Puerto Rico University Leads with Respiratory Care Program

Antillean Adventist University program remains the only one with top accreditation.

Lorell Varela, Inter-American Division, and Adventist Review
<strong>Puerto Rico University Leads with Respiratory Care Program</strong>
Students enrolled in the cardiopulmonary science program at Antillean Adventist University in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, practice in the simulation center. [Photo: Antillean Adventist University]

Antillean Adventist University (AAU), an institution operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, was recently granted accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care (CoARC) for its bachelor’s degree in cardiopulmonary science. AAU is the only institution in Puerto Rico to offer the program accredited by CoARC.

The CoARC evaluating team praised the program at AAU for its commitment to fulfilling the national standards required for the program and for remaining the leading institution to carry such accreditation on the island.

“We were so pleased to receive such a positive report from the evaluating Commission team after their visit and accreditation once again for this program,” Amarilys Irizarry, dean of the School of Health and Sciences at AAU, said.

Among the strengths highlighted in the CoARC report included “the quality of our educational offering, our advanced simulation center and its resources, the assessment of student’s training on campus and the commitment of the dean and its team of faculty,” Irizarry said.

The cardiopulmonary science program at AAU has been running for 32 years and has been growing, recently averaging 30 to 40 students in the program every year. Currently, 15 students are expected to graduate from the four-year program in May 2023.

The program is also recognized by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC), and graduates are eligible to take national credential exams to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist and a Registered Respiratory Therapist, as well as specialty credentials in the area of neonatal care, critical care, and pulmonary function, Irizarry explained. Graduates can also pursue certification as asthma educators after completing the four-year cardiopulmonary degree.

“We are grateful that students who complete this program at Antillean are considered advanced-level health professionals, which broadens professional opportunities in high caliber institutions in Puerto Rico as well as in the United States,” Irizarry said.

Part of the evaluating team from the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care pose for a group photo with Antillean Adventist University leaders on campus in November 2022.  [Photo: Antillean Adventist University]

About Antillean Adventist University

AAU is an institution of higher learning operated by the Puerto Rican Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church since its opening in 1961. Its main campus is located in the western part of Puerto Rico, in Mayagüez. Surrounded by beautiful mountain vegetation, it offers a haven of peace and harmony conducive to the integral and balanced development of all members of its university community.

According to its mission statement, the school promotes the wholistic training of competent professionals, committed to serving God and humanity. The mission of the university is carried out in a Christian environment through curriculum, teaching and learning, research, administration, faculty, and staff.

AAU offers undergraduate degrees in thirteen fields, and graduate degrees in four, including curriculum and instruction, educational administration, and nursing critical care. It also offers distance learning options and teaching certifications. 

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.

Lorell Varela, Inter-American Division, and Adventist Review