Posts Tagged ‘Program Director’

Exam Security: Protect Athletic Training Candidates and Yourself

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Posted January 26, 2017

Sharing is usually a good thing, but this is not the case when preparing students for the BOC exam or discussing it with them after. It is illegal and unethical to memorize and discuss questions that are on the BOC exam, and both candidates and Program Directors are reminded to keep exam information confidential.

Prior to sitting for the BOC exam, candidates agree in the Candidate Attestation to not disclose information about items or answers in any format to anyone. This includes, but is not limited to:

- Educators

- Past or future examinees

- Co-workers

- Test preparation companies

The Candidate Attestation asserts that no part of the exam may be copied or reproduced in any way before, during and after exam. This includes, but is not limited to, emailing, copying or printing electronic files, reconstructing content through memorization and/or dictation.

BOC exam content is exclusive copyrighted property of the BOC and protected by federal copyright laws. The BOC will prosecute violations of this agreement. Violation of the agreement is also a violation of BOC Standards of Professional Practice, which can result in suspension or revocation of certification, if applicable, or suspension or denial of a candidate’s eligibility for future exams. It can also do the same for a candidate’s colleagues.

The below table presents common scenarios that could violate exam confidentiality. Read on for guidance in each scenario. More information is also available in the BOC Exam Candidate Handbook.

Scenario When it’s OK When it’s not OK Bottom line

1. Educator asks candidates to “stop by” after the exam to “let me know how it went.”

If the invitation and the feedback to the educator relates to their general experience (“I thought the test was not as difficult as I expected…”).

This type of invitation from an educator may be misinterpreted by the candidate – and the student may think that the educator is asking the student to reveal copyrighted information.

If the candidate is asked to reveal questions or their answer options, then he or she will need to report the educator to the BOC. The educator should stop the candidate immediately from revealing any exam content, since doing so may subject both the candidate and educator to the BOC’s ethics process.

2. Candidate tells another candidate, “The test was very difficult – I felt like I didn’t have enough time.”

The candidate is simply telling another candidate how they felt about the exam. This is all right because the candidate is not revealing any of the questions or the answer options.

One candidate (or potential candidate) asks another candidate about the specific questions.

If the questions or answer options are shared, these individuals may find themselves part of a BOC ethics investigation and/or legal complaint.

3. Candidate to educator: “You didn’t teach me about this question that asked [specific question]. I felt unprepared.”

Never.

It is not all right and it will never be all right to reveal the BOC’s copyrighted questions (or answer options) to anyone.

Candidates sign documentation stating that they will not share exam questions, and the BOC expects the candidates to abide by this contract. Those who don’t may find themselves part of a BOC ethics investigation and/or legal complaint.

4. A future candidate learns from a past candidate that, "Your BOC exam will have both multiple choice and the new multiple response kind of items. I think there were a little over 100 questions on each session.”

Candidates are welcome to discuss any information that is found on the BOC website, including the TYPES of items used on the various exams.

If the conversation goes beyond exam format and the past candidate begins to describe exam questions and answers to the future exam-taker, a breach of ethics has occurred.

As long as the conversation is limited to public information that anyone can read on the BOC website, such as exam format and style of item presentation, there is no problem. However, the past candidate should refrain from sharing specific exam content with the future candidate to protect not only the past exam-taker but also the future one.

5. A future candidate is in class when the professor announces, "Everyone pay attention to this example. It came from a BOC exam. It will show up on another exam someday soon." In another class, the professor insisted that, "This is ALWAYS guaranteed to be a BOC exam question. This is one concept that you don’t want to forget.”

There is no acceptable circumstance in which it is OK for an educator to offer to any class or audience any item or material directly linked to any BOC exam.

Since all BOC exam material including all items (questions and answers) is copyrighted, it is illegal for anyone to reproduce and use these items in any manner whatsoever. Candidate exposure to BOC exam items is legally and ethically limited to candidates' time spent taking BOC exams. Sample items available on the BOC website are not active items and may be shared.

All candidates should be aware that unsolicited classroom exposure to BOC exam material may result in cancellation of their own exam scores and/or may lead to being barred from taking the BOC exam in the future. It also should be remembered that new exam items constantly are being generated and can deal with any topic in the BOC practice analysis.

Sources: Scenarios 1-3 are from American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Scenarios 4 and 5 are from National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Inc. Content has been adapted for the BOC.

