Describe your setting:
I am a tenured Associate Professor of Athletic Training at Ball State University in Indiana. Aside from teaching in our CAATE Accredited Athletic Training Education Program, I am the Clinical Education Coordinator. I receive release for my research and for the Clinical Education duties and teach 2-3 classes each semester. This spring, I am teaching Introduction to Athletic Training (1 credit), Organization and Administration of Athletic Training (2 credits) and Advanced Athletic Training (Graduate course, 3 credits).
Ball State University has me along with 2 other faculty, one doctoral assistant, four clinical staff and nine graduate assistants educators as well as over 15 off campus clinical sites. Visit our Facebook page and twitter account@BSU_AT to learn more about our program.
How long have you worked in this setting?
I have been employed at Ball State University since August of 2004. In May of 2010, I assumed the role of Clinical Education Coordinator. Before Ball State University, I was an Assistant Professor and the Clinical Education Coordinator at William Patterson University from 2001-2004. During my doctoral studies I also taught courses while supervising athletic training students and practicing clinically at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Describe your typical day:
I have two types of typical days: teaching/administrative and research/reading days. On teaching/administrative days, in addition to teaching, administrative tasks include attending the clinical staff meeting, meeting with our doctoral assistant, and attending our meeting with the entire athletic training teaching faculty. We have students who are engaged in clinical education on and off campus; therefore, I am often either receiving various forms (e.g., mid-practicum student evaluations, preceptor [clinical instructor evaluations], etc.) or communicating with those students or preceptors on those days as well. Any service (e.g., university, reviewing articles, committee work), site visits to off campus clinical sites, is also performed mostly on these days.
On reading/research days I am reading through literature to assist with my publication and grant writing and/or writing abstracts, presentations, publications or grants. I have three papers I am writing, performing data collection, and mentoring our doctoral student on a recently funded research project. I also am creating future research projects for myself and mentoring junior faculty.
What do you like about your position?
I love the involvement with the students. It’s wonderful to see them grow and change over the course of the 3 years they are in our program. I also love to perform, publish, and present research as well as mentor our doctoral student and junior faculty.
What do you dislike about your position?
Unfortunately, I do not engage in clinical practice. I would love to be more involved and provide athletic training services to patients while educating students. Also, the administrative tasks can be time consuming.
What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer looking at this setting?
Avoid any type of administration for at least your first 5 years after obtaining your terminal degree. I advise finding a teaching position where you have dedicated research release, limited clinical responsibilities, but no administrative responsibilities. This would provide you time to adjust to faculty life without the pressure and distraction of administration. You can still be a valued contributing member of the athletic training program faculty while learning the educational and accreditation processes. I also recommend finding a strong mentor who can assist with planning a research line and devise methods to focus your time to help you be a successful as a faculty member. No college course or PhD prepares you for administration!