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Athletic Training
Donna Starr Christen College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences

Athletic Training Department Home Page

Athletic Training (ATN)
The athletic training curriculum at Dakota Wesleyan University is designed to prepare students to become professional athletic healthcare practitioners. Specifically, the DWU athletic training faculty strives to comprehensively educate students in the concepts of athletic training; trains students in the provision of competent, high-quality care to physically active populations; prepares students for employment and/or continuing education in an environment of responsible, personal growth; and positively equips students in the personal and professional tenets of ethical and moral conduct. Due to its extensive interdisciplinary nature, the athletic training major is considered a major and a minor for DWU graduation requirement purposes.

The athletic training major at DWU is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), and prepares students for the national certification exam given by the Board of Certification (BOC). The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) serves as the governing body for athletic trainers in the United States, and DWU is one of a limited number of approved undergraduate curricula in the field of study.

As a discipline, the field of sports medicine is founded upon a body of knowledge derived from several areas of study, including medicine, athletic training, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, motor learning and control, health, nutrition, fitness, psychology and performance training. Dakota Wesleyan?s athletic training curriculum is focused upon providing students with a fundamental academic background in sports medicine with specific preparation in the field of athletic training.

The American Medical Association defines athletic training as the allied healthcare field concerned with the management of healthcare problems and issues associated with physically active populations. Occupationally, and in cooperation with physicians and other allied healthcare providers, athletic trainers are viable members of healthcare teams within secondary schools, higher education, professional athletics, sports medicine clinics and other healthcare settings.

The athletic training curriculum at Dakota Wesleyan University also requires students to complete various clinical experiences in the DWU athletic training rooms, local clinics and high schools. All of these clinical experiences are supervised by a trained Approved Clinical Instructor (ACI). This may include an off-campus rotation for which it is the student?s responsibility to arrange for transportation to and from the clinical/field experience site. Upon successful completion of the athletic training curriculum, the student is eligible to sit for the BOC certification exam. Once the student successfully passes this examination, he/she can practice as a nationally Certified Athletic Trainer and seek employment opportunities at the professional, collegiate, secondary, clinical or corporate level. Students may pursue a master?s degree in athletic training or another related field of study from another institution following graduation.

Admission Procedures for the Athletic Training Program
To preserve the integrity of instruction and mentorship, clinical space is limited. Admission to the athletic training program is selective and competitive. Admission to the athletic training major is initiated by rotational observations within a specialized mentorship program. Following successful completion of enrollment in required introductory courses (ATN 110, ATN 250, BIO 220 and HLT 310) and mentorship observational hours, students may submit an application to the clinical education coordinator, with student applications subsequently reviewed by the Athletic Training Review Committee (ATRC). Students who are not approved for admission to the major after their first year may reapply the following year. Once admission in the major is approved, students must annually meet the requirements for academic progression or risk delaying their progress in the major. More information on the retention and the appeal process in the athletic training major can be found in the DWU Athletic Training Student Handbook. A criminal background check may be required for this major.

For all additional costs to athletic training students, see the appropriate section of the DWU Athletic Training Student Handbook or www.dwu.edu/admissions/tuition.htm.

Admission to the athletic training major is contingent upon the student satisfactorily completing these prerequisites:

  • written application;
  • two rotations of directed observation in athletic training through the student mentor experience, including two observational evaluations submitted to the clinical education coordinator;
  • completion of one year of full-time enrollment at Dakota Wesleyan University (transfer students will be considered on an individual basis);
  • minimum of a 2.3 cumulative GPA;
  • minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the athletic training major, to include all athletic training prerequisite courses and all athletic training required General Education courses, which includes PSY 237 and CHM 164;
  • successful completion of or enrollment in ATN 110, ATN 250, BIO 220 and HLT 310 with a minimum grade of C in each course;
  • two letters of recommendation (excluding members of the ATRC); and
  • demonstration of appropriate clinical conduct and performance, to include:
    • productive and reliable work habits;
    • ability to work in harmony with athletes, coaches, peers and certified faculty members;
    • self-motivation and the commitment to execute tasks and responsibilities as assigned and directed;
    • professional grooming, dress and appearance;
    • punctuality;
    • patience;
    • willingness to assist others in the completion of tasks and responsibilities; and
    • efficient and productive use of time.

The limited-enrollment program is not to exceed 32 students. Approximately eight to 10 new students are accepted into the program annually.