Program Director Highlights: Jackie Williams

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Program Director Highlights from the Spring 2014 PD Update Program Director – Jackie Williams
Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

1) What is the name of your institution?

Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

2) How long have you been a PD at this institution?
I have been the PD for 4 1/2 years at Slippery Rock University.

3) How many students are currently in your program(s)?
There are 68 in the professional clinical strand of the athletic training program, which includes sophomores, juniors and seniors.

4) Do you teach any class(es)? If so, which one(s)?

I teach a variety of the athletic training major courses including:

  • ERS 427 Mastery in Athletic Training
  • ERS 407 Healthcare Administration in Athletic Training
  • ERS 317 Therapeutic Modalities Theory & Technique
  • ERS 497 Clinical Synthesis in Athletic Training
  • INDS 101 FYRST Seminar

5) Do you use the BOC Self-Assessment Exam(s) as tools to assist your students in preparing for the exam? How?

In ERS 427 Mastery in Athletic Training, one activity I do is to have each student purchase and complete one of the BOC Self Assessment Exams.  This activity is tied into program and university assessment.  While taking the exam, students are asked to develop questions about the process, how the questions are written and any topic they are unsure of after reviewing the questions posed in the exam.

Prior to this activity, we spend a considerable amount of time visiting the BOC website.  As a group, we review the various exam preparation tools, work through the sample exam questions and review how the exam is developed and scored.  I try to reduce any fear they might have about the process and set-up of the exam. This activity helps them when they do take the self assessment exam.

Students are further encouraged to purchase more exams closer to when they sit for the examination.

6) How do you prepare your students for the BOC exam?

The students begin preparing for the BOC exam during their first athletic training major courses. The curriculum allows for sequenced courses to build on each other, providing reinforcement of the knowledge and skills necessary to be an Athletic Trainer (AT).

At SRU, each of our clinical experience courses have cumulative final examinations that are given via an online learning management system. The examinations are leveled according to the specific clinical experience course and what previous athletic training courses the students have completed.  Several other athletic training major course final examinations utilize this system. Allowing students to become familiarized with a computerized examination helps reduce some of the anxiety when taking the BOC exam.

ERS 427 Mastery in Athletic Training is a capstone course that prepares students to enter the next phase of their career. Part of the course is used to review the content areas and prepare the students for the BOC examination.  We review the content outline in the BOC Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis. Students participate in multiple activities that expose them to questions that reinforce ways to review topics.  Small and large group discussions occur throughout the activities to help identify any weaknesses in content knowledge. A final cumulative examination of all content areas is given prior to any student taking the BOC examination.

7) What study materials do you recommend to your students? 

Currently, we use Van Ost’s Athletic Training Exam Review and the NATA Statements for ERS 427 Mastery in Athletic Training for practice questions. The class also uses all of the textbooks from previous courses.  I also literally haul many of my personal office library textbooks to each class depending on the topic of the day. Many of the textbooks we use to study are listed on the BOC website.

8) Please provide some tips for how you prepare your students for entering the real world (e.g. completing the BOC paperwork post-exam; state licensure/registration/certification; NPI numbers).

The second half of the capstone course is used to prepare students for the real world. Class activities have included polishing cover letters and resumes, completing mock interviews, identifying what is needed for job/graduate school applications, and examining the various state licensure/registration/certification process (BOC website used extensively for this). In regard to the process of reporting CEUs, I show them how to actually report CEUs using my BOC account.

Because of the lengthy process that students encounter when completing all of the necessary state licensure paperwork, the "pink paper" was created. Students are strongly encouraged to keep the "pink paper" accessible after they graduate.  This handout assists students when completing the state licensure application, obtaining an NPI number and completing self-queries. When I receive emails and phone calls asking for assistance in the licensure process, the first question I ask is, "Do you have your pink paper?" This document has helped many former students go through the process.

9) Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions for other PDs?

Utilize your resources! Contact other PDs to ask for insight. Use the BOC, NATA and CAATE websites. Spend the extra time with the students going through real life situations, especially CEU reporting and licensure/registration/certification.

If you are a PD who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Featured Program Highlights, please submit an email with your interest to StacyA@bocatc.org.

 

Program Director Highlights: Christine Odell

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Program Director Highlights from the Spring 2014 PD Update Program Director – Christine Odell
Metropolitan State University of Denver

1) What is the name of your institution? 

Metropolitan State University of Denver

2) How long have you been a PD at this institution? Seven years

3) How many students are currently in your program(s)? There are 32 students in the clinical portion.

