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MECC Respiratory Therapy Cohort Achieves Impressive Accolade
Posted Date: 3/17/2014

Big Stone Gap, VAMountain Empire Community College is pleased to announce the 2012-13 Respiratory Therapy (RT) Cohort has achieved a 100% pass rate for both of the national respiratory therapy examinations.

The cohort completed the National Board for Respiratory Care’s Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Board and the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Board Examinations following graduation from the program in December 2013. The exams are developed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of advanced respiratory therapists, and to set uniform standards for measuring such knowledge.

The CRT credential is a prerequisite for admission to the Registry Examination. The RRT Examination consists of a written portion and a clinical simulation portion. Individuals who attempt both parts of this examination and achieve passing scores are awarded the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. RT article photo

The 2012-13 RT cohort is the first to achieve the 100% pass rate at MECC for both the CRT and RRT examinations. Only a handful of college RT programs across the nation achieve the 100% pass rate on both examinations. Instructors Roger Thompson and Wes Mullins credit the outstanding commitment of the 2012-13 cohort in preparing for the demands of the national exam.

“This 2012-13 cohort included a really strong group of dedicated students who made a commitment early on in the program to strive for excellence. Excellent study habits, dedication, presence, and a positive attitude is what makes a successful student and every one of the students within this 2012-13 cohort exhibited those traits. We are very proud of them all,” said Mullins.

RT students are involved in theoretical learning as well as hands-on application in a health care setting during the 18-month degree program. Thompson added the career placement rate for the RT program averages around 90% or above within six months after graduation. Graduates are placed in various jobs in the healthcare arena including, acute care hospitals, long term care facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, home care companies, and sleep centers to mention a few. Many students advance beyond RRT certification, becoming physicians, physician assistants, healthcare management, pharmaceutical representatives, and more.

Mullins noted that admission to MECC’s Respiratory Therapy Program is competitive. Cohorts are selected during the fall and spring semesters until May 1 of each year to start at the beginning of the summer semester.


For more information on MECC’s Respiratory Therapy Program, contact Roger Thompson or Wes Mullins at (276) 523-2400, or visit the Respiratory Therapy Program website at

Pictured left to right are: 2013 Respiratory Cohort Graduates Candace Cox, Nathan Schoolcraft, Aaron Kelley and Ashley Wilder.