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Athletic Training FAQs

The faculty and staff of the WCU ATEP combine didactic expertise with years of practical clinical experience to offer students an outstanding professional education.

Students have the unique opportunity to interact with the faculty and clinical instructors in the classroom, in the laboratory, and during clinical education experiences. This allows the athletic training student to apply his/her classroom knowledge to a living laboratory.

Professors include: Certified Athletic Trainers, physical therapists, physicians, biomechanists, anatomists, paramedics, registered dietitians, strength & conditioning specialists and physiologists, to name a few.

Courses are taught by faculty within the ATEP, the School of Health Sciences, and the College of Health and Human Sciences. Guest speakers include physicians and allied health professionals from a wide variety of practice areas.

Most of our graduates opt for a master’s degree in a field directly related to athletic training. The vast majority of students (more than 95%) who pursue graduate degrees do so as graduate assistants, receiving tuition waivers and stipends to assist with this continued education. Other students enter the workforce immediately and find employment in secondary schools, sports medicine clinics, physician offices, industrial medicine and collegiate settings. For more information, read about career opportunities in athletic training.

For a complete course listing, including required course progression through the program, visit the catalog listing for the Athletic Training degree.

Classes within the Athletic Training Program typically have enrollments of 16-20 students. This allows for individualized interaction with the professor and the ability to participate in hands-on and problem solving activities. Accessibility to athletic training faculty is outstanding and the professional relationships forged between students and faculty/mentors in the ATEP are unlike any found across campus.

Athletic training students gather their professional experiences in a variety of settings. These clinical education experiences include secondary schools, colleges, universities, rehabilitation clinics, student health services, hospitals and physician offices. The opportunities to interact with a variety of physically active individuals are abundant at WCU.

Transfers are welcome in the WCU ATEP. However, transfer students must meet the same admission standards as other athletic training students, including completing all pre-requisite courses and clinical education requirements at WCU or one of its affiliated clinical sites.

Transfer students typically require a minimum of 6 semesters to complete the Athletic Training Program. Transfer students wishing to complete the program in 6 semesters are required to complete ATTR 150, Introduction to Athletic Training, the summer prior to matriculation to WCU. Typically, Athletic training coursework (courses within the major) and clinical education experiences cannot be transferred toward the requirements for graduation.

Students considering transferring are encouraged to contact the program director immediately to discuss the program and their individualized progression in detail.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) has a website which provides essential information regarding the athletic training profession and Athletic Training Programs.

It is extremely difficult to be a student-athlete and an athletic training student due to the time commitment and overlapping nature of the two activities. In some cases, (exceptional) students can complete both programs. Success will require a major commitment on the part of all involved parties including student, coach and faculty. Only the most dedicated and academically sound students will successfully complete both programs.

Interested students are encouraged to pursue both athletics and athletic training as freshmen prior to making a decision. The ability to complete both activities may also be determined by the sport the student participates in and the length of the athletic season.

Finally, athletic training students who compete in athletics for WCU must realize that their professional education will most likely be extended by one semester to one year as a result of this athletic participation. Decisions made regarding sports participation are done on an individualized basis.

Students considering athletic participation are encouraged to contact the program director immediately to discuss the program and their individualized progression in detail.

Working and completing the WCU ATEP is similar to competing in athletics while completing the program. Students are discouraged from seeking outside employment after their freshman year due to the extensive time commitment of the program. Students who do choose to work must complete all athletic training assignments and duties completely and in a timely fashion. Part-time or full-time work during holidays and summers is an excellent source of income for athletic training students. Some students find on-campus employment with flexible scheduling which allows them to complete all the requirements of the Athletic Training Program while earning some extra spending money. Other sources of funding are available in terms of athletic training costs and financial aid.

No, there is no minor in athletic training. However, “Introduction to Athletic Training” is open to all students as an elective course.

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