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Respir Care. 2018 Oct;63(10):1207-1213. doi: 10.4187/respcare.06116. Epub 2018 May 8.

Communication of Career Pathways Through Associate Degree Program Web Sites: A Baseline Assessment.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiopulmonary Sciences Rush University, Chicago, Illinois. ellen_becker@rush.edu.
2
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, Respiratory Care Department Hinsdale, Illinois.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The American Association for Respiratory Care sponsored a series of conferences that addressed the competency of the future workforce of respiratory therapists (RTs). Based upon the findings from those conferences, several initiatives emerged that support RTs earning a baccalaureate (or bachelor's) degree. The objective of this study was to identify the ways that associate degree programs communicate career pathways toward a baccalaureate degree through their Web sites.

METHODS:

This cross-sectional observational study used a random sample of 100 of the 362 associate degree programs approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. Data were collected from 3 specific categories: demographic data, baccalaureate completion information, and the Web page location for the program. The presence of statements related to any pathway toward a bachelor's degree, transfer credits, articulation agreements, and links for baccalaureate completion were recorded. The descriptive statistics in this study were reported as total numbers and percentages.

RESULTS:

Of the 100 programs in the random sample, only 89 were included in the study. Only 39 (44%) programs had links on their program Web site that had any content related to bachelor's degrees, 16 (18%) identified college transfer courses toward a bachelor's degree, and 26 (29%) programs included baccalaureate articulation agreements on their Web site.

CONCLUSIONS:

A minority of associate degree programs communicated career pathway information to their prospective and current students through program Web sites. An informative Web site would make the path more transparent for entry-level students to meet their future educational needs as their careers progress.

KEYWORDS:

associate degree; bachelor's/baccalaureate degree; career pathways; professional education; respiratory therapist education

PMID:
29739858
DOI:
10.4187/respcare.06116

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