ATHLETIC TRAINING PROGRAM FREQUENTLY
If you wish to visit campus and
meet with someone from the Athletic Training faculty/staff, please call (765)
285-5683 (Ball State Welcome Center).
You can set up a time with them for a campus tour and an appointment
with one of the athletic training faculty/staff members.
If your question is still not
answered after reading this information, feel free to e-mail Jennifer Popp,
EdD, ATC, LAT, Director of the Athletic Training Education Program,
or call her at (765) 285-3223.
About Our Program Admissions
What are the requirements for admission into the Athletic Training
Program? Students must meet the following
requirements to be admitted into the Professional Phase of the program:
When do I apply to the Athletic Training Program? As a freshman, you will apply in
the beginning of the spring semester. A
fall semester application period is also available for transfer students,
upperclassmen, and those not admitted in the spring semester. Please contact the program director for
specific information. All applicants
must meet the minimum GPA, grade, and directed observation hours requirements
for applications to be considered. The
application will be evaluated for completeness, content, and clarity. Decisions will be made by the Athletic
Training Selection Committee.
How many students apply to the Athletic Training Program each year? It varies every year, but on the
average there are about 25 applicants.
How many students do you accept into the program each year? It varies every year, but on the average, we accept about 12-15
I’m currently in high school, how can I improve my chances of being
accepted in the Athletic Training Program? If possible, observe with a
certified athletic trainer at your high school or local physical therapy/sports
medicine clinic. If you can’t do that on
a regular basis, see if you can at least job shadow for 1-2 days. Ask as many questions as possible. Also, take classes such as anatomy or sports
medicine (if available) to see if you like learning about the human body.
I’m currently a BSU student, how can I improve my chances of being
accepted into the Athletic Training Program?
There are many things you can
do. First, if you haven’t already,
enroll in the program’s required prerequisite courses, including AT 196 (Introduction
to Athletic Training), AT 240 (Prevention and Care of Musculoskeletal
Injuries), AQUA 260 (Emergency Response), and ANAT 201 (Fundamentals of Human
Anatomy). The ability to be academically
successful is extremely important, so obtaining a strong GPA and excellent
grades in each of the prerequisite courses is highly recommended. If you are meeting the above requirements,
our advice to you is to make sure you talk with students and faculty/staff in
our program. During your directed
observation experience, try not to be too shy and let us know who you are. Stay involved with the program through club
activities and directed observation experiences. Be professional at all times. Follow the dress code, speak appropriately,
and maintain a good rapport with the preceptors, students, and patients.
Who should I ask to write my recommendation letters? We recommend that you ask people
such as Athletic Trainers (other than the ones at BSU), teachers, coaches, and
employers. Avoid asking neighbors or
friends of the family who may less objectively attest to your academic ability
or work ethic.
What if I don’t get into the Athletic Training Program the first
time I apply? In most instances, you may
reapply. We will assist you in
identifying and correcting your deficiencies.
We will let you know if you should consider pursuing another major/profession. Most of the time, those who don’t get into
the program have poor grades, do not seem to display a full awareness of our
program or the profession, or have not demonstrated good interpersonal skills
Can I substitute clinical hours from sites other than BSU (i.e., my
high school, local clinic) for the 50 observation hours I need to apply to the
No. Only hours completed at BSU under our
supervision can be included. However,
extra hours gained at other sites can enhance your application to the program.
Can I take Athletic Training classes without being accepted into
There are a few classes that you
can take, such as AT 240 (Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries), AQUA 260 (First
Responder), ANAT 201 (Fundamentals of Human Anatomy), and PHYS 205
(Fundamentals of Human Physiology).
What have been the unique successes of students completing our
Athletic Training Program?
Our program has enjoyed a fair
amount of notoriety. In some part this
notoriety is due to the success/visibility of some of its alumni and past
professional staff. In some part it is
also due to the current recognition of its clinical education program and
related research. We have had several
students receive national scholarships and awards. Many athletic trainers who have attended or
worked at Ball State have held leadership positions within the National
Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA).
Some have also received district/national honors. One past athletic trainer employee, Sayers
“Bud” Miller, has a national “Educator of the Year” award named in his
honor. Numerous other athletic trainers,
with perhaps less prominent profiles, have made a collective good impression in
Is your program accredited?
