Athletic training education program criteria and guidelines
The Athletic Training major is designed to prepare students to pass the Board of Certification Examination (BOC) for the purpose of becoming a Certified Athletic Training (ATC). Admission into the athletic training education program (ATEP) will be on a competitive basis. Applications will be accepted twice per year, due October 1 and February 1. Students will have until the February deadline of their sophomore year to make an official application to the program. If a transfer student, the acceptance procedures will vary depending on the institution the student is transferring (ie: accredited or non-accredited programs). There is no guarantee that students joining the program late in their career will be qualified to graduate in four years. Each interested student must submit a formal application to the program. If the student meets all necessary criteria, he/she will be asked to have an interview with the athletic training program director and the current athletic training staff. Students intending to pursue a career in athletic training will be given preference.
Specific admission, technical standard, retention, graduation criteria and degree completion timeline are as follows:
- Completion of the formal application to the ATEP.
- Meet established technical standards (see below - III), which will be assessed by:
- Successful completion of Mock Assessment (Interview)
- Successful completion of a Physical Examination administered by an MD, PA, or ARNP (currently on file and verified by the campus nurse)
- Certification in CPR for Professional Rescuer (American Red Cross) or Health Care Provider (American Heart Association) and certification in First Aid, with copy of cards attached to this application
- Completion of 30 observation hours and completed required Clinical Rotations
- Students must have the following in order to be considered for admittance into the athletic training program
- Cumulative college GPA of 2.5 or higher
- Completion of the following classes with a C (2.0) or better:
- KIN 180: Introduction to Kinesiology
- BIO 121: Introduction to Human Anatomy or BIO 102 or BIO 115
- Currently Enrolled in the following classes:
- KIN 152: Emergency Care & Environ Considerations in AT
- KIN 234: Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
- BIO 122: Introduction to Human Physiology
- Submit a completed recommendation form by one peer (current athletic training student)
- Interview by the athletic training education program staff
Note: Admission to the program is not only based on meeting the stated, objective criteria, but also on maintaining a staff/faculty to student ratio that would ensure continued high quality education and supervision opportunities currently afforded with the ATEP at NWC.
Transfer Student Admission Procedures
Students transferring to Northwestern College who are interested in entering the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) must first declare this intention in writing to the Athletic Training Program Director. Due to the unique characteristics and background of each individual, a transfer student will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine his/her suitability for the program as well as an appropriate entry level. This evaluation will be made only after the Program Director has received the following:
- Letter of recommendation from the Program Director/Head Athletic Trainer of the institution from which the student is transferring.
- Documentation of hours from the above mentioned Program Director/Head Athletic Trainer.
- A copy of transcripts from the institution from which the student is transferring.
- A copy of the competencies and proficiencies matrix of the courses the student has successfully completed at his/her previous institution (if an accredited ATEP).
It is highly unlikely that a transfer student would have accumulated many clinical hours which could be applied towards the clinical experience. However, if a transfer student feels such time has been accumulated, the student must provide the Program Director written documentation from his/her former supervising Certified Athletic Trainer. This documentation must include a weekly log of hours, a list of completed clinical experiences and competencies, and a statement signed by the Certified Athletic Trainer verifying satisfactory completion of the competencies in question. All competencies must meet the standards set forth by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA). Any request for course credit transfer must be made to the Registrars Office and then communicated to the Program Director. The following describes in more detail the procedures, depending on what type of institution in which transferring.
- Non-accredited Program Transfer
Students who wish to transfer from another college or university where they were not already admitted to a CAATE (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited ATEP, must follow the admission procedures as do the first year students.
- Accredited Program Transfer
Students who are in good standing at another CAATE accredited majors program wishing to transfer to Northwestern College, must follow the same application deadline as all applicants. These students must contact the program director by October of the fall semester of application to receive instruction about the process. Review of applications will be based on the same criteria as all students. Advanced placement of students will be determined after admission to the program. The transfer student will be given a battery of tests including physical skills assessment to determine any advanced placement to the extent that the first year of program requirements may be waived. All transfer students must minimally complete the final two year sequence of athletic training course work and clinical practicum.
