Athletic Training Major Frequently Asked Questions
Looking to participate in the Athletic Training Program? Here are some frequently asked questions from interested students.
- What are the duties of a certified athletic trainer?
- How much education do I need to become a certified athletic trainer?
- Is Mount Union’s Athletic Training Program accredited?
- What does the clinical field experience at Mount Union involve?
- Can I participate in an intercollegiate sport at Mount Union while I complete a degree in athletic training?
- How is Mount Union’s Athletic Training Program different from Athletic Training Programs offered by other colleges/universities?
- How is the Exercise Science Major different from the Athletic Training Major at Mount Union?
- What options are available following graduation from Mount Union’s ATP?
- What are the admittance requirements?
What are the duties of a certified athletic trainer?
The AT is an allied healthcare professional whose role is guided by the Board of Certification (BOC) Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis, Sixth Edition of 2011. Athletic Trainers work is encompassed by five domains:
- Injury/Illness Prevention and Wellness Protection
- Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
- Immediate and Emergency Care
- Treatment and Rehabilitation
- Organizational and Professional Health and Well-being
How much education do I need to become an athletic trainer?
In order to be eligible to take the Board of Certification test, an athletic trainer must have at minimum a bachelor’s or entry level master’s degree in athletic training from an Athletic Training Program (ATP) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). While many ATs have advanced degrees, they are not required for certification or to find employment. Newly certified ATs can find employment in various settings, i.e. high schools, colleges/universities, industrial, clinics, and many more.
Is Mount Union's Athletic Training Program accredited?
Yes! The ATP at Mount Union has been continually accredited since 1987. The program is currently under a 10 year accreditation through the year 2020.
What does the clinical field experience at Mount Union involve?
The clinical field experiences at Mount Union offer a variety of hands-on opportunities for students to develop specific clinical skills necessary as an entry level athletic trainer. As first year students at Mount Union, our students get a hands-on introduction to athletic training through a series of directed observations. Once admitted into the program, students complete six semesters of directed clinical experiences. These experiences give the students opportunities to develop their skills while working with a variety of settings and allied health professionals, on and off campus: collegiate sports (mens, womens, upper extremity, lower extremity, and equipment intensive), high schools, emergency services, physicians’ offices, and more.
Can I participate in an intercollegiate sport at Mount Union while I complete a degree in athletic training?
Yes. The ATP at Mount Union is unique in the fact that we do allow our students to participate in one season of collegiate athletics per year while still completing their degree requirements. You will find that many athletic training programs around the state and around the nation do not allow their students to be collegiate athletes while they complete their degree.
How is Mount Union's Athletic Training Program different from Athletic Training Programs offered by other colleges/universities?
The geographic location and the fact that the program is housed at a small liberal arts college make it a very unique opportunity. The small setting allows our students to have excellent contact and communication with their faculty and staff athletic trainers, which creates an all-around high quality of education. Our current ten year accreditation also ensures that those wishing to attend our ATP will continue to receive quality education on into the future.
Mount Union has a strong tradition of athletics. Frequently our teams are ranked as some of the top teams in the nation. This strong tradition gives our students an excellent opportunity to work with top tier athletes while still maintaining the small college benefits. Additionally, Mount Union has a large, newly-renovated, athletic training facility with state of the art equipment located in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex. The university also has several other satellite athletic training rooms for many of their athletic facilities.
How is the Exercise Science Major different from the Athletic Training Major at Mount Union?
The Exercise Science (ES) major is quite different from the Athletic Training program in many ways. Students in the ES major study the in-depth effects of exercise on a variety of populations (athletes, adolescents, elderly, and diseased). In essence, exercise is regarded as medicine that should be scientifically monitored and prescribed in carefully administered dosages. Athletic Trainers are concerned with the prevention and care of injuries and illness that may result from physical activity.
What options are available following graduation from Mount Union's ATP?
There are a vast array of possibilities following your completion an athletic training major. First and foremost, receiving an athletic training degree and passing the Board of Certification test will allow you to enter full time employment as an athletic trainer in a variety of settings across the United States. Possible employment opportunities include high schools, clinics, colleges/universities, professional sports, industrial settings, NASCAR, rodeo, physician offices, performing arts, and more. Additionally, students can continue their education in several fields including athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician’s assistant, chiropractic, medical school, and more. Many of our students choose to immediately pursue graduate studies following graduation. A large number of college/universities offer tuition waivers and/or graduate stipends (graduate assistantship (GA)) to recently graduated athletic training students. Students also have the opportunity to pursue athletic training fellowships. Recent students have taken GA positions and/or fellowships at such institutions as Ohio University, Kent State, Arkansas, Syracuse, Delaware, and the Hughston Foundation.
Entrance into the accredited ATP is by selective admission. A formal application process shall be initiated at the end of the pre-professional level I year, the year in which the student is a candidate for the athletic training major (typically the first year) and after successful completion of the following prerequisites:
A minimum grade of C must be achieved in each of the following courses:
- ATP 115 Foundations of Athletic Training
- ATP 116 Orthopedic Applications in Athletic Training
- ATP 118 Medical Terminology and Health
- BIO 210 Anatomy and Physiology I
Seventy-five hours per semester are required for a total of 150 hours for admittance into the UMU ATP. The scheduling of the pre-professional level I student will be directly supervised by the Clinical Education Coordinator. The pre-professional level I student will work approximately six hours per week plus any game observation time. During the fall semester each pre-professional level I student will have to observe hours with fall sports, such as football, soccer, volleyball, cross-country/track, etc. Additional opportunities will be available with fall lacrosse, fall baseball, fall softball, basketball, wrestling, indoor track, swimming, and Athletic Training Facility. The spring semester will consist of hours spent with basketball, outdoor track, baseball, softball, lacrosse, wrestling, and spring football. All students will observe hours with at least seven different sports teams during their pre-professional level I year.
Further requirements of the selective admission process:
- Three supportive letters of recommendation; (two must be from off campus professionals)
- Written application and resume
- Written examination (minimum score: 73 percent);
- Oral/practical examination (minimum score: 73 percent);
- Cumulative GPA of at least a 2.5 at the time of application;
- Average preceptor evaluation score of at least 73 percent;
- Formal interview with all Athletic Training Faculty and Staff
- Meet all technical standards established for the program and the profession of athletic training. (See ATP Student Handbook for the complete policy on technical standards.)
These are minimum requirements for admittance. Competitive selection criteria will be employed if/when there are more qualified candidates than available positions. Each year approximately 16 candidates are matriculated into the ATP. A re-application process is available if a student is unsuccessful on the initial application to the program. It is the policy of the Mount Union ATP not to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, color, creed, national or ethnicorigin, marital or parental status, or disability in the selection of students into the Athletic Training Program.