Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences
“The virtues of the Athletic Training Faculty, Staff, and Students constitute the confidence I now possess for personal learning and my educating of others. Slippery Rock University served as the keystone necessary for me to achieve my goals in education, clinical experience, and sport injury research.”
Anthony House, ATC ‘05
UNLV Graduate Assistant
The Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) prepares selected undergraduate students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide care to athletes and the physically active within the six domains of athletic training practice. The Slippery Rock University Athletic Training Education Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (http://www.caate.net/). Students fulfilling the total 120 credit hours of academic program requirements will graduate with a bachelor of science degree and a major in athletic training.
SRU sponsors a unique accelerated ATEP that allows athletic training students to graduate in December of their senior (fourth) year. This is accomplished with a highly structured curriculum that is sequenced over three and a half (3.5) years or seven (7) semesters. This “accelerated” program allows SRU’s athletic training students to graduate a semester early, sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) credentialing examination before their peers at other universities and be more competitive for graduate assistantships, employment and seats in other medical preparation programs. Students can also complete the program in the traditional four (4) years by completing necessary liberal studies and electives during the last semester.
Upon formal acceptance into the professional strand of the ATEP, students must acquire and maintain athletic training student liability insurance and professional rescuer level first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certifications. These are acquired in advance of enrollment in the clinical course Practicum in Athletic Training (ERS 387), which is taken four times over four consecutive semesters to total 12 credits. This is the equivalent of a 12-credit internship. Instead of finishing all coursework and then completing an internship, the athletic training student participates in his or her clinical experience under the direct supervision of an approved clinical instructor (certified athletic trainer or other medical professional) while taking the relevant coursework. Thus, there is immediate opportunity for application of theory to practice. Although most of the clinical experience takes place on-campus with SRU’s certified athletic trainers and varsity athletic teams, all athletic training students are required to spend at least one rotation off-campus with one of our approved clinical instructors at an affiliate site. Athletic training students are required to provide their own transportation to and from the off-campus affiliate sites.
Athletic training students are active, dues-paying members of the SRU Athletic Training Association, National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA), and Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS). They often attend the annual conferences of those professional organizations and participate in various field trips, surgical observations, and physicians’ clinics. Many athletic training students have pursued external internships with the assistance of the faculty. Some of these include internships with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Jets and the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Orlando, FL. Rock athletic training students are some of the most successful students in being awarded NATA and EATA sponsored scholarships.
Student-athletes participating in varsity sports sponsored by the SRU Athletic Department who are granted admission to the ATEP should make the program coordinator aware of their active participation in their respective sport. Although the ATEP faculty work very hard with the coaching staff to support student-athletes in their attempt to participate in varsity athletics while matriculating through the ATEP, success is dependent upon each student’s ability to manage their time effectively while maintaining required standards of academic performance in the didactic (classroom) and clinical education portions of the ATEP. Because all sports are different and all sport seasons vary in time and intensity, not all student-athletes will progress through the ATEP the same way. In order to meet the minimum standards of completion of the ATEP, student-athletes will be required to enroll one additional semester (4 years or 8 semesters total) or more to guarantee that a quality educational and clinical experience has been achieved and that all competencies and proficiencies have been successfully mastered.
Additional costs related to the Athletic Training Education Program
$40.00 Required/Approved Uniforms (minimum of one uniform shirt)
85.00 NATA Membership Annual Dues (includes NATA, EATA & PATS)
10.00 SRU Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Dues
35.00 Athletic Training Student Liability Insurance Annual Fee
25.00 Laboratory Fees (Approximate)
60.00 PA Criminal Background Check, PA CHild Abuse History Clearance, FBI Fingerprinting Clearance
50.00 Minimum for Transportation to off-campus clinical rotation (Cost dependent on location of assignment [range of 3 to 22 miles from SRU], cost of gas during specific semester of off campus assignment, and opportunities to car pool.)
*All costs are subject to change.