Yes. The Ball State University Athletic Training
Program was one of the first educational programs to receive National Athletic
Trainers’ Association (NATA) approval as an undergraduate minor in 1971. The
University has remained strongly committed to maintaining and improving this
program as demonstrated by the implementation of the Athletic Training Major in
1987. The program has been accredited by
CAAHEP since 1994, followed by CAATE since July, 2006.
Do you accept transfer students?
Yes, but transfer students must
complete one semester of BSU residency during which time you would apply to the
program if eligible. Transfer students
must meet the same program admission criteria (as outlined above). All athletic training major-required courses transferred will be evaluated by the Program
Director to determine specific course equivalency. Generally, transferred
athletic training courses will not meet a specific athletic training course
requirement at Ball State University since there is a great degree of
variability amongst course content from institution to institution.
However, these courses will count as general elective hours toward the total
hours (120 hours) required for graduation. In order to meet all program
requirements, the transfer student must plan to spend a minimum of 5 semesters
enrolled in the athletic training professional program once admitted. Please contact the Program Director about
Can I be a student athlete while in the Athletic Training Program?
This has worked out in the past
with highly dedicated and motivated students.
However, it will be more difficult to be an athlete and an athletic
training student because of the time demands required in both roles, and the
time to complete all the requirements for the program will likely be delayed. To the greatest extent possible, we are
willing to work with you in this situation.
Are there any additional requirements and
costs associated with the Athletic Training Program at Ball State?
All students must continue to satisfy the
Technical Standards involved with completing the program. Students must maintain a minimum overall GPA
of 2.75, a major GPA of 2.75, and earn a “C” or better in all athletic training
major courses. Students must complete a
designated number of clinical integration proficiencies every semester. Every year, students are required to complete
OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen training, HIPAA training, and BSU Athletic Training Program
Handbook quiz. Students are also
required to abide by the policies and procedures contained in the Athletic
Training Program Handbook.
All students are required to obtain and
maintain certification in emergency cardiac care (ECC) at the level of Professional
Rescuer or Healthcare Provider (adult and pediatric), which should be achieved
as a component of AQUA 260. All costs
associated with ECC and emergency response certification is the responsibility
of the student. The program offers
regular re-certification classes, or BSU’s Recreation Services offers several
training opportunities throughout the year, and the local American Red Cross
chapter will provide training as well.
admitted into the Athletic Training Program, all students will be required to
become members (and maintain membership throughout their years at BSU) of the
National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
This membership requires a $75 annual fee paid for by the student, and
will allow the student several membership benefits, as well as allow students
access to the program’s record keeping program, ATrack.
are lab fees associated with AT 196, AT 240, AT 372, and AT 373, and the
purchase of a “lab pack” required for AT 196, AT 240, and AT 250, which is the
responsibility of the student to pay.
The Clinical Integration Proficiency Manual will be purchased by the
student upon admission into the program, and will be used throughout the
student’s time in the program.
are costs associated with clinical education, including an annual TB test, influenza
inoculation, immunizations (if not already obtained by the student), and
background checks. Furthermore, all
students will incur travel costs associated with off-campus clinical
experiences, as well as costs associated with the clinical education dress code
have any scholarships available for Athletic Training?
Not at this time, but
we have a variety of scholarship/awards for outstanding student performance in
About Our Clinical Experiences
When do I begin my clinical experiences?
If you are accepted into the
professional program during the spring semester of your freshman year, you will
begin the actual program fall semester of your sophomore year.
What clinical experiences do I complete?
During the first two semesters
in the BSU Athletic Training Program students will engage in clinical
experiences on campus. During the second
year in the BSU Athletic Training Program students will engage in clinical
experiences both on and off campus at various times throughout the year,
including at least 2 eight-week rotations off campus. During the third year in the Athletic Training
Program, students will assume more clinical responsibilities (under the direct
supervision/instruction of a preceptor). Students will again engage in clinical
experiences both on and off campus at various times throughout the year. Clinical experiences are supervised by preceptors
in those settings and overseen by the program’s clinical education coordinator. Students assigned to off-campus clinical
experiences should anticipate the necessary completion of immunizations,
orientation, etc. for that setting, and the student is responsible for
transportation to/from that site. This
information will be amply available ahead of time. Students who have not completed these
requirements so that they begin the clinical experience on time will be
withdrawn from that site and will be re-assigned to complete it in the summer
or another semester.
