Where is AT Education Going?

Over the summer the NATA Board of Directors approved the document “Future Directions in Athletic Training Education.” This document represents recommendations from the Executive Committee on Education for the direction of education.  This document also had input from the NATA Board of Directors, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), the NATA Foundation (Foundation), and the Board of Certification (BOC). As stated in the document, representatives from each group have provided input into the development of this document. This document has 14 new recommendations and addresses the 17 recommendations from 1996.

There have been many new documents/changes in education lately as this Future Directions document came out over the summer, the 5th Edition of the competencies came out earlier as well as the new CAATE standards. I will admit it is a little overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong change is good and we are moving forward.

So where is AT Education going?

Some of the highlights include an emphasis on outcomes (BOC pass rate, learning outcomes), moving to a healthcare model of education (aligning and studying along with other healthcare providers such as physical therapist, occupation therapists, nurses), and facility accreditation such as the Joint Commission which accredits hospitals. There are more but those are just a few. I urge you to read through the Future Directions as well as the CAATE Standards. I know the standards are a bit dry but it will give you an idea as to the minimum requirements of programs. From your perspective where do you think AT Education is going?  

Written by: Stacy Walker, PhD, ATC

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