the degree of support services provided to students, the overall management of the program, and the commitment of administration to the program.” “The team was very complimentary,” continued Allen, “citing a number of program strengths, including the facilities, the medical director, an engaged advisory committee, and extensive, integrated library support services.”

The team also considered Dr. Mathis to be an asset for the program: “The Program Director is extremely dedicated to the program and cares deeply about the program and its students. She engages students, employers, and administrators, and empowers success for the program with her positive view.”

“Accreditation gives added assurance to students and employers that Okefenokee Tech graduates will be properly trained,” said Deibert. “Better respiratory therapists join the workforce as a result of the quality education provided by OTC.”

Dr. Mathis credits the program’s successful accreditation visit and report to a supportive medical director, Dr. Timothy Catchings; dedicated clinical instructors; an engaged advisory committee; OTC respiratory care clinical instructor Mandy Lee, a former graduate of the program; and a supportive administrative team.

The Okefenokee Technical College respiratory care technology program is listed in an official directory of accredited programs available online at www.coarc.com. For information about the nationally accredited OTC respiratory care technology program, contact Dr. Faye Mathis at (912) 287-6515 or fmathis@okefenokeetech.edu.

Photo 1

Photo 1:
OTC respiratory care technology program director, Dr. Faye Mathis (3rd from right), is congratulated by OTC staff and the CoARC on-site program accreditation team for her part in earning the program an excellent preliminary accreditation report. On hand for the announcement were Dr. Abraham Pallas (L to R), OTC dean for allied health; Dr. Melanie Thornton, VP for academic affairs; Dr. Tom Smalling, on-site evaluator;  Dr. Kathy J. Rye, , on-site evaluator; Dr. Glenn Deibert, OTC president; and Teresa Allen, OTC director for institutional effectiveness. OTC officials just recently received the official report confirming that the AAS degree respiratory care technology program was awarded Continuing Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Photo 2

Photo 2:
Students in the OTC respiratory care technology classes of 2013 and 2014 are proud to be enrolled in an accredited program, an indication of the value and quality of the education and training they are receiving. Accreditation is a status that provides assurance that an institution or a program meets minimum requirements (standards) and that there are reasonable grounds to believe the institution or program will continue to meet those standards in the future.

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