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Health Sciences

Clinical Education

Athletic Training Program Clinical Education


“Students must gain clinical education experiences that address the continuum of care that would prepare a student to function in a variety of settings with patients engaged in a range of activities.  The variety of patient populations, care providers and health care settings used for clinical education must be consistent with the program’s Goals and Objectives.

Examples include:  Individual and team sports, Sports requiring protective equipment, patients of different sexes, non-sport patient populations (out-patient, emergency room, industry, performing arts and military) and other conditions other than orthopedics (primary care, internal medicine). 

Clinical education must provide students with authentic, real time opportunities to practice and integrate athletic training knowledge, skills and clinical abilities.” (CAATE Standards for Professional Programs) 


Direct Supervision

The athletic training curriculum must include provision for clinical experiences under the direct supervision of a qualified preceptor in an appropriate clinical setting.  These experiences 

  1. The preceptor must be physically present and have the ability to intervene on behalf of the athletic training student to provide on-going and consistent education and/or patient.
  2. The preceptor must consistently and physically interact with the athletic training student at the site of the clinical experience.
  3. There must be planned regular communication between the preceptor and clinical coordinator for the program.

Clinical Education Plan

The clinical education must follow a logical progression that allows for increasing amounts of clinically supervised responsibility leading to autonomous practice upon graduation.  The plan must reinforce the sequence of formal instruction of athletic training knowledge, skills and clinical abilities including clinical decision-making.   

Athletic training students will be informed of their clinical assignments as well as their preceptor prior to the start of each new semester.  It is the ATS’s responsibility to meet with their preceptor prior to the start of the experience to review the roles and expectations of that rotation.  All experiences will be a part of the formal evaluation process for the CAATE accredited Athletic Training program.