4) Do you teach any class(es)?  If so, which one(s)? I teach Upper Extremity Injury Evaluation, Foundations of Athletic Health Care, Anatomical Kinesiology, General Medical Topics in Athletic Training, Therapeutic Modalities in Athletic Training and Administrative and Research Topics in Athletic Training.

5) Do you use the BOC Self Assessment Exam(s) as tools to assist your students in preparing for the exam? How? Yes. I encourage my students to purchase at least one, and I use the small free example to show students how questions are formatted. We go through these as a group and discuss how the question is written. I try to focus their attention away from wanting to know their ‘score’ on these exams.

6) How do you prepare your students for the BOC exam?

I actually bring up the BOC web site and I do NOT log in. I then take them through all the information that is public. I start with the Candidate Handbook, move to the scheduling area and then the style guide. We discuss the style guide in depth. After this, all students are required to purchase the RD/PA6 because we use it to create assignments. I do not hold study/review sessions. I only hold reviews in content delivery. I feel when they reach this point, they have to learn how to organize their own studying. Therefore, my job is to focus on what they cannot control: knowing what they can and cannot take into the exam room, how the exam is formatted, etc. I take that unknown out of the equation so they can focus on studying the actual content.

7) What study materials do you recommend to your students? I recommend all the text books used in our curriculum and having access to the RD/PA6 and a good medical dictionary – either Tabor’s or Steadman’s. Otherwise I feel it is very overwhelming for students.

8) Please provide some tips for how you prepare your students for entering the real world (e.g. completing the BOC paperwork post-exam; state licensure/registration/certification; NPI numbers).

During the admin class this is actually one of our final discussions. I go over the BOC web site again and go through the "Certified" section and log in with my credentials and show them what I have to do.

9) Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions for other PDs? If you have not already, explore the BOC web page. It holds all essential information. If you do not understand something, call the BOC office. It is always surprising when you think you have very unique situation and they say, "It happens all the time. Here is what you need to do…"  They are extremely approachable and helpful.

If you are a PD who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Featured Program Highlights, please submit an email with your interest to StacyA@bocatc.org.

 

Program Director Highlights: Valerie W. Herzog

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Program Director Highlights from the August 2013 PD Update
Program Director - Valerie W. Herzog, EdD, LAT, ATC
Weber State University

1) How long have you been a PD at Weber State University?

I have been a PD here for eight years.

2) How many students are currently in your program(s)?

There are 40 undergraduate students and 31 master’s level students.

3) Do you teach any classes? If so, which one(s)?

Yes, I teach Basic Rehabilitation for Musculoskeletal Injuries, Advanced Rehabilitation for Musculoskeletal Injuries, Research Methods II and III, Administration and Management in Athletic Training, and our BOC exam prep courses (undergraduate and graduate).

4) Do you use the BOC Self Assessment Exam(s) as tools to assist your students in preparing for the exam? How?

Yes, I encourage the students to take the exams online to identify their weaker areas.

5) How do you prepare your students for the BOC exam?

In the BOC exam preparation class, students complete a set of practice questions each week. I encourage students to create a running list of every word, phrase and/or concept that they are not fully confident about. I then ask them to use that list to study from, by researching and reading about everything they were unsure of. I explain that one of the mistakes students make is to continually study the content they already know well. Instead, I encourage them to focus on the content they don’t know.

Completing large amounts of practice questions helps them identify things they don’t know well. In class each week, we review the questions that they were assigned to complete and discuss the content as needed. The students then have a week to take a quiz on the same content areas, although they see different questions. During the following wing class period, we review the quizzes in class.

The students also go through all of the Athletic Training Education Competencies and rate their level of confidence/knowledge on each on a scale of 1-10. I tally all of the scores together to determine the weakest areas for the class as a whole. Students are then assigned two to four competencies that were rated the lowest overall to research and create digital flashcards (using the app, “Flashcards Deluxe”) for study tools that are used by the whole class.

6) What study materials do you recommend to your students?

We have tried a variety of exam prep books with varying success. In the fall, we’re going to try a newer book, Athletic Training Exam Review: A Student Guide to Success, by Lynn Van Ost.

7) Please provide some tips for how you prepare your students for entering the real world (e.g. completing the BOC paperwork post-exam; state licensure/registration/ certification; NPI numbers).

