WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., March 18, 2016 — West Liberty University’s Athletic Training Program received full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) recently. The accreditation is for five years, which is the longest approval awarded to new programs.
“We are pleased to announce that our athletic training program is fully sanctioned now by the national accrediting body. I congratulate the director Dr. David Hanna, his faculty and staff, for the work that went into this process. Our students can be assured that the training and education they receive at West Liberty University will prepare them well for their futures,” said Dr. Stephen Greiner, university president.
“I am very fortunate to be able to be part of this accomplishment at my alma mater,” said Director Dr. David Hanna, who also is an alumnus. “I have many great memories of WLU as a child, student and now employee.”
Hanna’s father, William Hanna, is a former English professor at the university.
Hanna spent four years developing the curriculum prior to the CAATE winter 2016 visit. WLU met all 109 standards required by CAATE.
“This is a long, rigorous process, and we want to pay special thanks to each and every employee involved in the accreditation from housing, maintenance, food services, administration and the entire Hilltopper family. This was a team effort,” Hanna added.
WLU joins eight other accredited programs in the state and roughly 360 nationwide.
“We are especially grateful to Dr. Rhonda Noble for her passion and support,” Hanna said. Noble is the chair of the Department of Health and Human Performance. She was responsible for a two-year long effort and initial proposal for the new major that resulted in approval by the Higher Learning Policy Commission in 2012.
“We are very lucky to have Dr. Hanna. He built this program into what it is today. Meeting all 109 standards with no citations demonstrates his hard work, dedication, and leadership. I want to also thank Hannah Harnar, Jerry Duncan and Herb Minch for all of their invaluable contributions,” Noble said.
Just one of the degree offerings of the Department of Health and Human Performance in the College of Education at West Liberty University, students earn a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training degree at completion of the program.
The program will begin moving toward a master’s degree format in the near future, according to Hanna, who went on to explain that the CAATE requires that every program be a master’s by the year 2026.
Graduates of the AT program are well equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in graduate school and are ready to take the national certification exam. Most of the current students are applying to graduate programs in athletic training, physical therapy or another health care field.
Some of the professional fields where athletic trainers work include: high school or college level athletic trainers, sports medicine clinics professional team sports. Athletic trainers also find employment in the armed forces, sales and business world, dance and theater professions, and in physician offices.
“It is wonderful to have this full accreditation from the CAATE. It offers many advantages for our students and increases the value of their degree. We look forward to a strong future for the Athletic Training Department as it moves toward the next step of transforming into a master’s program,” said Dr. Keely Camden, Dean of the College of Education.
For more information, please visit westliberty.edu/education or call 1.866.WESTLIB.