Undergraduate Athletic Training Education Programs: Aspects of Their Operation, Administration, and Structure

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Weidner, Thomas G.
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The purpose of this study was to examine selected aspects of the operation, administration, and structure of NATA-approved undergraduate education programs. Data were gathered through a self-reporting questionnaire designed specifically for the study. A total of 51 (93.0%) NATA program directors responded to the survey. For recording practical experience, 35.3% of all student athletic trainers used individual, weekly clinical hour log sheets. Student progress was formally evaluated in 74.5% of the programs with 96.1% of these evaluations reviewed in individual student conferences. The responsibility for scheduling student athletic trainer clinical hours was divided about equally between !he head athletic trainer, the assistant athletic trainer, and the program director. Students were required to work with both men's (5 I. 0%) and women's (49.0%)sports. In 56.9% of the programs, students were required to wear a uniform or adhere to a dress code. A majority (82.4%) of the programs conducted pre-season in-service sessions to review various procedures. A bout half (54.9%) of the program directors indicated that their programs engaged in fund-raising activities. Regarding program administration, 29.4% of the programs had a constitution. Student athletic trainer manuals were used in 78.4% of the programs and usually contained similar information. The position of Head Student Athletic Trainer existed at 35.3% of the schools. Many of the program directors (37.3%) indicated that they met weekly with the athletic training staff Regarding various program components, 5 I. 0% of the education programs had an athletic training club, and these clubs usually had similar functions. More than half of the programs organized orthopedic surgery, physical therapy, and/or orthopedic clinic observation experiences for their students. Of 45.1 % of the programs which reported using affiliated settings, 31.4% were at the high school level. Further research is needed in the area of athletic training education, and it is imperative that the results be shared.