Don’t Panic. Here’s How to Choose Your Athletic Training Program

When selecting the right athletic training program for you, there are multiple factors to consider. It is essential to thoroughly research potential programs and assess how well they align with your personal needs. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind as you navigate your options:

Accreditation Status: Ensure that the athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), as graduation from an accredited program is required to sit for the Board of Certification exam.

Program Outcomes: Look for programs with a high first-time pass rate on the BOC exam and consider factors like retention, graduation, and placement rates to assess program quality.

Cost: Evaluate the overall cost of tuition, fees, and related expenses, and also explore potential financial support such as scholarships, grants, waivers, and assistantships offered by the program.

Campus Environment: Consider the overall campus environment, including factors like campus size, location, safety, and climate, as these will impact your college experience. Visiting the campus and program can provide valuable insights.

Class Size: Understand the class size and student-to-faculty ratio, as smaller cohorts may offer more one-on-one interaction with faculty, while larger cohorts may provide broader peer interactions and networking opportunities.

Curriculum Design: Determine whether the program is a stand-alone master’s program or a 3+2 program, which combines undergraduate and master’s degrees in five years. Evaluate the curriculum’s fit with your interests and career goals.

Classes Offered: Explore the additional courses or content offered by each program, such as gross anatomy, public health, sports sciences, nutrition, manual therapy, and research, and choose the program that aligns with your specific interests.

Clinical Rotations: Consider the variety of clinical education experiences offered by the program, including different patient populations and settings, as this will contribute to your learning and skill development.

Teaching Methods: Assess the teaching methods employed by the program, whether they follow a traditional lecture-lab format, incorporate hybrid courses with online and in-class learning, or utilize problem-based learning with case studies and peer teaching.

Faculty Involvement: Evaluate the level of faculty involvement in the program, as their guidance, support, and professional networks can significantly impact your success during and after the program. Look for faculty engaged in professional organizations and volunteer activities.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the athletic training program that best meets your needs and sets you up for success now and in the future. 

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