Following the completion of the prerequisites, prospective candidates participate in an interview process. The ATRC interview, led by the athletic training program director, is considered the final step toward application into the major. These interviews are scheduled for midway through the second semester of the student’s first academic year at DWU. The ATRC is comprised of the DWU classroom and clinical instructors, a minimum of two students currently enrolled in the athletic training program, team physicians, the medical director and approved clinical instructors. In the event one of the committee members is unable to participate, the athletic training program director will select an alternate.

The ATRC is responsible for determining admission to and/or dismissal from the athletic training program. Specifically, the ATRC is responsible for reviewing student applications, student mentor program evaluations, clinical instructor mentor program evaluations, transcripts, letters of recommendation and any other materials pertinent to the evaluation of candidates.

Following the ATRC interview, the committee will send the students written notification of their acceptance or denial. Students accepted into the athletic training major have 14 days to accept or deny their admission. Students accepting their admission into the athletic training major are officially admitted effective the first day of the subsequent academic semester. Students who are not accepted into the athletic training major will be advised to discontinue enrollment in athletic training coursework in subsequent semesters, and will not be permitted to work in the university’s athletic training facilities or affiliated settings, with the exception of the mentor program.

Students may receive conditional acceptance into the athletic training major at the discretion of the athletic training program director. If at the conclusion of the conditional semester the student has not satisfactorily accomplished all entrance requirements for the athletic training major, the student will be dismissed from the program. In addition, students on conditional acceptance may be subject to specific clinical and/or academic requirements and limitations during the conditional semester.

Students not accepted into the athletic training major may continue to make application on an annual basis, following the outlined process.

Immunizations are required and are the responsibility of each athletic training student accepted into the athletic training major. Immunizations, including Hepatitis B, are required before working in the university’s athletic training facilities or affiliated settings.

DWU work-study students receive the Hepatitis B vaccination at no cost.

Proof of athletic training student liability insurance is required before working in the university’s athletic training facilities or affiliated settings and is the responsibility of each student accepted into the major.

Technical Standards
The athletic training education program at Dakota Wesleyan University represents a rigorous and intense curriculum that places specific requirements and demands on each enrolled student. The objective of the program is to prepare graduates for entry into a variety of settings that present opportunities to render care to a wide spectrum of physically active populations. The technical standards set forth by the athletic training education program outline the essential qualities deemed necessary for enrolled students to achieve the knowledge, skills and required competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, while also fulfilling the expectations of CAATE. All students admitted to the athletic training education program are required to meet the technical standards as outlined. In the event a student is unable to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be admitted to the program.

Compliance with the program’s technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the BOC certification exam.

Candidates for the athletic training education program must demonstrate:

  • the mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize and integrate concepts and problem solve in order to formulate assessment and make therapeutic judgments, while being able to distinguish deviations from the norm;
  • sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques, as well as for the purpose of accurate, safe and efficient use of equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients;
  • the ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with patients and colleagues by establishing rapport with patients and communicating treatment and judgment information effectively to individuals from differing social and cultural backgrounds;
  • students must be able to speak English at a level consistent with competent professional practice;
  • the ability to record physical examination results and treatment plans clearly and accurately;
  • the perseverance, diligence and commitment to successfully complete the athletic training education program as outlined and sequenced;
  • flexibility and the ability to adjust to uncertainties and changing situations in clinical situations; and
  • effective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.

Candidates for the athletic training education program must verify they understand and meet the technical standards, or that with specific accommodations they believe they can meet the required technical standards. Dakota Wesleyan University will evaluate a student who states he/she could meet the athletic training education program’s technical standards with accommodation and confirm that the stated condition qualifies as a disability under applicable laws. In addition, if a student states he/she can meet the technical standards with accommodation, then the university will determine whether it agrees that the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodation. Such determination will include a review as to whether the accommodations requested are reasonable, and taking into account whether such accommodations would jeopardize clinician/patient safety or the educational process of the student or the institution, including all coursework, clinical experiences and internships deemed essential to fulfill graduation requirements.

General Skills
Students within the athletic training major typically develop these skills through their prerequisite requirements:

  • effective communication skills;
  • basic quantitative and technology abilities;
  • background in history, social science and natural science; and
  • knowledge and skills in technology.

Specific Skills
Specific skills necessary for certification by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Education Council are included within the following educational domains.  These domains form the foundation of the athletic training education program:

  • risk management and injury prevention;
  • pathology of injuries and illnesses;
  • orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis;
  • acute care of injuries and illnesses;
  • medical conditions and disabilities;
  • pharmacology;
  • nutritional aspects of injury and illness;
  • conditioning and rehabilitative exercise;
  • therapeutic modalities;
  • healthcare administration;
  • professional development and responsibilities; and
  • psychosocial intervention and referral.

