The Department of Nursing at Thomas More College is proud to offer a dual B.S. /M.S. degree in Athletic Training. This 161-credit degree program, offered by the ATP, prepares students to take the Board of Certification (BOC) exam to enter the field as a certified athletic trainer (ATC). As a new program at Thomas More College, the ATP is in the final phase of pursuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The purpose of CAATE is to maintain the quality of entry-level ATPs.
The comprehensive curriculum is divided into two phases: a two-year, Pre-Professional Phase and a three-year, Professional Phase. The expanded, three-year, Professional Phase offers students the chance to take more advanced courses, the advantage of increased time to interact and train with mentors, and the opportunity to integrate a variety of clinical experiences. The BS/MS in Athletic Training dual degree program is intended for entering freshmen, transfer students or students who change majors early in their undergraduate education. The first two years of this program are classified as the "pre-professional" phase. Each student will complete the program prerequisites and bachelor's degree requirements for a major in Athletic Training. The "professional" phase of the program will begin in the fall semester of the student's third year, while the graduate courses will begin in the fall semester of the students fourth year. At the end of the student's fourth year, he or she will receive a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. At the end of the fifth year, each student will earn a Master of Science in Athletic Training degree and be eligible for the Board of Certification exam.
Hallmarks of the ATP will include field-based learning experiences with opportunities for students to work side-by-side with highly experienced certified athletic trainers; state-of-the-art laboratory facilities that allow students to gain significant experience in all areas of clinical practice; individualized instruction provided by advanced teaching fellows; and a mentorship program that promotes further sharing of knowledge and experience.
The ATP will also offer students the opportunity to learn new skill sets within the field of Athletic Training. As the role of Athletic Trainers continue to evolve so too will the competencies that athletic training students learn. At Thomas More College, the ATP recognizes this evolution and will implement courses to broaden the skill set of the students within the program. Athletic Training students at Thomas More College will have the opportunity to learn casting, imaging, and a variety of other skills that will improve their opportunity to find employment as a Physician Extender. The role of an ATC as a Physician Extender is an up and coming field within Athletic Training and Orthopedic Physician offices.
Through an innovative interdisciplinary education and clinical practice model, the Athletic Training program at Thomas More College prepares students to provide evidence-based and patient-centered clinical services that will optimize the quality of health care received by physically active people of any age. The Athletic Training program utilizes state of the art technology and modern teaching strategies. It provides unique clinical experiences to cultivate professionals who embody sound clinical reasoning, professional ethics, honesty, compassion, primacy of the patient, and who are advocates for the profession of athletic training.
Goals & Objectives
- Demonstrate professional behaviors, clinical skills, critical thinking and decision-making, capabilities that allow for the effective implementation of health care within the scope of practice for an athletic trainer
- Use effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills in working with physically active individuals and sports medicine team personnel from a variety of populations in providing athletic training care.
- Demonstrate appropriate cognitive knowledge that allows for effective implementation of athletic training care. This cognitive knowledge includes acute care of injury and illness, assessment and evaluation of injuries, therapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercise, medical documentation and general medical conditions.
- Students will develop critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills, engage in scholarly inquiry and practice as evidence-based clinicians through their academic years and prepare them to enter the profession.