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About The Athletic Training Program

The University of the Pacific's (Pacific) Athletic Training Program (AT Program) is an entry-level undergraduate program designed to prepare students for entry into the athletic training profession according to the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Individuals who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from a CAATE-accredited program and pass a national certification exam administered by the Board of Certification, INC (BOC). Pacific's AT Program earned initial accreditation in May 2003 and was granted continuing accreditation status in August 2008.  The AT program is fully accredited by the CAATE through the 2017 - 2018 academic year.  Students graduating from a CAATE accredited program are eligible to sit for the BOC examination. 

The AT Program is a four-year degree with two years of general education and pre-requisites courses, followed by two years of major courses and clinical education.  The clinical education portion of the program includes two years of didactic and clinical experiences.  Entry into the clinical education portion of the AT Program is a separate or secondary admissions process to that of the University's.  Applicants are to have completed specific prerequisites and at minimum 50 hours of clinical observation under the supervision of a Certified, Athletic Training in order to apply for the clinical education portion of the AT Program.  The educational courses that are offered once the student has been accepted to AT Program are offered in a traditional format on the Pacific's Stockton campus. 

Clinical experiences involve real life hands-on application of skills within a variety of settings. All students are required to complete a minimum of 800 clinical education hours over a two-year period under the direct supervision of a certified athletic trainer and/or other healthcare practitioners. All students will complete clinical rotations categorized by exposure to general medical experiences, varying levels of risk, a variety of team and individual sports, different populations including genders, and protective equipment. 

In addition to Pacific being the oldest chartered university in California that provides an excellent liberal arts education, the Pacific AT program provides the following unique qualities: 

Diverse Clinical Experiences
Students complete a minimum of six (6) clinical experiences while in the two-year AT Program. Each experience will provide exposure to different professional athletic training settings. One of the strengths of this program is that the clinical sites provide athletic training students exceptional experiences that will enhance their learning and prepare them beyond the classroom.  Due to the nature of the program students get an excellent hands-on experience because of the smaller size of the program.  Individuals will serve as athletic training students in high school, community college, university, professional, clinic, and medical office environments at various sites near the Pacific campus.

Professional Preparation
The Pacific AT Program is designed to prepare students not only for the BOC, Inc. certification exam but also for careers as highly skilled athletic trainers who possess the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the demands of this competitive profession. Once certified, students are qualified to work in secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports, sports medicine clinics, industrial/military settings, and hospital and physician office settings.

AT Profession
The Athletic Trainer (AT) is an allied healthcare professional educated and skilled in meeting the healthcare needs of individuals involved in physical activity. Athletic training is practiced by Athletic Trainers, health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients1. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities. In cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel, the Athletic Trainer functions as an integral member of the health care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, physical therapy clinics, professional sports programs, industrial and corporate settings, and other health care settings.

The five practice domains of Athletic Training are2:

•  Injury/Illness Prevention and Wellness Protection
•  Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
•  Immediate and Emergency Care
•  Treatment and Rehabilitation
•  Organizational and Professional Health and Well-being


1 National Athletic Trainers' Association, (2010a). Definition of Athletic Training.  Retrieved from http://www.nata.org/athletic-training
2 Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (2010b).  Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis, Sixth Edition Content Outline, retrieved November, 8, 2010; http://www.bocatc.org/images/stories/resources/rdpa6_content_outline.pdf