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CoARC Receives CHEA Recognition

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October 16, 2012

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) has received recognition from an external agency validating that they meet quality standards. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) accepted CoARC’s application for recognition at their recent meeting in September.

CoARC is the accrediting organization for respiratory care educational programs. Since 2009, CoARC has been a free-standing accrediting body, though it had been their goal to seek external recognition and validation by CHEA.

Tom Smalling, executive director of CoARC, said, “Accrediting organizations, like CoARC, that seek CHEA recognition must demonstrate the quality, the pertinence, and the value of their activities to higher education and the public interest.” He said the respiratory care profession benefits from this process because CHEA recognition advances academic quality.

Smalling went on to say that CHEA-recognized accreditors have a clear description of academic quality and clear expectations that the institutions or programs they accredit have processes to determine whether quality standards are being met.

CHEA is a private, non-profit, national organization comprised of over 3,000 degree-granting higher education institutions as well as over 60 regional, institutional, and professional accrediting organizations. To achieve recognition by CHEA, organizations must demonstrate compliance with CHEA’s Recognition Standards, which include:

  • Advancing academic quality;
  • Demonstrating accountability;
  • Encouraging, where appropriate, self-scrutiny and planning for change and needed improvement;
  • Employing appropriate and fair procedures in decision making;
  • Demonstrating ongoing review of accreditation practice; and
  • Possessing sufficient resources.

“As a CHEA-recognized accreditor, CoARC emphasizes the importance of transparency and accountability in the accreditation process. One of the ways this impacts current and future students is that CoARC’s accreditation practices ensure that accurate and reliable information about a respiratory care program is readily available,” said Smalling. CoARC makes this information available to the public primarily through print documents and its website,

For more information about CHEA, visit