Rio Respiratory Care Therapy Program Receives Continuing Accreditation

Respiratory Therapy

The Respiratory Care Therapy Program at Rio has received full Continuing Accreditation through 2028

The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College School of Health and Behavioral Sciences is proud to announce the Respiratory Care Therapy Program has received full Continuing Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). While schools accredited by CoARC are usually given comprehensive evaluations every five years, Rio’s program received high enough evaluations to earn a ten-year accreditation through 2028. Director for the Respiratory Care Therapy Program John Payne said he was thrilled to learn about the rare results.

“This is fantastic news for the program. Preparing for the review and site visit from CoARC involved a lot of work from everyone. To see those efforts come to fruition and learn the review went so well that we’ve received a ten-year accreditation is incredibly exciting,” Payne said. “It’s truly a testament to what we have been doing for our students for the past several years and a tribute to the dedication of our faculty and administration as well as our alliance with the Buckeye Hills Career Center, an essential collaborator for this program.”

Accreditation for a school by an organization such as CoARC means the institution’s program complies with the nationally established accreditation standards. These organizations review different aspects of the program such as degree program structure, program outcomes and student satisfaction with the program as well as student graduation, board exam and job placement rates and commitment to continuous quality improvement in education. Payne said for the past several years, these rates have been at 100%, well above the national average, and he is very pleased to see Rio’s respiratory therapy program continue to exceed expectations.

“It’s a great feeling to know they feel we are doing so well on a national level,” Payne said. “Accreditation reviews are very thorough. The organization looks at outcomes, objectives and meeting thresholds with the rates of student graduation, passing board exams, employment and several other statistics. As required by CoARC, we review with employers to make sure they are satisfied with the quality of our graduates’ work and they always have positive reviews for us.”

The respiratory therapy program at Rio first began in 2005 to fill the need for qualified respiratory care practitioners within the community with locally trained and certified professionals. After fulfilling the initial CoARC requirement of graduating a class from the program, it was officially accredited in 2009. Payne said the Respiratory Care Therapy program prepares students to go above and beyond to provide the best healthcare to patients.

“This is a great accomplishment for our program and for Rio. We are training respiratory therapists to take care of the most critically ill people, so they need to be completely prepared for the job,” Payne said. “The graduates will change and save lives when they enter the workforce. Because of that, we are committed to helping our students become the best caregivers they can be to continue serving our communities’ healthcare needs.”

Anyone interested in more information on the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences programs can visit the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College website at or contact Admissions at 740-245-7208 or

Share This