You've probably seen an athletic trainer at a sports complex or on the sidelines when you're cheering on your favorite team.
Athletic Trainers are Multi-Skilled Medical Professionals
But, did you realize that athletic trainers play a critical role in the prevention of injuries? And then when an injury does happen, it’s often the athletic trainer who responds first. Athletic trainers play an essential role on an integrated care team because they’re multi-skilled medical professionals. They must work together with other healthcare professionals to be certain that patients get the best possible care. Ultimately, the athletic trainer’s goal is for their patient to return to participating in physical activities.
Becoming an Athletic Trainer at Concordia University
Concordia University offers a robust Master of Science in Athletic Training program. Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The purpose of this program is to prepare graduates who are able to enter a variety of work settings and who can provide health care to diverse individuals who are engaged in physical activity. You can count on plenty of opportunities to interact with diverse patients in a variety of settings.
What is the curriculum like?
First of all, this program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Overall, when you finish this five-year program, you’ll receive a Bachelor in Science degree and a Masters in Athletic Training degree.
During the first two years, you’ll meet requirements from the common core and the prerequisites for entrance into the MSAT degree program. Next, during the final three years, you’ll take graduate athletic training classes and perform clinical education site requirements at sites. Some of these sites include our own campus, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, other local colleges and high schools and sports medicine clinics. You’ll have the summers off to work or do internships.
The five-year layout is cost-effective
The general layout of the program is the five-year plan, which can save you time and money.
Traditionally: In a two-year MSAT program, you’ll attend school and perform clinical experience for 24 straight months, paying graduate tuition for the entire time. This after already going to college and paying undergraduate tuition for four or five years.
At Concordia: You’ll gain two degrees in five years. Additionally, you’re only paying for three semesters of graduate tuition instead of four, plus two full summers of graduate tuition.
Learning by Doing
Beyond the flexibility, what sets the program apart is its hands-on experiences. The program utilizes the physician assistant cadaver lab for education. Also, you’ll be involved in virtual reality and augmented reality learning as you develop your skills.
You’ll complete your clinical education experiences in a variety of settings, with a variety of patients. For example, there are many intercollegiate teams such as football, ice hockey, and basketball on Concordia’s own campus.
In addition to on-campus opportunities, Concordia has strong relationships with local high schools and industry partners. This means that students could find themselves on-site at a local high school or a workplace setting.
What are the program outcomes?
- 100% of 2020 graduates work as Athletic Trainers
- 3-Year Average of Graduates working as Athletic Trainers is 83%
- Graduates who choose not to work after graduation have pursued medical school, chiropractic school, physical therapy degrees, or doctoral programs
- Many of our graduates are employed with local high schools, universities, hospital settings, and professional sports teams.
Athletic Training is a Rewarding Career
Program Director Dr. Timothy Neal states: “Athletic training is a growing field. Jobs are plentiful in athletic training all over the country in all areas of athletic training- professional sports, college and high school sports, clinics, industrial settings, and the military. The athletic trainer is a health care professional working to care for active people in all settings.”
Athletic trainers can work in a variety of settings.
While your mental picture of an athletic trainer may have involved an athletic complex, there are other opportunities outside of traditional sports. Concordia’s students have been placed in a variety of settings. More and more businesses see the need for athletic trainers in the workplace as well.
Why should students come to Concordia for their MSAT?
Dr. Neal shared what he loves about the Concordia experience: “Concordia University Ann Arbor besides being a mission-driven university, is a great institution that fosters inter-professional collaboration. This helps develop students into effective and successful athletic training professionals. Additionally, the MSAT faculty have over fifty-years’ experience at the Division I level in caring for athletes and provide their insights and experiences to the content to better prepare the CUAA MSAT student.”
In addition to a world-class faculty, the Athletic Training program collaborates within the university. They work closely with the School of Nursing in training the MSAT student on performing injections and starting IVs, and using their high-fidelity mannequins to enhance general medicine and emergency care skills. When it comes to local collaboration, Concordia is well-positioned in terms of geography.
“The collaboration with the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan in placing our students for clinical experience helps expose the student to Division I settings and be mentored by a variety of athletic trainers besides the CUAA athletic training staff,” Neal said.
The Concordia University Ann Arbor experience for the MSAT student is focused on preparing them to not only pass their Board of Certification exam on the first attempt, but also learn to provide holistic care to patients and athletes in an ethical way. Neal is proud of his graduates. “Our graduates are prepared to immediately enter the athletic training profession to make an impact and progress to success in the field,” he shares.
Are you wanting to learn more about Athletic Training at Concordia?
Because becoming an athletic trainer is a rigorous process, choosing the right program is a big deal.
If you’re ready to move forward in your journey to becoming an athletic trainer, you can request more information here.
Who knows? This could be your next step toward a life-changing experience.
— Vanessa Lane is the Content Marketing Lead at Concordia University and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. When she's not at work, she can be found playing with her kids or watching NBA basketball with her husband.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.