PITTSBURGH: The National Athletic Training Association (NATA) Board of Directors, in cooperation with the commissioners of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) recently agreed to establish the professional degree in athletic training at the master’s level. That means that the athletic training profession will require a Master’s degree for entry-level positions beginning in 2022.
In response to this change, Chatham University has launched a Master of Science in Athletic Training (3+2 program), allowing students to earn both a bachelor of science in Exercise Science and master of science in Athletic Training at the end of five years of study. Applications for fall 2017 enrollment are now being accepted.
The 3+2 degree program offers an accelerated bachelor’s degree in exercise science, while transitioning into the Athletic Training graduate program. The professional degree combines coursework in the clinical assessment and treatment of athletics with courses that emphasize the critical appraisal of the athletic training literature, healthcare delivery and management and sport psychology, in addition to clinical education.
Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians and other healthcare providers to optimize the activity and participation of athletes. The profession includes the prevention, diagnosis and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions in athletes.
“Chatham’s Athletic Training Program is an integrated mix of didactic, hands-on lab and simulation experiences and clinical education,” said Pat Downey, PT, PhD, DPT, professor and dean of the School of Health Sciences. “Like all of our School of Health Sciences’ programs, Athletic Training emphasizes excellence in both clinical skills and professionalism. “
The program rolls out with a strong base in general education in year one, while offering the opportunity to begin observational practice with members of Chatham’s NCAA Division III sports teams in the second year. Students will build expertise and develop as professionals in the third year through the Chatham Plan, a five-step approach to infusing the entirety of a student’s undergraduate education with all the things he or she needs to launch a career after graduation. In the fourth and fifth years of the program, students begin evaluating and training athletes under the supervision of a certified athletic trainer, both at Chatham and at external partner sites.
Chatham will be pursuing accreditation by CAATE and once this is achieved, graduates will be eligible for national certification by successfully completing the BOC exam.