What clinical experiences will I receive?
Students will engage in a variety of clinical experiences/assignments
with BSU teams and off-campus sites during their tenure in the Athletic
Training Program. All clinical
experiences are under the supervision of a preceptor. Clinical assignments are categorized and
expose students to general medical conditions, upper extremity injuries, lower
extremity injuries, and equipment-intensive sports, and will include
experiences with a variety of patient populations as well as different
genders. Further, each student will
complete a clinical experience with football for at least one semester. Athletic training student clinical
assignments will be made by the clinical education coordinator in consultation
with the BSU preceptors.
Student-athletes accepted into the program must meet engage in clinical
education each semester comparable to the expectations of other students in the
program and in accordance with the clinical education courses.
About Our Graduates
What do our students do upon graduation?
Ball State University graduates
take a variety of paths to success. Many
(50% over the past three years) graduates go on to pursue a Master’s degree
while working as a graduate assistant in the University’s athletic training
department. Many also accept jobs at
clinics and high schools (40% over the past three years) and a few have taken
jobs at colleges and universities. Still
others pursue post-professional training in education, physical therapy, or
What is the BOC Exam?
The Board of Certification (BOC)
is the organization that is responsible for the certification of athletic
trainers, and awards the credential of ATC®.
The BOC developed the certification exam, which is a computer-based exam that is
administered 5 times a year at testing centers throughout the country. Candidates who are enrolled and/or registered
in their final semester/quarter prior to graduation are eligible to sit for the
BOC exam. In order to attain BOC
certification, an individual must complete an entry-level athletic training
program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training
Education (CAATE) and pass the BOC certification exam. The certification exam is designed to test
your knowledge and competence in all the domains of the athletic training
profession. You must pass the
certification exam in order to become certified, but you are not limited to how
many times you can take the test.
What is the first-time pass/fail rate of our students taking the
The following reflects the first-time pass rate for the past 3
years: 2012-13: 83%, 2013-14:
77%, 2014-15: 80%. The 3-year average first time pass rate is 80%. Over the past three years, 93% of those
students who seek certification become certified athletic trainers.
About Athletic Training/Sports
What is an Athletic Trainer?
An athletic trainer (AT) is a
health care professional who collaborates with physicians to provide
preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic
intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.
Why is athletic training considered sports medicine?
Sports medicine is a very broad
term. It involves any profession or
field of study that is dedicated to the care of athletes and physically active
individuals. Examples include, but not limited
to, athletic training, physical therapy, nutrition, medicine, psychology,
exercise physiology, and biomechanics.
The uniqueness of athletic training is that it combines all of these
Where does a Certified Athletic Trainer (AT) work?
In cooperation with physicians
and other health care professionals, ATs work in traditional settings, like
high schools, colleges/universities, and professional sports teams. ATs are also found working in non-traditional
and emerging settings such as sports medicine clinics, occupational health,
military, public safety, performing arts, physician offices, and other health
What are average starting salaries?
This is a question that is
difficult to answer because it really depends on which area of the country and
what setting you work in. According to
the 2014 NATA Salary Survey across all settings, ATs with 0-1 years earn an
average of $38,214 and those with 5-10 years earn an average of $49,204.
What is the employment outlook for AT’s?
Currently, many efforts are
being made to improve the employment opportunities for ATs. There is a large push for high schools to
employ ATs, which has resulted in increased job opportunities in that
setting. Also, great strides have been
made in attaining third-party insurance reimbursement for the services provided
by ATs, which would ATs to be more employable in the clinic setting and result
in higher salaries. In addition,
increasing state regulation of the practice of athletic training (e.g., licensure)
in most states throughout the country and public awareness of the value of an
AT are proving to protect and enhance the athletic training profession.
What is the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)?
The National Athletic Trainers’Association (NATA) is
the professional membership association for athletic trainers with more than 30,000
members worldwide. The mission of the
NATA is to enhance the quality of health care provided by certified athletic
trainers and to advance the athletic training profession. Founded in 1950 with a membership of 200
athletic trainers, the NATA is based in Dallas, Texas, and provides a variety
of services to its membership including continuing education, governmental
affairs, and public relations. The NATA
also publishes the Journal of Athletic Training and the Athletic Training Education Journal ,
both of which are scientific journals, as well as the NATA News, a monthly
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