In the BOC exam prep class, I have a day set aside to discuss how to complete the certification process, how to get licensed/registered/certified in the state where they get hired, and NPI numbers. We also review continuing education requirements so that they understand how to maintain their credentials, as well as the disciplinary procedures. During the same semester, they are typically enrolled in our athletic training management course, where they are also discussing legal issues, ethics, career skills and a variety of other topics related to management in athletic training.

8) Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions for other PDs?

We weren’t sure about creating or requiring a BOC exam preparation course, but we are SO glad we did. It gives the students some structure while they study, with deadlines to study content areas. Students often think that they can study on their own, but it is always easier to put off studying for real deadlines in other courses where they receive grades. We have seen a much higher pass rate on the exam for students who took the course, and we are now requiring it of all students in both programs.

If you are a PD who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Featured Program Highlights, please submit an email with your interest to StacyA@bocatc.org.

Program Director Highlights: Melanie McGrath

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Program Director Highlights from the February 2013 PD Update
Program Director - Melanie McGrath, PhD, ATC
University of Nebraska at Omaha

1)    How many students are currently in your program(s)?

Currently, we have 37 students total. We have 22 in our undergraduate program, and 15 in our entry-level master’s program. We always have fewer students in the spring, as some of our undergraduates are eligible to graduate in December.

2)    Do you teach any class(es)? If so, which one(s)?

In the fall, I teach Rehabilitation Techniques in Athletic Training, and Topics in Sports Medicine. In the spring, I teach Introduction to Athletic Training, as well as Lower Extremity Evaluation. In the summer, I teach Advanced Orthopedic and Medical Aspects of Athletic Training.

3)    Do you use the BOC Self Assessment Exam(s) as tools to assist your students in preparing for the exam? How?

I was lucky enough to receive 30 vouchers for BOC Self Assessment Exams as payment for helping the BOC with a project a few years ago. I gave those to our graduating students, who used them to prepare for their BOC exam. I now strongly encourage all of our students to take at least one self assessment exam as they prepare for the BOC exam. I encourage our students to take it about 6-8 weeks in advance of their exam date, so that they can focus their studying on one or two key areas during those crucial final weeks prior to the exam. I find the feedback provided to the students after taking the self assessment exams truly helps our students as they study.

4)    How do you prepare your students for the BOC exam?

We begin our students’ preparation as soon as they begin their first athletic training class. We utilize question formats in our classroom exams that mimic the format of the BOC exam (multiple choice, multiple select, drag and-drop matching, etc.). I provide the Reference List from the BOC exam to our library annually, to ensure that our students have access to every textbook utilized during preparation.

Our entry-level master’s students take a comprehensive exam during their final semester, and we prepare that exam so it aligns with the domains of athletic training used on the BOC (as a percentage of questions in each domain). We encourage our undergraduate students to also take this comprehensive exam to prepare for the BOC exam. Finally, we recently re-instituted BOC Study Sessions, led by our ATEP instructors, to review material during the spring semester of our students’ final year in the program. However, the most important preparation that our students have is simply passing all of their courses and clinical rotations.

5)    What study materials do you recommend to your students?

As a way to get the students started, I have them return to the most recent edition of “Arnheim’s Principles of Athletic Training” textbook, and use the questions at the end of each chapter. I find this is a simple way to initiate the study process for our students. I also advise them to reference the BOC Role Delineation Study, specifically Appendix A which lists the domains and the specific tasks, knowledge, and skills in each domain.

Then, I advise them to self-identify some areas they feel weak in, and I have them select the relevant texts from the BOC Exam Reference List, or I have them reference their class notes on that area. As they get closer to their exam date, I have them take a self-assessment, either the BOC Self Assessment Exams or the “Study Guide” from ACES. Finally, many of our students purchase the commercially-available “study guides” for the BOC exam. While these are not my first recommendation for study materials, the texts, quizzes and test banks seem to motivate our students to engage in the studying process.

6)    Please provide some tips for how you prepare your students for entering the real world (e.g. completing the BOC paperwork post-exam; state licensure/registration/certification; NPI numbers).

