BISMARCK, ND — The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) has recognized University of Mary’s/CHI St. Alexius Health’s Respiratory Therapy (MS) program with The President’s Award for Excellence in Credentialing Success. It’s the CoARC’s highest distinction and the first time the organization has bestowed the honor.

“The President’s Award for Excellence is presented as part of the CoARC’s continued efforts to value the RRT credential as a standard of professional achievement,” stated the CoARC commendation. “From a program effectiveness perspective, the CoARC views the RRT credential as a measure of a program’s success in inspiring its graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations.”

The award recognizes a program based on rigorous criteria, but most distinctly and importantly, that 100 percent of its graduates earn the RRT credential.

Dr. Christine Sperle
director and chair, University of Mary Respiratory Therapy

“We are extremely humbled by this honor as we challenge our students inside and outside the classroom, in their labs, and at their clinicals through our partnership with CHI St. Alexius Health. So, this award not only affirms the hard work our students have put in, but also highlights the dedication provided by our faculty and partnering health care professionals to make our program become so successful,” said Dr. Christine Sperle, director and chair of University of Mary’s Respiratory Therapy program. “The respiratory therapy profession is unique in that students take the Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) licensure exam to receive the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential. They then sit for a second CSE exam, and after passing that they receive the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. All respiratory therapy programs prepare and encourage their students to take and pass both exams, however many students stop at the CRT credential as that is all that is required for licensure. However, we want our students at the University of Mary to have the highest credential to prepare them for the most challenging working environment.”

Beyond the 100 percent RRT credentialing, programs are also judged on three or more years of outcomes data; holding accreditation without a progress report; and meeting or exceeding established CoARC thresholds for TMC high cut score and retention.

Only 26 RRT programs were recognized with this 2021 award among the hundreds offered at colleges and universities across America.

Visit University of Mary’s RRT program for more information. To enroll, email enroll@umary.edu, or call (701) 355-8030, and (800) 288-6279 (MARY).

About the University of Mary 

True to its motto “lumen vitae”—The Light of Life—the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs and graduate programs animated by moral courage and leadership in chosen professions and service to the community. A private, co-educational Catholic institution, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s, 15 master’s, and five doctoral programs—in Business Administration, Education, Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. The 19-sport Athletic Department adheres to its Greatness Through Virtue mission under the governance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) conferences. With more than 3,800 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Rome, Italy, as well as vibrant online offerings.