Additional Experiences
To enhance their marketability, students should:

  • participate in and/or take leadership roles in extracurricular activities;
  • take electives relating to their career goals (e.g., biology) or minor in a supporting area;
  • arrange for an internship related to the field;
  • design professional experiences for credit through independent study courses;
  • assist in athletic training coverage for summer sport camp experiences; and
  • attend professional conferences, workshops and/or conventions.

Related Fields/Graduate Study
A large number of Certified Athletic Trainers possess a master’s degree. Many colleges and universities offer graduate assistantships to allow students to complete an advanced degree while gaining additional experience in the field of athletic training. Related fields, including physical therapy and medicine, require specific coursework in addition to the entry-level athletic training program requirements.

Major
Students must earn at least a C in all athletic training courses.  A 2.3 cumulative GPA and a 2.5 GPA in the athletic training major (including all athletic training prerequisite courses) are required for application to the athletic training education program.  A 2.6 major GPA is required by the beginning of the junior year, and a 2.75 major GPA is required by the beginning of the last semester to continue enrollment in the athletic training major.

Athletic Training Core

ATN 110 Introduction to Athletic Training
3
ATN 255 Evaluation and Prescription of Health and Fitness Programs
1
ATN 305 Human Nutrition
3
ATN 320 Pathology and Evaluation of Injury I
3
ATN 330 Pathology and Evaluation of Injury II
3
ATN 335 Therapeutic Modalities
3
ANT 355 Research Methods in Health and Sciences II
1
ATN 390 Therapeutic Modalities
3
ATN 395 Therapeutic Exercise
3
ATN 397 Medical Aspects and Pharmacologic Interventions I
3
ATN 398 Medical Aspects and Pharmacologic Interventions II
2
ATN 455 Research and Administration in Athletic Training
2
HLT 310 Advanced Emergency Skills for Professionals
2
SPX 240 Methods of Free Weights and Conditioning
3
Total
35

Scientific Core

BIO 220 Anatomy and Physiology I
4
BIO 330 Anatomy and Physiology II
4
MTH 200 Statistical Methods I
3
MTH 350 Statistical Methods II
3
PSY 443 Abnormal Psychology
3
SPX 315 Kinesiology
3
SPX 410 Physiology of Exercise
3
Total
23

Clinical Experiences

ATN 250 Clinical Applications in Athletic Training I

2

ATN 251 Practicum in Athletic Training I

1

ATN 252 Practicum in Athletic Training II

1

ATN 351 Practicum in Athletic Training III

1

ATN 352 Practicum in Athletic Training IV

1

ATN 451 Practicum in Athletic Training V

1

ATN 452 Practicum in Athletic Training VI
1
Total

8

Minor
Allied Health
For some students, allied health is a compliment to the athletic training major.  Please refer to “Biological Sciences” for additional information.

Course Descriptions
110 Introduction to Athletic Training 3 hours F
This introductory survey course in the discipline of athletic training includes coursework in the basic components of a comprehensive injury prevention program, common risk factors, the body?s response to injury, elements of an emergency care plan, and fundamental aspects of athletic injury recognition and treatment. Two lectures, one laboratory.

250 Clinical Applications in Athletic Training I 2 hours S
This course is focused on three objectives: the construction and application of special protective devices; the application of tape as a means of support and stabilization; and the palpable anatomy relevant to injury evaluation.

251 Practicum in Athletic Training I 1 hour F
This course focuses on the supervised clinical experiences associated with established procedures regarding the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. In addition, this course deals specifically with issues related to the protocols of HOPS, HIPS and SOAP.

252 Practicum in Athletic Training II 1 hour S
This course focuses on the supervised clinical experiences associated with established procedures regarding the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, with specific emphasis on the management and evaluation of lower extremity injuries.

255 Research Methods in Health and Sciences I  1 hour S
This is a first in a series of courses that are intended to introduce concepts, theories and utilization for consumption and practice of research in scientific and clinical practices.  This course introduces conceptual frameworks and theories of clinical research and evidence-based practice.  It will also explore concepts of basic statistical analysis and utilization of research as evidence. 

299 Selected Topics 1-3 hours TBA

305 Evaluation and Prescription of Health and Fitness Programs 3 hours F
This course is designed to provide the student with basic knowledge in health and fitness assessment. Areas of study include population characteristics, common fitness evaluation tools, test design, criteria for test termination and documentation of results.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

320 Human Nutrition 3 hours F
This course is a comprehensive investigation concerning the basics of nutrition, common eating disorders, methods of weight control and special needs of athletes, including an examination of the common techniques of body composition analysis.

