Athletic Training Program Receives Accreditation

December 17, 2010

The Athletic Training Program at the University of Mount Union recently re­ceived the maximum 10-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
According to Dan Gorman, associate professor of human performance and sport business and direc­tor of the Athletic Training Program, accreditation is awarded only after critical review of the program and on-site visits by CAATE. The program’s last ac­creditation was for five years, and it has been an accredited program since 1987.
“Accreditation is essential for students who want to seek certification as athletic trainers and practice after they graduate. The Board of Certification examination for athletic trainers is only open to schools that have current accreditation status,” said Dr. Patricia Draves, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University. “We (Mount Union) pride ourselves on being an accredited academic program, and are excited that we received the maximum number of years of accreditation.”
There are about 200 athletic training programs in the country, and what makes Mount Union’s program different is the institution’s education and service mission. Students not only learn the skills and information needed to become athletic train­ers while in the classroom and lab, they also get real world experience serving as athletic training students for Mount Union’s athletic teams and local high school sports teams. Students also complete rotations in physician offices, physical therapy practices and hospitals in the area.
“This major allows students to gain real-world experience on a daily basis,” said Gorman. “It’s an exciting major.”
As a part of program, athletic training majors work up to 20 hours a week, and commitments vary based on Mount Union athletic schedules. During those hours, students perform pre-practice care, in-practice and game care and post-practice treatments. There are also supervised undergraduate athletic training majors at every Mount Union athletic event, putting classroom learning into action. Students build skills in the prevention, assessment, immediate care and rehabilitation of athletic-related injuries and illnesses.
Mount Union’s program is highly selective. At the end of the student’s freshman year, he or she has to apply to the program. Gorman noted that last year nearly 50 students applied for the program and 20 were formally admitted. “In compliance with CAATE standards, we have to maintain a certain ratio of students to clinical instructors,” he said. “So it’s hard to accept every student that applies.”
The Athletic Training Program at Mount Union is also different from other programs because it allows students to participate in sports, where at some schools students majoring in athletic training are not allowed. According to Gorman, many students participate in athletics and complete their clinical experiences during the off season. Because the four semester requirement is distributed over six semesters, students may have ample time to participate in other extracurricular activities, including playing a sport.
“At Mount Union, we believe the whole college experience is important,” said Gorman. “If a student comes here to play a sport, he or she is encouraged to do so.”
Graduates of the program have used the major as preparation for post-graduate study in athletic training as well as other sports related allied-health fields such as physical therapy, physician’s assistant, occupational therapy, emergency medical technicians, nursing, podiatry, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise physiology, kinesiology/biomechanics, sport psychology, nutrition  or other allied medical professions.
The program’s next comprehensive review is scheduled for the 2019-2020 Academic Year.
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