2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
ADMISSION CRITERIA AS PREDICTORS OF STUDENT SUCCESS ON THE NATIONAL BOARD FOR RESPIRATORY CARE EXAMINATIONS
A. Ari1, L. Goodfellow1, D. S. Gardenhire1, J. Sampson1
Background: Although the admission criteria for entrance into respiratory therapy (RT) programs vary greatly from institution to institution, all schools evaluate past academic performance in order to predict student success in RT. Presumably, students who succeed in RT programs will pass the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examinations such as the certified respiratory therapy (CRT) and the written registry for respiratory therapy (WRRT). The selection process for entry into RT programs carries greater weight due to the fact that most students admitted to RT programs eventually graduate and serve as respiratory therapists in the profession. Therefore, three important questions arose within the context of this study:
1. What is the relationship between admission criteria, including science GPA (SciGPA), non-science GPA (NSciGPA) and cumulative GPA (CumGPA), and student success on the CRT and WRRT examinations?
2. To what extent do admission criteria predict student performance on the CRT and the WRRT examinations?
3. Do student exit GPA and student score on the CRT predict student success on the WRRT?
Method: A longitudinal database was created for a total of 375 students admitted to a 4-year RT program from 1995 through 2005. Pearson correlations and multiple regression analysis at a 0.05 level of significance were utilized to address the research questions in this study.
Results: Pearson correlations indicated that all admission criteria had a positive relationship with student scores on the CRT and the WRRT (p<0.05). SciGPA and CumGPA were the best predictors of student success on the CRT and accounted for 45% of the variance in student score on the CRT. Although none of the admission criteria used in this study predicted student performance on the WRRT, regression analysis showed that student exit GPA and their scores on the CRT predict student success on the WRRT by being responsible for 40% of the variance in the WRRT scores.
Conclusion: Identification of factors predicting student success on the NBRC examinations is an important task. This study identified that SciGPA and CumGPA predict student performance on the CRT and the best predictors of student success on the WRRT include student exit GPA and their performance on the CRT. By looking at these variables in the admissions process, RT programs can ensure that only the most qualified students begin the path towards becoming a respiratory therapist.