Technical Standards For Admission
The Athletic Training Educational Program (ATEP) at Northwestern College is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled in the program. An objective of this program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals engaged in physical activity. The technical standards set forth by the ATEP establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the program's accrediting agency (CAATE). The following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the ATEP. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be admitted into the program.
Compliance with the program’s technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the BOC (Board of Certification) examination.
Candidates for selection to the Athletic Training Educational Program must demonstrate:
- the mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm.
- sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function, and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients.
- the ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
- the ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately.
- the capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.
- the perseverance, diligence and commitment to complete the athletic training education program as outlined and sequenced.
- flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
- affective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.
Candidates for selection to the ATEP will be required to verify they understand and meet these technical standards or that they believe that, with certain accommodations, they can meet the standards.
The Department of Academic Support will evaluate a student who states he/she could meet the program’s technical standards with accommodation and confirm that the stated condition qualifies as a disability under applicable laws.
If a student states he/she can meet the technical standards with accommodation, then the College will determine whether it agrees that the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodation; this includes a review a whether the accommodations requested are reasonable, taking into account whether accommodation would jeopardize clinician/patient safety, or the educational process of the student or the institution, including all coursework, clinical experiences and internships deemed essential to graduation.
In order to maintain “athletic training student” status one must:
- Maintain a cumulative college GPA of 2.5
- Must attain a C or higher in every class required in the major
- Maintain current certification in CPR for Professional Rescuer (American Red Cross) or Health Care Provider (American Heart Association) and certification in First Aid.
- Successfully complete proficiency assessments and demonstrates learning over time.
- Shows effort and demonstrates the appropriate professional and ethical standards.
- Completes the minimum number of clinical instruction/observation required for their current level to attain a minimum total of 800 hours
- level 1 –15-30 hours(these must be completed before official acceptance to the program)
- level 2 –220 hours
- level 3 –250 hours
- level 4 –300 hours
- Weekly communication with Clinical Coordinator
- Adhere to the Clinical Rotation Schedule (see Athletic Training Policies and Procedures Manual)
If a student does not adhere to the retention requirements the remediation plan will include but will not be limited to the following steps.
- Student will be placed on a one semester probationary period in which the following will be performed.
- Weekly meetings with the ATEP Director, Clinical Coordinator, or specified individual to help the student:
- Address any academic needs.
- Address any deficiencies in clinical skills.
- Address deficiencies in clinical observation hours.
- Facilitate or encourage communication with professors.
- Student will retake courses with the ATEP major which fell below a 2.0 (C).
- Student will be required to improve cumulative GPA to a 2.5 by the following semester. This will also be addressed on a case by case basis, depending on academic needs and accommodations needed.
- If the graduation requirements are not met the student will be required to adhere to the above steps for remediation depending on the student’s deficiency. This may require an additional semester of enrollment.
In order to graduate the following criteria must be met:
- Cumulative college GPA of 2.5
- Certification in CPR for Professional Rescuer (American Red Cross) or Health Care Provider (American Heart Association) and certification in First Aid
- Professional membership in good standing (NATA membership)
- Proficient in all clinical competencies that meet the standards set forth by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA)
- Completion of the minimum number (800) of clinical instruction/observation hours required
- Completion of the required Clinical Rotations
- Pass Physical Fitness Competency Examination which is required of all Kinesiology Majors (Final year of program)
- Pass (70% or better) a BOC mock examination
Degree Completion Timeline
The ATEP is designed to be completed in a typical eight (8) semester sequence including all coursework and clinical experiences. Situations that may prolong a student’s completion of the program may include but are not limited to:
- Athletic participation or extracurricular activities
- Study abroad or an off-campus semester
- Student’s admitted into the ATEP after their third semester of attending Northwestern College.
- Any other extenuating circumstances requiring students to miss a semester of school.