Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences
“After graduating from SRU, I realized how lucky I was to have gone through such an amazing program. I wasn’t aware that other programs don’t offer the experiences or have the facilities that the SRU AT program has. We truly were spoiled, and it was great!”
Lara Johnson, Cohort 2012
“I had opportunities to work hands on with athletes throughout the program…It really prepared me for my first experiences as an ATC.”
Becky Younger, Cohort 2012
The Athletic Training Program (ATP) prepares selected undergraduate students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide care to athletes and the physically active within the five domains of athletic training practice. The Slippery Rock University Athletic Education Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). 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 ATP 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 ATP, students will matriculate through the program according to the curricular sequence. Students must acquire and maintain athletic training student liability insurance and professional rescuer level first aid and CPR/AED certifications and are to be maintained throughout all clinical rotations. These are acquired in advance of enrollment in the clinical experience course, taken five consecutive semesters. 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 a preceptor (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. Atheltic training students also are required to complete a general medicine rotation. 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, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Falcons, 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 ATP should make the program coordinator aware of their active participation in their respective sport. Although the ATP faculty work very hard with the coaching staff to support student-athletes in their attempt to participate in varsity athletics while matriculating through the ATP, 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 ATP. Because all sports are different and all sport seasons vary in time and intensity, not all student-athletes will progress through the ATP the same way. In order to meet the minimum standards of completion of the ATP, student-athletes may 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 Program*
- $40.00 Required/Approved Uniforms (minimum of one uniform shirt)
- $85.00 NATA Membership Annual Dues (includes NATA, EATA & PATS or other state association)
- $10.00 SRU Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Dues
- $35.00 Athletic Training Student Liability Insurance, Annual Fee (needed each year)
- $100.00 PA Criminal Background Check (Act 34), PA Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151), PA Department of Education or Department of Human Services FBI Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114) [depending on affiliate site assignment], PA Child Abuse Recognition and Report Act (Act 126) [depending on affiliate site assignment]
- Innoculations current with OSHA requirements for healthcare providers
- Others as required by affiliate sites
- $100.00 Minimum for Transportation to off-campus clinical rotation (Cost dependent on location of assignment [range of 3 to 30 miles from SRU], cost of gas during specific off-campus assignment, and opportunities to car pool.
*All costs are subject to change.
Policy for Application to the Athletic Training Program
University acceptance to pursue the athletic training major does NOT guarantee admission into the professional strand of the ATP.
Technical Standards for the SRU Athletic Training Program
The ATP 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 ATP 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 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 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 ATP will be required to verify that they understand and meet these technical standards. Candidates must also verify that they have received all OSHA required immunizations before matriculating through the professional strand of the ATP. 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. 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.
Admission into the professional strand of the ATP 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 ATP 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 GPA of 2.75 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 official SRU transcript or MySRU printout of grades.
- Completed recommendation form 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 GPA. 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 ATP 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 ATP are required to satisfy didactic and clinical education requirements throughout their remaining semesters in the program. Specifically, students must maintain a major and overall GPA 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 ATP. 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 ATP, which may require additional semesters.
Board of Certification Credentialing Examination
Athletic training students who successfully complete all of the program requirements and receive the ATP 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 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 ATP students, transfer students and upperclassmen must complete the above application process and coursework.
Program placed on moratorium 09/13/2016 UCC