State-of-the-art equipment helps prepare VC students for PTA profession

PTA 1 Victoria College Physical Therapist Assistant Program students Andrew McCleskey and Sonya Acuna train on new equipment purchased with a grant from the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation. Standing in the background is student Debra De La Garza.

Victoria College Physical Therapist Assistant student Andrew McCleskey is confident he will graduate from the program in May with all the training he needs to be successful.

VC’s two-year PTA Program trains students to work as a physical therapist assistant under the direction of a physical therapist to provide services for patients who have medical problems that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

“It is a challenging program, but at the same time the program directors, teachers, professors and even the classmates are all uplifting,” McCleskey said as he and his classmates were wrapping up the Fall 2018 semester. “Everybody pretty much knows their stuff. I know when I graduate from this program I will be successful because I have all the information that I could have possibly received.”

Students in the PTA Program are exposed to some of the leading state-of-the-art equipment in the profession. Recently, the program received a $24,342 grant from the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation to purchase a Dynatron Solaris Plus ultrasound and electrotherapy muscle stimulator and a Dynatron SmarTrac traction unit.

“It’s important that we continually update our equipment and keep current with what is being utilized in the profession, so these were some amazing gifts for us,” said Victoria College PTA Program Chair Dr. Laura Crandall. “The students really appreciate the fact that our program has stayed current on all of the upcoming types of treatments and technology.”

Debra De La Garza and Sonya Acuna will also graduate from the program in May. Both said they feel fortunate to be able to familiarize themselves with the new technology before they begin their professions.

“It’s wonderful that we get to use this new equipment, because whenever we go out to the clinics, we do see some equipment like this,” De La Garza said.

“I feel like we have the resources here to train us how to go out there knowing what to do after we graduate,” Acuna said. “We get so much information, and the instructors make it so realistic and teach us all the options on how we can treat patients.”

Victoria College’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree and prepares graduates to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant licensing examination. For information, call (361) 572-6497 or email