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Athletic Training
Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Where do Athletic Trainers work? What settings?

Certified Athletic Trainers can be found almost anywhere people physically active.  Some examples are:

  • High Schools/Secondary schools

  • Colleges and Universities

  • Professional sports

  • Sports medicine clinics

  • Hospitals

  • The military

  • Industrial and commercial

  • Performing Arts

Further information on these settings may be found here.

I am confused by the title "Athletic Trainer."  Please clarify.

The statutory title of “athletic trainer” is a misnomer but is derived from the profession's historical roots.  Athletic trainers provide medical services to all types of people - not just athletes participating in sports - and do not train people as personal or fitness trainers do.  However, the profession continues to embrace its proud culture and history by retaining the title.  In other countries, athletic therapist and physiotherapist are similar titles.  The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents more than 39,000 members in the U.S. and internationally, and there are about 40,000 ATs practicing nationally.  NATA represents students in 325 accredited collegiate academic programs.  The athletic training profession began early in the 20th century, and NATA was established in 1950.

What is the difference between an Athletic Trainer and a Personal Trainer?

Athletic training is often confused with personal training.  There is, however, a large difference in the education, skillset, job duties and patients of an athletic trainer and a personal trainer.  Athletic trainers provide physical medicine, rehabilitative and preventative services.  Athletic trainers treat a breadth of patients, including but not limited to: professional, college, secondary school and youth athletes, dancers, musicians and military personnel.  Athletic trainers can work in a variety of locations including schools, physician clinics, hospitals and manufacturing plants.

How do you become a Certified Athletic Trainer?

Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum in order to be eligible to sit for the comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification.  Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition.  Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences.  More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master's degree.

What is the average starting salary of an Athletic Trainer?

According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association's most recent survey, the average yearly salary ranges anywhere from $46,000 to $51,000.  This number depends on the level of degree held by the Certified Athletic Trainer and the job setting.  With more potential employers starting to understand the importance of the field, that number is on the rise!

When should I apply to the UWA Athletic Training Education Program? What are the requirements for eligibility for admission into the program?

Complete application materials including recommendation forms from three faculty members to the Athletic Training Program Director by April 1 (December 1 and July 1 for transfer students meeting the requirements listed below).  (Usually these should be submitted during the freshman or first year in the pre-professional program.  All course requirements do not have to be completed prior to filing application).  You must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for unconditional admission to the program:

Current Students

1.    Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all hours attempted in general studies curriculum requirements completed prior to the application deadline.

2.    Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all hours attempted in the athletic training major requirements completed prior to the application deadline.

3.    Submit completed application materials including recommendation forms from three faculty members to the Athletic Training Program Director.

4.    Hold current American Red Cross Professional Rescuer First Aid and CPR or American Heart Association BLS for Health Care Providers certification or Emergency Medical Technician equivalency.

5.    Successfully complete the Athletic Training Practicum courses AH 101 and AH 102 (Exception: Students meeting the transfer criteria listed below may be admitted without previously completing these courses but will have to successfully complete these courses or approved substitute courses as part of their curriculum)

6.    Interview with the Athletic Training Curriculum Selection Committee.

Transfer Students

1.    Documentation of previous clinical experience supervised by a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer or a state credentialed Athletic Trainer, if any.  A minimum of at least 120 hours is recommended and preferred, but not required.

2.    If previous documented clinical experience in athletic training is submitted, one of the three recommendation forms must be from the student's primary supervising athletic trainer from the previous institution.  The remaining two recommendation forms must be from the faculty of the student's previous institution.

Follow this link for any further information you might need: http://at.uwa.edu/admissio.asp

What are the academic requirements once I am in the program?

Yes, in order to progress in the athletic training professional program, students must meet the following requirements:

1.    Achieve a minimum grade of "C" in each athletic training major course attempted.  For any athletic training major course in which the student earns less than a "C" the entire course must be repeated.  Students may repeat an athletic training (AH) course only once.

2.    Maintain a cumulative quality-point ratio of 3.0 in all hours attempted in the athletic training major requirements.

3.    Maintain a cumulative quality-point ratio of 2.5 in all hours attempted in general studies course requirements.

4.    Maintain good standing with the University according to UWA student policies and procedures.

5.    Maintain current American Red Cross Professional Rescuer First Aid and CPR or American Heart Association BLS for Health Care Providers certification or Emergency Medical Technician equivalency.

What are the Athletic Training Program costs?

The following is a list of additional estimated expenditures beyond those of tuition, room, board, fees, etc. for which students enrolled in the athletic training program are responsible.

1.    Purchase of authorized athletic training uniforms. $70 annually

2.    Assumption of all costs and arrangements for travel to and from clinical facilities for clinical experiences. (variable depending location and frequency, but all clinical sites are within 60 miles)

3.    Verification of a negative drug screen according to guidelines established by the clinical agencies utilized by the athletic training program. $30

4.    Negative criminal background check conducted according to guidelines established by the clinical agencies utilized by the athletic training program. $52

5.    Annual recertification of American Red Cross Professional Rescuer First Aid and CPR or American Heart Association BLS for Health Care Providers certification or Emergency Medical Technician equivalency. $27 biennially

6.    Initiate the Hepatitis B vaccination series while enrolled in AH101 or provide documentation of completed series or complete the necessary waiver. $80 per injection for maximum of three.