Policy for Application to the Athletic Training Education Program
University acceptance to pursue the athletic training major does NOT guarantee admission into the professional strand of the ATEP.
Technical Standards for the SRU Athletic Training Education Program
The ATEP at Slippery Rock University 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). All students must meet the following abilities and expectations. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards the student will not be admitted to the program.
Compliance with the programs technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the BOC credentialing examination.
Candidates for selection to the Athletic Training Education 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 examination using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during assessments and the 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 with English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
- The ability to record the physical examination results and 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 professional strand of the ATEP will be required to verify that they understand and meet these technical standards. The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity will evaluate a student who states that he/she cannot meet the program’s technical standards as outlined in the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity policies. All athletic training students are required to have a physical examination upon admittance into the professional strand of the education program. Students are required to use the SRU pre-participation examination form. This will be done to ensure that each student’s physical and mental health will permit him or her to meet the established technical standards.
Admission into the professional strand of the ATEP is competitive. The number of seats in the program is limited because of the faculty-to-student ratio recommended for accreditation. Formal application to the professional strand of the ATEP must be completed by March of the student’s freshman (first) year on campus. Formal application for admission consideration requires the following evidence:
- Completion of ERS 107 (Introduction to Athletic Training) at Slippery Rock University with a minimum grade of “B.”
- Completion of ERS 101 (Applied Anatomy) with a minimum grade of “B”.
- A cumulative QPA of 2.750 or above in athletic training major courses and overall.
- Completion of 50 hours of athletic training observation under a BOC certified athletic trainer (these 50 hours may be accumulated with the start of the fall semester of the student’s first year on campus). The 50 hours must also be verified by the supervising the certified athletic trainer being observed. Licensed physical therapists that also hold the ATC credential may be observed as well.
- Active membership in the Slippery Rock University Athletic Training Association.
- Letter of application/intent, resume, and SRU transcript or Rocktalk printout of grades.
- Letter of recommendation from the BOC certified athletic trainer who supervised the athletic training observation.
- A 500-word essay on a topic to be announced each year.
Applicants will be ranked on the basis of QPA. Top ranked applicants will be scheduled for a personal interview. Final admission decisions will be made on the basis of academic, personal, and professional qualifications as evidenced by the student’s application materials and interview responses. Students will be notified of admission decisions by the end of the freshman (first) year. Because the number of applicants may exceed the available seats, meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Students who have been selected for admission to the ATEP officially begin the professional strand of the major during the sophomore (second) year.
Policy for Retention in the Athletic Training Program
Students who are accepted into the professional strand of the ATEP are required to satisfy didactic and clinical education requirements throughout their remaining semesters in the program. Specifically, students must maintain a major and overall QPA at or above 2.75 and may not receive a grade of “D” or more than two grades of “C” in required major courses while enrolled in the professional strand of the ATEP. Failure to maintain the minimum requirements for didactic and clinical education will result in one semester of probation. Students who must repeat a major course requirement may have to do so with the next cohort. If the deficiencies are not corrected to the satisfaction of the faculty by the end of the probationary period, the student will be permanently dismissed from the program. Upon recommendation of the faculty, students achieving compliance with the minimum standards following a probationary status will be permitted to complete the ATEP, which may require additional semesters.
Board of Certification Credentialing Examination
Athletic training students who successfully complete all of the program requirements and receive the ATEP coordinator’s endorsement are eligible to take the BOC credentialing examination administered by the BOC. Slippery Rock University graduates obtaining BOC certification are eligible for state certification by the Pennsylvania State Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, as well as with other state regulatory agencies.
Transfer Students and Upperclassmen
The Athletic Training Education Program requires a minimum of 3.5 full years (seven semesters) of coursework and a clinical experience in a structured and sequenced curriculum. Due to this rigorous program, transfer students and upperclassmen declaring a major in athletic training are placed at the freshman level. As required for all other ATEP students, transfer students and upperclassmen must complete the above application process and coursework.