Who wants to be an Athletic Trainer or Physical Therapist someday?
Athletes getting treatment during the day in the training room!
First off, the athletic training program at Urbana University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, or what we call CAATE. So what does this mean? Accredited programs allow students to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) test upon graduation from the program. Our classes are pretty small… my class only has a total of 6 people in it. We like to call ourselves “little families” because we literally end up doing EVERYTHING together! We are able to have a good time even though we are all so busy with our major. We have group activities and workshops that we participate in that help us to learn but still have a fun at the same time. We have our SATA group (Student Athletic Trainers Association) that meets every other week. Right now we are planning out our banner for Homecoming week, and things are looking pretty cool! We all try and plan activities that we can do outside of school that sort of give us a “break” from our classes and hours that we have each day.
We love the opportunity to have so much hands on experience!
Now back to the learning stuff… haha! During each semester in the athletic training program students must complete clinical hours in which we shadow athletic trainers either here at UU, at other universities, or at local high schools. We are required to complete 30 hours each semester freshman year, 150 hours each semester sophomore year, our junior, and senior years. Clinical field experience is connected to a series of practicum courses that you take each semester. These classes help you to create goals in the clinical area and to focus on mastering your skills. I LOVE being able to learn in this hands-on way! It feels good to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to real life with real athletes. It gives you a sneak peak into the real profession and what we will be doing after we graduate.
All of this seems a little time consuming and challenging, huh? But really it’s not. Even though our classes and clinical hours cover a lot of information and tend to create a cramped schedule, our professors and classmates make it fun to learn together and make it towards our main goal: TO BECOME CERTIFIED!!