330 Pathology and Evaluation of Injury I 3 hours S
This course is a comprehensive study of the commonly accepted techniques used to clinically evaluate athletic injuries and illness for the purpose of determining the type and severity as well as the prescription of appropriate treatment and/or referral. Students will investigate typical symptoms and common clinical signs associated with athletic injuries and illnesses, including common contributing etiological factors. This course focuses primarily on the upper body.
Prerequisite: BIO 220.

335 Pathology and Evaluation of Injury II 3 hours F
This course is a comprehensive study of the commonly accepted techniques used to clinically evaluate athletic injuries and illnesses for the purpose of determining the type and severity as well as the prescription of appropriate treatment and/or referral. Students will investigate typical symptoms and common clinical signs associated with athletic injuries and illnesses, including common contributing etiological factors. This course focuses primarily on the lower body.
Prerequisite: BIO 220.

351 Practicum in Athletic Training III 1 hour F
This course focuses on the supervised clinical experiences associated with established procedures for the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, with specific emphasis applied to upper extremity injuries, pharmacology and skin disorders.

352 Practicum in Athletic Training IV 1 hour S
This course focuses on the supervised clinical experiences associated with established procedures for the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, with specific emphasis on the application of therapeutic modalities.

355 Research Methods in Health and Sciences II 1 hour F
This is the second in a series of courses that are intended to introduce concepts, theories and utilization for consumption and practice of research in scientific and clinical practices.  This course will familiarize students with research methodologies and analysis techniques.  This includes gathering data and compiling a review of literature in order to support the development of a research project. 
Prerequisites: ATN 255. Corequisite: MTH 200 or equivalent.

390 Therapeutic Modalities 3 hours F
This course involves a comprehensive study of the physical principles, physiological effects, indications, contraindications, safety precautions and standard operating procedures of the therapeutic modalities commonly used in the treatment of athletic injuries. It also includes current pain control theories, the body’s personal response to trauma and inactivity, as well as the role and function of various pharmacological agents used in the field of sports medicine.
Prerequisites: ATN 330 and ATN 335.

395 Therapeutic Exercise 3 hours S
This course examines the components of a comprehensive rehabilitation and reconditioning program. Subjects to be covered include determining therapeutic goals and objectives, selecting therapeutic modalities, and developing criteria for progression of therapy and return to competition.
Prerequisite: ATN 390.

397 Medical Aspects and Pharmacologic Interventions I 3 hours TBA
This is the first of two courses intended to introduce students to various health-related issues and associated pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions.  This course is taught in a system-based approach.  Systems to be covered in the sequence of courses will include: respiratory, cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal, genitourinary, gynecological, ear/nose/throat, neurological, dermatological, immune, musculoskeletal, and reproductive.  Guest speakers will assist the instructor by presenting enhancing topics in addition to regular class meetings.

398 Medical Aspects and Pharmacologic Interventions II 2 hours TBA
This is the second of two courses intended to introduce students to various health-related issues and associated pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions.  This course is taught in a system-based approach.  Systems to be covered in the sequence of courses will include: respiratory, cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal, genitourinary, gynecological, ear/nose/throat/, neurological, dermatological, immune, musculoskeletal, and reproductive.  Guest speakers will assist the instructor by presenting enhancing topics in addition to regular class meetings.

399 Selected Topics 1-3 hours TBA

450 Internship in Athletic Training 1-12 hours TBA
The purpose of this course is to develop the student’s knowledge, awareness and appreciation for work site requirements, structure and operating procedures in an approved setting of the student's choice.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

451 Practicum in Athletic Training V 1 hour F
This course focuses on the supervised clinical experiences associated with established procedures for the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, and provides a comprehensive review of the requisite clinical skills of an athletic trainer.

452 Practicum in Athletic Training VI 1 hour S
This course focuses on the supervised clinical experiences associated with procedures developed for the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. This course specifically addresses the mastery of the entry-level nonorthopedic skills needed for senior-level athletic training students. This course will also serve as a study preparation course for the BOC exam.

455 Research and Administration in Athletic Training 2 hours F
This course is designed to familiarize students with the various administrative and management responsibilities of athletic training. The course primarily focuses on the management dynamics of athletic training facilities, including personnel, students, facility design, purchasing and budgeting of financial resources.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

460 Independent Study in Athletic Training 1-3 hours TBA
This course requires individualized research, specialized study or other scholarly writing in the field of athletic training.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

499 Selected Topics 1-3 hours TBA

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