Columbia State's Respiratory Care Program Wins National Award

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – August 8, 2016) - - - Columbia State’s respiratory care program recently received the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award for 2015.

The award was presented by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care at the 2016 American Association for Respiratory Care Summer Forum.

“It takes significant teamwork to achieve success in a program such as ours,” said David R. Johnson, program director and associate professor of respiratory care at Columbia State. “Our faculty and staff in the respiratory program have been dedicated to student success.”

The award recognizes respiratory care programs that meet the following criteria: (1) have three or more years of outcomes data; (2) hold accreditation without a progress report; (3) document RRT credentialing success of 90% or above; and (4) meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for certified respiratory therapist credentialing success, attrition and positive (job) placement.

According to the 2015 CoARC outcomes data report, the national average for graduates obtaining the RRT credential was 70.5 percent, while Columbia State averaged 93.8 percent. The national job placement average was 85.5 percent and Columbia State passed the national average with 97.9 percent.

Only 78 of the 432 respiratory care programs in the country were awarded. Out of the 10 programs in Tennessee, only two received this recognition.

“Our respiratory care graduates have been employed by various health care facilities across the state,” Johnson said. “Columbia State is making a positive impact to the health of Tennesseans.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job outlook for all occupations in the nation will increase by 7 percent between 2014-2024. The job outlook for respiratory therapists will increase by 12 percent.

Columbia State’s respiratory care program was recently granted re-accreditation by the CoARC.

For more information about the respiratory care program, contact R. David Johnson, program director and associate professor of respiratory care at Columbia State at 931.540.2663 or online at 

David Johnson receives respiratory care award
Photo Caption:
Pictured, left to right: Bradley A. Leidich, MSEd, RRT, FAARC, president of CoARC and David Johnson, Columbia State program director and associate professor of respiratory care at Columbia State.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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