What Is Athletic Training?

Athletic training is practiced by athletic trainers, health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities.

Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. 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.

Athletic training is not the same profession as personal training. And certified athletic trainers work with more than just athletes – they can be found just about anywhere that people are physically active.

– National Athletic Trainers’ Association

Program Description

Barton College’s Athletic Training Program (ATP), accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), is an undergraduate entry-level professional program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training. The ATP is dedicated to providing a quality education to enrolled students and offers a diverse and cooperative didactic and applied clinical education environment, with a faculty and staff that collaboratively offer a multitude of supervised opportunities for service and direct problem-based learning, coupled with professional research and interaction.

Diversity in ATP encompasses inclusion, acceptance, respect, and empowerment. This means understanding that each individual is unique and that our commonalities and differences make the contributions we have to offer all the more valuable. Diversity includes the dimensions of race, ethnicity, and national and regional origins; sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation; socioeconomic status, age, physical attributes, and abilities; as well as religious, political, cultural, and intellectual ideologies and practices.

Supervised clinical education is based in the College’s intercollegiate Athletics Department and is affiliated with several off-campus clinical education sites. Both the didactic and clinical education component are made available to every athletic training student with a commitment to an academic program that will prepare the student for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination and pursuit of a professional career as an entry-level certified athletic trainer.

The Barton College Athletic Training Program is a rigorous and intensive educational program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled. The main objective of this program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals engaged in physical activity. The technical standards, student code, and ATP student policies and procedure manual, set forth by the ATP, establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the requirements of the program’s accrediting agency.


The mission of the Barton College Athletic Training Program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become competent allied health professionals with the ability to critically think and apply skills necessary to prevent, recognize, evaluate, clinically diagnosis, and provide care, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation for diverse athletic injuries and medical conditions, as well as including administrative skills related to these areas. The ATP emphasizes interdisciplinary/cross-curriculum opportunities to collaborate with professionals on campus and throughout the community. These opportunities speak to the liberal arts education and provide students with the ability to receive diverse perspectives in conjunction with personalized engaged learning through clinical and classroom/laboratory didactic instruction and the development of foundational behaviors of professional practice in a variety of settings that assist students in their evolution as advocates for competent health care.

Program Goals

  • To provide a rigorous and intense educational program that ensures athletic training students are properly trained and knowledgeable to function in a variety of settings and provide a continuum of care for a diverse population of patients engaged in a range of activities with varying conditions.
  • To prepare students to successfully integrate evidence-based practice in their ability to critically think and apply clinical skills and decision making in their roles as healthcare providers promoting health and injury/illness prevention and providing therapeutic care, intervention, and referral as necessitated while respecting the cultural diversity of patients in order to maximize patient outcomes.
  • To support students in their professional development and promote responsibility in line with institutional, state, and national regulatory standards while modeling professional conduct and behavior as allied healthcare professionals and administrators.
  • To support students in their coursework and clinical education in order to successfully meet the graduation requirements of the Barton College ATP and receive endorsement for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination in order to pursue a professional career as a competent practitioner in the field of athletic training or to pursue further graduate-level studies while effectively demonstrating interdisciplinary collaboration and contributing to the positive evolution of athletic training as allied health professionals.

Faculty, Staff, and Programmatic Outcomes

  • The Athletic Training Program faculty and staff will use the most current athletic training knowledge, skills, and abilities to prepare qualified, competent, and proficient health care professionals in the practice domains of athletic training to enter the workforce and/or continue on to post-professional graduate studies.
  • The Athletic Training Program will ensure quality clinical education experiences that allow students to interact with and appreciate the role of certified athletic trainers and other professionals including recognized medical and healthcare personnel.
  • The Athletic Training Program will create and employ opportunities for didactic and applied skill acquisition, critical thinking, and written and oral communication under the supervision of qualified faculty, preceptors, and recognized medical healthcare personnel serving the academic program.
  • The Athletic Training Program will ensure quality didactic and clinical education experiences that allow students to appreciate the role of an athletic trainer in a variety of settings addressing the continuum of care for a variety of patient populations.
  • The Athletic Training Program will promote professionalism, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the importance of ethical practice.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will utilize methods of evidence-based practice to plan, implement, document, and evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic interventions for the continuum of care in the recognition, treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning of injuries and illnesses for safe performance and function.
  • Students will utilize evidence-based methodology to implement critical thinking and reasoning to formulate a clinical impression for an acute or ongoing injury and/or illness and determine a course of action to provide the best patient care and outcomes.
  • Students will understand and promote professional responsibilities and avenues of professional development to support athletic training as an allied health profession through professional and community involvement.
  • Students will develop ethical decision-making skills while modeling professional conduct and behavior in line with institutional and regulatory agency standards and documents.
  • Students will value lifelong learning as a critical element for personal growth and demonstrate interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing the continuum of care to clients/patients while reinforcing positive representation and support of athletic training as an allied health profession.


Assessment Measures 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 3-YR Aggregate
Number of students graduating from program 3 4 2 4 2 8
Number of students graduating from program who took examination 3 4 2 5 1 8
Number of students who passed the examination on the first attempt 2 3 1 5 1 7
Percentage of students who passed the examination on the first attempt 67% 75% 50% 100% 100% 88%
Number of students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts 3 3 2 5 1 8
Percentage of students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts 100% 75% 100% 100% 100% 100%