Degree Program

Mission Statement | Program Objectives | Program Overview
Criteria For Admission | Transfer Students

What is a Certified Athletic Trainer?
A certified athletic trainer (AT) is a highly educated and trained professional who specializes in the prevention, recognition, management, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. An AT works closely with physicians and other allied healthcare professionals in the total healthcare of the athlete. Certified athletic trainers are employed in secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports, sports medicine clinics, industrial settings and several other healthcare environments.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Athletic Training Education Program at Southwestern College is to develop competent entry level Athletic Trainers through a positive learning environment by providing opportunities to learn and master skills necessary to succeed in the profession of Athletic Training.

Program Objectives

  1. To maintain a CAATE (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited athletic training education program.
  2. To prepare students to pass the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification (BOC) national certification examination.
  3. To prepare students for their future as a Certified Athletic Trainer.
  4. To provide students a high quality learning environment that encourages critical thinking.
  5. To increase the number of students who graduate with a major in Athletic Training and seek employment in the field.
  6. To promote the profession of athletic training as a vital component in the healthcare environment of athletes.

Program Overview
Southwestern College has received formal accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).  The undergraduate athletic training education curriculum prepares students to take the Board of Certification (BOC) exam.

The curriculum is structured as a three-year program with an additional application year for freshmen. Students will be involved in the clinical setting during their sophomore (level one), junior (level two), and senior (level three) years while completing academic course requirements. This allows students to learn the skills and techniques necessary in risk management and injury prevention; pathology of injuries and illnesses; orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis; acute care of injury and illness; pharmacology; therapeutic modalities; conditioning and rehabilitative exercise; general medical conditions and disabilities; nutritional aspects of injury and illness; psychosocial intervention and referral; health care administration; and professional development and responsibilities.     

Student clinical assignments will be in traditional, clinical, and high school settings, observing under an assigned clinical instructor. Students will gain experience with collision, contact, and non-contact sports and through a wide variety of clinical settings. Students will observe team physicians and orthopedic surgeons as they evaluate and perform surgical procedures on injured athletes.

Students accepted into the athletic training curriculum are permitted to participate in varsity sports and are welcome to select from numerous available minors, emphases, and a second major if interested.  Students are advised that athletic training is a rigorous, time-consuming program and all students admitted to the Athletic Training Education Program will adhere to the same academic standards.

The athletic training education program is an excellent combination for those students interested in post-graduate studies in other allied health professions, such as physical therapy, physician assistant, and medical school.

Southwestern College is a member of the NAIA and participates in the following 15 varsity sports:

  • Football
  • Women’s Volleyball
  • Women's Softball
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball
  • Men’s and Women’s Soccer
  • Men’s and Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track
  • Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country
  • Men’s and Women’s Golf
  • Men’s and Women’s Tennis

Criteria For Admission
Prospective students must meet all the criteria below to be considered for admission. Completion of the application criteria does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission is competitive and is based on a point system assessed to each student's application.  Students can obtain the necessary application forms from the Director of Athletic Training Education. To access the links you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  1. Completed either the On-line Application or Print Application (PDF) with one letter of recommendation;
  2. Cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale;
  3. Grade of "C" or higher in PESS 230 Introduction to Athletic Training, BIOL 101 Essentials of Biology or BIOL 111 Biology 1, and PESS 126 First Aid and Safety (or current Emergency Caridac Care Certification);
  4. Completion of at least 100 documented clinical observation hours under the direct supervision of a certified athletic trainer;
  5. Submission of the Athletic Training Education Program physical examination verifying the student's ability to meet the technical standards with or without accommodations, and immunization records; 
  6. Proof of Hepatitis B vaccination (or sign waiver);
  7. Proof of TB Skin Test;
  8. Submission of signed Technical Standards (PDF) form;
  9. Successful interview with the curriculum staff and an athletic training student representative.

Transfer Students
Transfer students must meet the above mentioned criteria and will only be admitted to Level 1 of the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP).  Transfer students must submit course descriptions or syllabi for each of the prerequisite courses along with a copy of transcripts to the director of athletic training education for review.

Admitted students must immediately declare as an athletic training major. Students who are not admitted may elect to apply again the following year or may declare another major. Admission to the program is very competitive and the number admitted is based on graduation and attrition rates.

For more information fill out the Questionnaire available from this website or email Lisa Braun, Director of Athletic Training Education at

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