7.    Annual fees for online clinical proficiency tracking software. $80

8.    Annual fees for professional liability insurance policy. $30

How long does the program take to complete?

The Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training consists of two components: (1) The pre-professional program (usually freshman year or first year for some transfers) and (2) the professional program (sophomore through senior years).  Traditional students who begin as freshmen and are admitted to the professional component before the sophomore year are expected to complete the degree in four years (8 semesters).  Transfer students admitted immediately prior to the fall semester should expect to complete the degree in three years (6 semesters).  Depending on when you enter the program will directly correlate to the amount of time needed to graduate.

What would be my clinical assignments?

Usually each student in the professional program is assigned to a preceptor involving a different clinical assignment each semester.  Primarily each clinical assignment revolves around a particular sport.  These sport rotations involve pre- and post-practice & event preparation which includes taping, wound care, treatment, rehabilitation in addition to prevention, injury/illness diagnosis, immediate treatment & management during practice and events.  All students will have football for at least one semester and the other clinical assignments will be made to ensure appropriate opportunities with upper and lower extremity injuries for both genders as well as general medical experiences.  In addition to these clinical responsibilities a portion of each clinical assignment involves injury evaluation, medical documentation, treatment and rehabilitation in the UWA Athletic Training & Sports Medicine Center.  Furthermore, at different points throughout the curriculum students are assigned clinical experiences with the Anderson Family Medical Clinic, Champion Sports Medicine Physical Therapy and Meridian High School.  Finally, students are also assigned to work with preceptors in providing athletic training services at area high school events.

Is the Athletic Training Program accredited?

Yes! We are currently accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education through 2019 which is when we are scheduled for our next reaccreditation review.

Are there scholarship opportunities?

Yes! We have numerous scholarships and opportunities for financial assistance available to our students.  For further information, please refer to our scholarship web pages at http://www.uwa.edu/Scholarships_-_Academic_and_Leadership.aspx and http://www.uwa.edu/Scholarships_-_Alumni_and_Outside.aspx.

Do you have a Master's Degree or Graduate Program in Athletic Training?

No, we currently do not have a Graduate Athletic Training Program.  But, we do have opportunities for Graduate Assistants to receive their Master's degree in a variety of academic programs.  Most commonly, our graduate assistant athletic trainers pursue the Master of Arts in Teaching and choose either the non-certification or certification degree.  On average, the program takes two years to complete.

Can I have a job and still be in the Athletic Training Program?

Yes, you can!  We understand the financial responsibilities of being a college student and encourage students to be proactive in finding an appropriate job on or near campus.  Time must be a factor into the consideration of future employment.  A majority of the clinical experience opportunities are usually during the afternoon and evening hours as well as some weekends.  As long as carry out the mandatory clinical assignments during the related hours as scheduled, we have no issue with supplemental employment.

Can I play sports at UWA and be in the Athletic Training Program?

Yes, you sure can!  Many of our Athletic Training students do participate in sports at UWA.  Participating in intercollegiate athletics requires approximately 20 hours per week for most of the academic year and athletic training clinical hours also average around 20 hours per week.  While we have had a number of athletic training students be successful in both athletic training and intercollegiate athletics, it does require excellent time management, diligence, communication and understanding of priorities.  As long as the mandatory clinical are being filled, we have no issue with participation in UWA athletics.

Can I/ should I be an Athletic Training major if I want to go on to Physical Therapy or Physician Assistant School?

Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physician's Assistant programs are all graduate degrees (either Master's or Doctoral) which are pursued after completion of a baccalaureate degree.  No particular degree is required to pursue any of these fields, but there are specific prerequisites required for each.  You can certainly wrap these prerequisites into the Athletic Training major.  Our program will prepare you for a career in athletic training which can be very rewarding by itself.  There are a number of people who desire multiple credentials to further enhance their employment and career opportunities.  We have had a number of students do just that.  Students desiring to add PT, OT, or PA onto the ATC credential can be advised all along regarding the specific prerequisites and successfully complete our program before admission into these professional programs.

If I apply this year and don't make it into the athletic training program, can I reapply next year?

Absolutely! Our goal through the application review process is to choose those individuals who we believe are best prepared and will best represent the profession. Many times, circumstances can put candidates at a disadvantage, but that does not mean they are not meant to pursue athletic training. Keep trying.

How do I find more information on the UWA Athletic Training Program?

Any other information you might be interested in can be found on our website, http://at.uwa.edu/

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Dr. R. T. Floyd, Director
UWA Station 14
Livingston, AL  35470
205.652.3714
205.652.3799 (fax)
rtf@uwa.edu