The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1999 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

PROGRAM RELATED FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH IMPROVED NATIONAL BOARD EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE.

David C. Shelledy, PhD, RRT, Tracey H. Dehm, BS, RRT, Janet Padilla, BS, RRT. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.

PURPOSE: To determine program related factors associated with improved graduate outcomes, we compared institution, degree awarded, number of faculty, number of affiliates, class size, number of applicants, and attrition rate, to determine if there were relationships between these factors and reported graduate pass rates on the entry level (CRTT), written registry (WRRT) and clinical simulation examinations (CSE). METHOD: Data reported on the 1996 accreditation Report of Current Status for all currently accredited respiratory therapist programs (n=300) was provided to the researchers in a blinded fashion so that specific program names and personnel could not be identified. Categorical variables were compared by class performance averaged over a five year period for the CRTT, WRRT and CSE examination expressed as the percentage of the class passing. Correlation coefficients were calculated for predictor variables for CRTT, WRRT and CSE performance.

Results: Graduate performance by specific program factor was:

Mean (SD) Scores
CRTT % Pass WRRT % Pass CSE % Pass
Sponsor
Technical Institute 93.9 (13.1) 86.3 (12.2) 79.6 (15.8)
Comm. College 96.7 (5.6) 85.6 (12.1) 80.3 (14.3)
Four-Year College 97.6 (4.4) 90.3 (10.1) 87 (12.1)
University 94.2 (14.3) 87.2 (12.8) 81.6 (14.1)
Degree Awarded
Certificate 85.6 (25.8) 82.7 (16.7) 78.3 (16.98)
Associate 96.9 (5.97) 86.1 (11.7) 80.8 (14.4)
Bachelors 94.5 (12.3) 89.7 (12.5) 83.2 (12.0)
Program Director Credentials
Associate 97.3 (3.1) 81.7 (18.4) 73.0 (21.9)
Bachelors 95.1 (9.7) 84.8 (12.6) 76.1 (15.7)
Master's 96.3 (7.3) 87.5 (11.8) 83.2 (13.3)
Doctorate 96.9 (6.0) 89.5 (9.5) 84.8 (11.6)

There were no significant relationships between number of clinical affiliates, class size, applicant pool, number of faculty or attrition rate and student performance. As maximum number of students accepted and number of dropouts due to sciences, finances or ?other? increased, graduate performance declined significantly. There was also a weak, but significant positive correlation between level of education achieved by key personnel and graduate performance. Job placement also correlated with CRTT (r = .32) and CSE performance (r = .30).

Conclusions: Baccalaureate degree program graduates performed better on the WRRT and CSE exams, although associate degree graduates performed better on the CRTT. Programs in which key personnel held a graduate degree tended to out-perform graduates of other programs.

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