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LC PTA Program earns 10-year reaccreditation

The Laredo College Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program recently received its 10-year reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), reinforcing its rigorous academic standards.

CAPTE is an accrediting agency nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation. It is the only accrediting agency that grants accreditation to entry-level physical therapist and physical therapist assistant programs. Educational programs are accredited for a maximum of 10 years if the program meets the quality set of standards established by CAPTE. Accreditation requires that programs conduct an extensive self-evaluation that includes incorporating methods of self-improvement that will enhance the program.


Receiving accreditation status from CAPTE indicates that the program has been found to have the requisite qualified faculty, curriculum, financial resources to support its mission and student support services needed to assist students in reaching their educational goals.


Accreditation also denotes that the program has satisfactory student outcomes and augments the program’s standing and reputation. This process is important for current and future students since graduation from a CAPTE-accredited program is required for students to be eligible to sit for the national licensing exam to be able to practice as a physical therapist assistant under the supervision of a physical therapist.


PTA Program Director Dr. Esmeralda Vargas noted that there are 27 PTA programs in Texas. The PTA Program at Laredo College has three dedicated faculty full-time faculty and two adjunct faculty with extensive years of experience. The blend of core and adjunct faculty is a strength of the program based on the faculty’s combined clinical experience in various practice settings.


“Going through reaffirmation is an arduous process that requires extensive preparation, time, and hard work,” Vargas said. “The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) determined the PTA Program at Laredo College to be in compliance with all standards and required elements for accreditation. This is an amazing accomplishment that few programs achieve. This was accomplished through the hard work of dedicated program faculty and the support received from clinical partners, our advisory committee, student support services and the College’s administration. I want to thank all of these individuals for their role in contributing to the PTA Program achieving reaccreditation for 10 additional years.”


The program’s success is reflected in its outstanding 100% first-time licensure pass rate in 2012-2014 and 2016-2020. Furthermore, the program is situated in the new College of Health Sciences Building with state-of-the-art equipment reflective of contemporary physical therapy practice.


Career prospects for students in this field are wide-ranging, with graduates working in a variety of settings, including hospital, skilled nursing, inpatient rehab settings, outpatient rehab clinics, private practices, home health and public school districts.


Students interested in applying to the program must meet pre-requisite course requirements before applying, earning a “C” or higher in these courses and a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students must also complete 40 hours of volunteer work shadowing a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in any setting, except for home health.


The program admits a maximum of 18 students every fall semester, and courses are offered face-to-face in a full-time day format. The application deadline is the second Thursday in May. Applications are accepted in late March.


For additional information regarding the program, please call (956) 721-5261 or visit