Three years, countless interviews, a 400-page self-study and a whole heap of faith resulted in Northern Kentucky University’s Athletic Training Program becoming nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Educations (CAATE).
NKU is accompanied by only Murray State University and Eastern Kentucky University to offer the degree in Kentucky.
“Accreditation is everything,” said Trey Morgan, Athletic Training Program coordinator. “The school has to allot a budget, faculty and space to the program (to get it started) and have faith that it will become accredited.”
Without university accreditation, graduating students are ineligible to sit for the National Certification Exam and become certified athletic trainers.
The three-year process consisted of the accreditation staff interviewing the entire faculty, clinical staff and students in the program. All off-campus clinical sites as well as all on-site facilities also underwent inspections. Technology and resources, such as the Steely Library, were also assessed. All documentation is cumulated in a self-study.
NKU’s program received only one citation at the conclusion of the inspections. The national average for 2005 was eight. According to Morgan, The chair of the Site Visit Accreditation Committee commented that NKU had a “great program and beginnings of an excellent program.”
Now in full swing, the program has a record number of 15 applicants. Students must declare pre-athletic training until they apply to the program their third year of college.
Once in the five-semester program, students complete a clinical education experience each semester. These experiences take place “anywhere an athletic trainer may work,” Morgan said. This includes high school, college and professional sports teams, such as NKU, Thomas Moore, Cincinnati Bengals and Florence Freedom.
“I am excited to see what the program will evolve into over the next few years,” said Kevin Holder, athletic training major and president of NKU’s Athletic Training Club. “Each class of the athletic training program looks to help the younger class succeed which continues to raise the expectations of the program.”