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Athletic Training

Education Programs in Athletic Training at Texas State University

Texas State University has a long and rich history with regard to athletic training education. The establishment of formal educational requirements and accreditation of athletic training programs in the United States occurred in 1969. Just three years later, during the 1971-1972 academic year under the leadership of Dr. Bobby Patton, the founding program director, Texas State was among the first undergraduate athletic training education programs to receive national accreditation. Dr. Patton has calculated that we were either the 10th or 11th undergraduate program to be accredited; in contrast, there are now more than 350 accredited athletic training education programs across the United States.

Entering the 2013-2014 academic year, the undergraduate Athletic Training Program at Texas State University has now been continuously accredited for 42 years, and is currently accredited through 2019-2020 by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Completion of our four-year undergraduate program leads to the Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training. At present, there are 47 sophomores, juniors and seniors matriculating in this program. Professor and Associate Dean Rod Harter, PhD, ATC, LAT, FNATA serves as the director of the undergraduate AT Program (rod.harter@txstate.edu). Dr. Harter is entering his fifth year as director of the AT Program at Texas State, having previously served as AT program director at Oregon State University (14 years) and San Jose State University (3 years).

The mission of the Athletic Training Program at Texas State University is to provide undergraduate Athletic Training students with in-depth academic study of the various domains of prevention, diagnosis, clinical care and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. The CAATE-accredited Athletic Training Program prepares its students to meet the requirements of the BOC certification and Texas licensure examinations, as well as to be successful in their future professional responsibilities.

In 2008, Texas State began to offer the Master of Science degree in Athletic Training, an advanced, post-professional program for BOC-certified or certification-eligible athletic trainers. For 2013-2014 there will be 24 full-time students with graduate assistantships who are matriculating in the two-year Graduate Athletic Training Program. The director of this program is Associate Professor Luzita Vela, PhD, ATC, LAT (lv19@txstate.edu). Dr. Vela is entering her seventh year on the faculty at Texas State University; she previously worked at West Chester University, Penn State University, Hope College and Barry University before joining our faculty.

Texas State University’s Athletic Training Program

3-Year Aggregate BOC Exam First-Time Pass Rate (2011-2012-2013) = 83.33%



Class of …


Number of Texas State University

AT Program Graduates


Number of TxState AT Program Graduates who took the BOC Exam


Number of TxState AT Program Graduates who  passed the BOC Exam on the first attempt


TxState AT Program Graduates’ First-Time BOC Exam pass rate (%)


Percentage of TxState AT Program Graduates who passed the BOC Exam regardless the number of attempts (%)


National Data (First- time pass rate on BOC Exam that year


























3-Year Aggregate
























Congratulations to Dr. Bobby Patton for 50 years of service at Texas State University!! In November 2011 we honored Dr. Patton with a special evening at Bobcat Stadium and announced the creation of the Dr. Bobby Patton Athletic Training Scholarship.


Dr. Luzita Vela appointed Graduate AT Program Director

In July 2013 Dr. Luzita Vela was appointed Director of the Graduate Athletic Training Program at Texas State University, replacing Dr. Jack Ransone. Earlier this year in May 2013, Dr. Vela successfully concluded her 6-year probationary period, and was granted tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. In addition to her new role as director of the Graduate AT Program, she will also serve as the Coordinator for the Pre-Physical Therapy option within the Exercise and Sports Science major.

Carla Heffner appointed Clinical Education Coordinator

Dr. Vela’s appointment as Director of the Graduate AT Program created a vacancy in the Clinical Education Coordinator position associated with our CAATE-accredited entry-level AT Program. We are pleased to announce that long-time Assistant Athletic Trainer/Senior Lecturer Carla Heffner has accepted a full-time faculty appointment in the Department of Health and Human Performance for 2013-2014 and will serve as our AT Program’s Clinical Education Coordinator.