The athletic training education program at Illinois State University earned continuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) in July, 2006. Through the accreditation process and because of the efforts of those involved, this athletic training education program boasts outstanding faculty and staff, excellent facilities, thoroughly developed classroom and laboratory components, and well-developed clinical rotations and internship opportunities.
The ATEP faculty and staff are committed to ensuring the student has the opportunity for a thorough education both in the classroom and in the laboratory that is further enriched by quality instruction and evaluation with a variety of clinical instructors. The coursework is designed to provide the student with adequate knowledge and skills to practice in clinical settings under the direct supervision of a certified athletic trainer. This bridges the gap between the classroom and the clinical, hands-on experience necessary to be successful as an athletic trainer. The program is designed to qualify the student to transition to an entry level athletic training position or graduate school.
The clinical rotation and internship settings for the students include intercollegiate athletics, high schools, sports medicine and orthopedic clinics, and the opportunity for professional athletics. This series of rotations serves to prepare the student for many of the various possibilities for employment following the undergraduate course of study. There are over 30 Approved Clinical Instructors and a number of other clinical teaching experts and allied medical personnel who assist in the practical education of our students. The students are involved directly in the clinical setting from the time they are admitted to the program. This serves to ensure experiential learning in which the student learns the knowledge and skills in the classroom setting, practices in the practicum setting with faculty members, and applies the information in a structured format under the supervision of the clinical instructor. The program also emphasizes the principles of critical thinking and problem solving; further skills necessary for success as an athletic trainer.
Illinois State University is a member of the NCAA Division I-A (Missouri Valley Conference) in all sports with the exception of football which is I-AA. The institution fields 15 sports which provide the student ample opportunity to practice with athletes from men's teams, women's teams, contact sports, non-contact sports, and individual sports. Additional clinical instruction occurs in traditional athletic training settings including high schools, sports medicine clinics, physician offices, and small colleges. Students who are successfully admitted to the clinical portion of the academic program are assigned to an approved clinical instructor each semester who coordinates the student experience and evaluates the skills and abilities of the athletic training student. The clinical instructor is available to assist the student in appropriate decision making, problem solving, and with mastery of the athletic training proficiencies and competencies. Mutual feedback is regularly encouraged and formal evaluation takes place twice each semester.