PROSPECTIVE ATHLETIC TRAINING MAJOR

Truman State University

 

 

                                 

What is an Athletic Trainer?

What is different about the Athletic Training major?

Do I have to apply?

What if I am an athlete?

What if I want to be a physical therapist also?

What can I do in High School to prepare myself?

What if I want to transfer to Truman?

Athletic Training home page
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Athletics Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic trainers are “Unique health care providers who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses.”  Athletic trainers provide care for people in a variety of settings including high schools sports teams, physician’s offices, sports medicine clinics, large corporations,  universities, NASCAR, performing arts, and professional sports teams.  Whatever the setting, athletic trainers are helping people participate and safely return to their activities.  Anyone who wishes to become a certified athletic trainer must attend a college or university that offers an accredited Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP).  Accreditation is granted by The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, CAATE.  A list of schools with accredited athletic training programs can be found on CAATE's web site.   In addition to graduating from an accredited program, all athletic trainers must pass the Board of Certification (BOC) examination.  Once they graduate and pass the certification examination, certified athletic trainers are ready to work anywhere injuries and illnesses happen.  You can learn more about athletic training on the web site for the National Athletic Trainers' Association  (NATA) or the Board of Certification (BOC). 

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What is different about the Athletic Training major?

There are several things that make the athletic training major different from other majors.  First, when you are an athletic training major, you are actually doing athletic training.  Each semester you will take practicum course in which you apply your athletic training skills in actual injury situations.  It gives you excellent experience and unlike most majors, you know what you are getting into before you graduate.  Learn more on Truman clinical education web site. A second thing that makes the major different is the application process.  In order to major in athletic training, you must apply and be accepted into the major.  A description of the application process can be found on Truman's athletic training application web site.

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Do I have to apply?

Yes.  The Athletic Training major requires an application that is separate from the one used to apply to Truman.  This application process is a requirement of all accredited athletic training education programs.  Since there are limited spaces in the program, the application process is competitive.  The application process begins by enrolling in ES 205 (First-Aid and CPR) and AT 120 (Introduction to Athletic Training).  A written application is due on November 1.  Details regarding the application process can be found on Truman's athletic training application web site.

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What if I am an athlete?

You cannot participate on a Truman athletic team and major in athletic training.  The profession of athletic training is enticing because of the unique opportunity to combine a love for sports with a desire to work in healthcare.  Naturally, this profession is appealing to current and former athletes.  Many students who are interested in attending Truman State University as varsity athletes also wish to become Athletic Trainers.  The Athletic Training Education faculty and staff strongly encourage students to take advantage of co-curricular activities available on campus.  They are also dedicated to ensuring that all athletic training students meet the requirements for the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) and that the clinical experiences are of the quality to enable students to become skilled health care professionals.  The ATEP at Truman is designed to prepare students to take the Board of Certification (BOC) exam and enter the field of athletic training immediately following their graduation.  Every accredited athletic training program is required to include a clinical component in their curriculum.  Because the clinical component of the ATEP is significant, conflicts often occur between the student’s sport and their opportunity for clinical experiences.  This is especially so during afternoons, evenings, weekends and during non-traditional competitive seasons.  It is not possible to meet the demands of varsity sport participation at Truman and complete the clinical requirements for the ATEP.   Choosing whether to play a sport or major in athletic training is often a very difficult decision for incoming students.  The ATEP faculty suggest you talk to the coach of the sport you are interested in and also talk with the  ATEP faculty to help provide you with all the information you need to make your decision.

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What if I want to be a physical therapist also?

Since the professions of athletic training and physical therapy are similar, it is relatively easy to prepare for a profession in both.  The athletic training major is tremendous preparation for physical therapy school.  Athletic training majors will learn about modalities and rehabilitation, how the human body responds to exercise, and they will work with patients on a daily basis.  Physical therapy requires a minimum of a Master's degree.  All physical therapy schools have a specific set of pre-requisites that must be met in order to be accepted to that school.  Most physical therapy programs require 2 biology courses, 2 physics courses, 2 chemistry courses, and 2 psychology courses in addition to an undergraduate degree.  These pre-requisite courses can be easily met within the athletic training major or as electives.

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What can I do in High School to prepare myself?

If you are in high school and considering athletic training as a career, start by learning more about the profession.  Find an athletic trainer at a high school, clinic, or hospital that will let you shadow them.  Ask them lots of questions and spend enough time with them to learn what they really do.  Start researching schools.  You must attend a school that has an accredited athletic training program.  You can find a list of these schools at www.caate.net.  Narrow down your list of schools and make a visit to your top choices.  The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) offers a special membership for high school students.  Check out the advantages of membership including scholarships and workshops on their H.S. Student web page.  The last bit of advice is to study hard.  Get good grades in science classes and take a course in anatomy or sports medicine if it is offered in your school.  Athletic training programs are looking for students who are well prepared.

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What if I want to transfer to Truman?

If you are attending a university that doesn't offer athletic training, or you are simply excited about Truman's Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP), transferring to Truman may be a good option for you. Truman and the ATEP are always looking for good students.   There are a few things you should consider when thinking about transferring to Truman.  First, the ATEP program requires 7 semesters to complete the clinical coursework.  Since the Truman ATEP does not accept transfer credit for clinical coursework, this would require at least one additional semester of school for most transfer students.  The second thing you need to know is that being accepted to Truman  does not guarantee acceptance into the ATEP. All students must apply to the athletic training education program. You can learn about the application process on the application website.  Finally, all transfer credit is determined by the Truman registrar and ATEP program director.  The ATEP transfer policy will help you understand which courses are most likely to transfer. To learn more about transferring to Truman, check out the admissions website http://admissions.truman.edu/transfer/index.asp.   

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