  • Make your transcript requests in advance. Most universities (including UNO) will allow you to request a transcript to be sent after your degree has been posted. If you request it early, you won’t have to worry about remembering to do it as you are moving, celebrating your graduation and transitioning into “the real world!”
  • Keep your CPR/AED cards in a safe location, and KEEP YOUR EXPIRED CARDS AS WELL! If the BOC audits your CEUs, you will need to provide evidence that you were continuously certified in CPR and AED. It is much easier to keep the cards than to ask the Red Cross or AHA to dig through their files and provide that information for you.
  • Prepare your licensure/registration application before you graduate, and have your supervising AT sign any documents before you graduate. Again, this saves time.
  • If you have a criminal conviction, start your BOC application process (and ultimately your licensure process) at least 6 months in advance of when you hope to take the exam (or have your licensure). This ensures that you can collect the necessary court documents - that process can take a considerable amount of time!
  • Most importantly, keep in contact with your PD, Clinical Coordinator, preceptors and fellow graduates. They will be very important during that first year: providing advice, helping you with licensure paperwork, providing references and helping you network with other ATs (who may, someday, want to hire you).
  • When you put someone down as a reference for a job, email that person to notify them and include a recent resume as well as the job description. That way, they will be prepared to answer any questions that may be asked during a reference check.

7)    Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions for other Program Directors?

In my first month as PD, the CAATE audited one of our programs. It was a real “trial by fire,” as I had to come up with all of the paperwork for a program I had literally just taken over! However, that experience really exposed me to the administrative side of my position, and I truly feel that it helped me transition much more quickly than I would have, had the audit not taken place.

So while I may not recommend an audit for new PDs, I would suggest immersing yourself in the administrative aspect immediately. Consolidate files, audit affiliation agreements and student files, revise policy and procedure manuals, and go through the CAATE Standards with a fine-tooth comb. Make it a goal to know exactly how you meet each CAATE Standard, and where that evidence is located, during your first semester. It will make your next annual report or self-study much easier!

If you are a PD who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Featured Program Highlights, please submit an email with your interest to StacyA@bocatc.org.

Program Director Highlights: Mark Stutz

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Program Director Highlights from the February 2013 PD Update
Program Director - Mark Stutz, PhD, LAT, ATC
Nebraska Wesleyan University

1) How many students are currently in your program(s)?

21

2) Do you teach any classes? If so, which one(s)?

Yes. Physical Examination of the Upper Extremity, Physical Examination of the Lower Extremity, Therapeutic Modalities, Rehabilitation of Athletic Injuries, Organization and Administration of Athletic Training, Health Assessment, Advanced Emergency Care, and Introduction to Allied Health.

3) Do you use the BOC Self Assessment Exam(s) as tools to assist your students in preparing for the exam? How?

Our students are shown several resources to assist them in preparing for the exam. This is one of those resources.

4) How do you prepare your students for the BOC exam?

In order to prepare students for the BOC exam, many of the tests they take throughout the program have multiple responses and are completed on the computer. During their senior year, students review many of their proficiencies in their final clinical course and are required to pass a comprehensive examination that they take on the computer as part of their senior capstone course. Like other exams taken throughout the program, this comprehensive exam contains questions with multiple responses and covers all domains of athletic training.

5) What study materials do you recommend to your students?

Athletic Training Exam Review: A Student Guide to Success, Fourth Edition by Lynn Van Ost, MEd, RN, PT, ATC; Karen Manfre, MA, ATR; Karen Lew, MEd, LAT, ATC Also, as a study guide for the BOC exam, we use Athletic Trainer Certification Examination, Fourth Edition by Susan L. Rozzi, Michelle G. Futrell, and Douglas M. Kleiner (comes with a CD).

6) Please provide some tips for how you prepare your students for entering the real world (e.g. completing the BOC paperwork post-exam; state licensure/registration/certification; NPI numbers).

In order to prepare students for entering the real world, the NWU ATEP faculty assists the students in many ways.  This starts with resume and cover letter writing while students are still in the program and includes how to conduct a job search and how to prepare for a job interview. Additionally, we explain what paperwork is required of them once they have successfully passed the BOC exam and have graduated. We also assist them with this process when questions arise. Another example is that we counsel them on the importance of knowing the licensing requirements for the state where they will be working as an AT and assist them in completing the necessary paperwork as needed.

7) Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions for other Program Directors?

I believe that students are more prepared for what is ahead of them when they are armed with all of the necessary information.  I believe that as the “information center,” it is my job to disseminate the appropriate information to them in order to help them successfully navigate through the process of preparing and applying for taking the BOC exam, as well as completing all requirements to obtain their certification and other credentialing requirements. While it is ultimately their responsibility to initiate and complete the steps, the students know they can call on me or other members of the faculty for information and assistance when needed.


If you are a PD who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Featured Program Highlights, please submit an email with your interest to
StacyA@bocatc.org.