The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) has mandated all undergraduate Bachelor degree Athletic Training Programs submit for transition to a Master’s degree or drop programs by the year 2026. After 2026, the Athletic Training major will no longer be offered as an undergraduate program (Bachelor’s), only as a graduate program degree (Master’s) for all institutions across the country who complete the transition process. Fall 2022 will be the last student cohort (Class of 2026) for any undergraduate program still offering a Bachelor’s degree for Athletic Training.
The WLU Athletic Training Program is currently transitioning to a Master’s degree program that will start Fall Semester 2022. The current undergraduate athletic training program will close in May 2022, after the final cohort with the BSAT graduates. A bachelor’s degree in AT will no longer be available at WLU after May 2022, only a Master’s degree, starting Fall 2022.
The current undergraduate program in AT is on probation for Standard 11, the Board of Certification Exam 3-year aggregate pass rate (70% or above). Due to the transition to the master’s degree, the small cohort sizes of the bachelor’s degree program, and the teach-out of the undergraduate program, the accreditation status is listed as “probation” and “voluntary withdrawal”, completing a “teach-out” of the undergraduate program. This does not affect the current undergraduate students finishing the program in May 2022, or the incoming graduate students for Fall 2022. The MSAT degree will seek new CAATE accreditation at the graduate level after the first year of the graduate program, submitting a self-study by June 2023, which is typical of all new athletic training education programs.
There are many job opportunities and settings available upon graduation such as the following: high schools, clinics, many health care settings, graduate schools, colleges, fine arts, armed forces, professional teams, and orthopedic physician offices. Certified athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who specialize in preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activity. As part of a complete healthcare team, the certified athletic trainer works under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care professionals, athletics administrators, coaches and parents.
Prospective students (as of April 2020) can enroll in the Exercise Physiology Pre-Athletic Training Concentration and be eligible for the 3+2 program for the Masters of Athletic Training Degree. Please click here for more information on the course sequence for Exercise Physiology for 2021-2022.
A two-year graduate program is also offered for individuals who have graduated with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited institution and meet all prerequisite course requirements.
The 3+2 option is for current West Liberty Students majoring in the Exercise Physiology Pre-Athletic Training concentration, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 5 years (pending meeting grade/GPA requirements and prerequisites for the MSAT program). Coursework for the Exercise Physiology program is completed in 3 years, with the 4th year coursework at the graduate level in the MSAT. At the completion of the 4th year, WLU students will gain their Bachelor’s in Science degree. For the 5th and final year, students will complete the final coursework in the MSAT program. Upon completion of the 5th year and program requirements, the student will receive a Master in Science degree in Athletic Training.
Yes, after the 4th year (3 years Exercise Physiology, 1 year MSAT coursework), the student can walk at graduation to receive their Bachelor’s of Science degree. The student can then walk at graduation in the 5th year to receive their Master’s of Science degree.
The 3+2 option for current WLU students and the 2-year option for those already having an undergraduate degree are accelerated programs. Participation in athletics is not prohibited, but time management and meeting the requirements of grades, GPA, and prerequisites for the MSAT will be a challenging endeavor for the student-athlete. Internships and clinical rotations on and off campus will be part of both the undergraduate Exercise Physiology degree and the MSAT program. Those students who have a 5th year of athletic eligibility as they embark on the initial coursework of the MSAT program will be discussed on an individual basis with an academic advisor.
Yes. Students will have opportunities for recertification, if necessary, during the two-year master’s degree. The cost of recertification will be the responsibility of the graduate student.
During the final semester of the MSAT, three courses will be online while the fourth course, Clinical Immersion, will be the graduate student’s athletic training full immersive clinical experience for 4, 8, or 12-15 week rotations.
Students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and earn nothing lower than a “B” in all AT graduate courses while in-program.
Students are required by the CAATE to receive clinical experiences in a variety of settings. The WLU AT program has clinical sites on-campus with athletics and off-campus at high schools, colleges, sports medicine clinics, hospitals, and professional sports, with more clinical sites to be added in the future.