By: Benjamin Treviño
Rio Grande Valley College CEO Dr. Annabelle Palomo has announced the college has recently passed its latest accreditation review with zero deficiencies. Dr. Palomo also announced the start of their new Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)Program where students will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree at RGV College. The October 2022 review conducted by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) conducts thorough reviews for dozens of the schools programming components, including its course materials, teaching credentials and qualifications of faculty, its clinical practices, and its student outcomes.
If ABHES identifies the school has not met required standards, as minimal as they may be, it is noted as a “deficiency” in a school’s accreditation report. But RGV College passed its accreditation review without a single cited deficiency.
“To receive zero deficiencies is unheard of,” said Dr. Palomo, who founded the college in 2008 and continues to serve as the College President.
“There are more than 100 indicators that ABHES reviews, that may deem an institution non-compliant; none were identified during their onsite accreditation visit at RGV College. They commented as to how rare it is for an institution to get a perfect score. The accreditation process can be an unnerving experience for our faculty and staff, but we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Dr. Palomo added.
ABHES grants accreditation for periods of one to seven years. The better the onsite review is, the longer the accreditation period that may be granted. The exemplary onsite review for RGV College earned them the maximum ABHES Accreditation of seven-years.
News of the accreditation renewal comes less than two months after the start of RGV College’s newest Associate of Applied Science degree program. The first cohort of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program began attending classes in early January of 2023.
The PTA Program is a five-semester course of study consisting of 66 credit hours. Once completed, students will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. The program includes a combination of general education studies, technical courses, as well as skills lab and clinical rotations. As Physical Therapy Assistants in the field, they will work under the supervision of a Licensed Physical Therapist.
“We began developing our Physical Therapy Assistants Program five years ago,” Dr. Palomo said.
“This is only the second of its kind available in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). It’s also our second associate degree program here at RGV College. We began our LVN to RN bridge program in 2019, which allows students to earn their Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). We have three more associate degree programs that we are working on; we continue to grow healthcare programs at RGV College to meet the educational needs of the community,” Dr. Palomo added.
The addition of the PTA program, which was accredited in October 2022, means RGV College now has nine program offerings for students interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare industry. Besides the two associate degree programs mentioned above, RGV College has courses available for:
- Medical Assistant
- Vocational Nursing
- Nurse Aide
- Pharmacy Technician
- Patient Care Technician
- Phlebotomy Technician
- Emergency Medical Technology (Basic)
RGV College graduates go on to pursue successful careers locally due to the school’s affiliations with the biggest healthcare providers in the region such as DHR Health, South Texas Health Systems, Saenz Pharmacy, Walgreens, CVS, and various locally-owned Physical Therapy centers.
To date, RGV College has produced 1,176 nurses, and of these, 113 have transitioned into the school’s ADN program.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but RGV College graduates the most nurses in the Rio Grande Valley,” Dr. Palomo revealed. “Both our Vocational Nursing and Associate Degree programs NCLEX pass rates are amongst the highest in the RGV and State of Texas. We are often overlooked in the public eye, but local providers recognize our reputation for turning out excellent practitioners in the healthcare field.”
RGV College’s flawless accreditation review and the addition of its newest two-year degree program prove there is no other institute like it in the Rio Grande Valley. RGV College is dedicated to helping students change their lives not only by producing high caliber, caring, healthcare professionals, but also by molding a better, well-rounded member of our community.
Visit: www.rgvcollege.edu today to find out how RGV College can transform your life!