Clinical experience starts the first semester of the freshman year and transitions into real-world decision-making situations.
Experiences include travel with individual teams, evaluation of injuries, creating rehabilitation programs, meeting with coaches and other athletics staff, and observing physician office visits and surgical procedures. Athletic training students gain further clinical experience by working in physician offices, physical therapy clinics and local area high schools.
The TLU Athletic Training Education Program is a competitive entry program with limited space and is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
Graduates of the athletic training education program are eligible for Texas state licensure and national certification through the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification (BOC).
Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training
Advantages of TLU ATEP
Why Athletic Training at TLU?
Athletic training students at TLU are exposed to clinical and situational learning from the first day they begin the educational program. Under the close supervision of Texas Lutheran's staff of nationally certified athletic trainers, students learn by actually doing and are allowed to progress as their proficiency grows.
No Observation Period
TLU athletic training students begin the educational program in the first semester of their freshman year with no observation/application period. Freshman athletic training students begin their fieldwork experience immediately and become accustomed to TLU's policies and procedures through hands-on experience and weekly freshman meetings. Freshman athletic training students are accepted on a probationary status and must complete specific coursework to continue the educational program into their sophomore year.
Decision Making Situations
As athletic training students progress in competency and clinical proficiency, they are routinely placed in hands-on decision making situations under the close supervision of our athletic training staff. TLU athletic training students interact directly with all athletes in situations such as on-field evaluations, immediate care and referral, rehabilitation design, and return to play decisions. With feedback from the TLU athletic training staff, students build confidence in making immediate and challenging decisions for the care of their athletes.
Athletic training students interact with the TLU medical staff, coaches and athletes to gain ample experience in real-world athletic training situations. Presenting cases to physicians, observing surgical procedures, creating injury reports, and meeting with coaches are just some of the experiences athletic training students engage in during their education.
Small Class Size
Athletic training courses are some of the smallest classes offered at TLU. Curriculum courses taken in the sophomore, junior, and senior year will typically have less than 10 students and often as low as 4 or 5.
Criteria for Admission
All students who wish to be considered for admission to the athletic training program must complete the following:
- Unconditional acceptance to TLU via Enrollment Services Office
- Completion of an athletic training program application form, returned to the program director.
- Three reference evaluation forms completed by certified/licensed athletic trainers, instructors, supervisors, etc. who are familiar with the student. Completed forms must be returned to the program director.
- An interview with the TLU Athletic Training Educational Program Director and Athletic Training Staff.
- A minimum of a 2.7 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale for all high school and college work.
- Students must read and sign a technical standards agreement prior to acceptance to the program.
- Previous athletic training experience is preferred but not required.
- Students accepted into the athletic training program as a freshman will be considered on a probationary status. The freshman athletic training student is expected to concentrate on academic course work and use clinical experience hours to orient themselves to the athletic training profession, the academic program, and TLU policies and procedures. The probationary period lasts the entire freshman year and requires all of the following to continue as a sophomore athletic training student:
- Present and punctual for all classes, meetings, and clinical experience hours.
- Successful completion of Anatomy & Physiology (BIO 147-148) with at least a C grade.
- Successful completion of First Aid/CPR certification through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
- Successful completion of Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries (KIN 120) with at least a B grade.
- Positive evaluations each semester with clinical instructor.
Students wishing to transfer into the TLU athletic training program must follow the same application procedures as freshmen students. The probationary first year may be waived at the discretion of the TLU athletic training staff. Criteria for waving probationary status are as follows:
- Completion of one year Anatomy & Physiology and accompanying lab with a C grade or better.
- Completion of Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries, or equivalent, with a B grade or better.
- Current certification in First Aid/CPR from the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
- Previous athletic training or health and wellness related experience. Experience in athletic training, physical therapy, hospital, wellness, and personal fitness settings will be considered.
Student applications will be evaluated and ranked based on the above criteria. The number of offers of acceptance into the program will be made based on availability of positions. Offers of acceptance are consistent with Texas Lutheran University's commitment to offering quality education without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, handicap, or national origin. Each student must complete a minimum of six semesters in the athletic training education program.
Application materials and additional information may be obtained through the ATEP director.
The Athletic Training Education Program at Texas Lutheran University is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled in the program. An objective of this program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals engaged in physical activity. The technical standards set forth by the Athletic Training Education Program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the program's accrediting agency (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education [CAATE]). All students admitted to the Athletic Training Education Program must meet the following abilities and expectations. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be admitted or removed from the program. Students that wish to be involved in the Athletic Training Education Program must demonstrate:
- The mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts, and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgements and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm.
- Sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function, and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely, and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients.
- The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgements and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
- The ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately.
- The capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.
- The perseverance, diligence, and commitment to complete the athletic training education program as outlined and sequenced.
- Flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
- Effective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.
- The ability to be a positive representative of the TLU Athletic Training Education Program, which includes, but is not limited to: a) showing respect for staff athletic trainers, faculty members, fellow students, student-athletes, coaches, and themselves; b) taking responsibility for attending all scheduled clinical education assignments, program meetings, and classes; c) dedication to studying and completions of assignments in all coursework; d) abstention from illegal drugs; e) and compliance with all laws of the United States, the state of Texas, and of Texas Lutheran University.
Compliance with the above standards does not guarantee a student's eligibility for the BOC certification exam. Once selected for the athletic training education program, students must verify they understand and meet these standards or that with certain accommodations they can meet the standards.
The office of the Dean of Student Life will evaluate a student who states he/she could meet the technical standards with accommodation and confirm that the stated condition qualifies as a disability under applicable laws. In addition, Dean of Student Life will work with the athletic training education program director to determine if the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodation. This includes a review of whether the accommodations requested are reasonable, taking into account whether the accommodation would jeopardize clinician/patient safety, or the education process of the student, including coursework and clinical experiences deemed essential to the completion of the athletic training education program.
Once accepted into the athletic training education program, students must comply with the following to continue with the educational program:
- Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7. If a student falls below the minimum GPA of 2.7, that student will be placed on academic probation for a period of one semester. If the student is able to raise the cumulative GPA to 2.7 or above, their probationary status will be removed. If the student is unable to raise the cumulative GPA to at least a 2.7, that student will be suspended from the program until the cumulative GPA is brought up. Those students who are suspended must reapply and be accepted back into the Athletic Training Education Program.
- Obtain a minimum C grade in all courses in which athletic training competencies and proficiencies are instructed. Students who are unable to obtain a C grade will be placed on academic probation within the program and given one opportunity to retake the course for at least a C grade. If the student fails to obtain the minimum grade on the second attempt, they will be suspended from the program until the required grade is achieved. Students who are suspended must reapply and be accepted back into the Athletic Training Education Program.
- Steady progress toward completing athletic training competencies and clinical proficiencies.
- Receive positive evaluations from the athletic training staff, coaches and other athletic department personnel.
- Make steady progress each semester toward the degree in Athletic Training. A meeting with the academic advisor will take place once per semester to ensure appropriate progress is being made.
- On time attendance at all required meetings and fieldwork assignments.
- Foster and maintain professional working rapport with athletic training staff, fellow athletic training students, athletes, and other athletic department staff.
- Students should be a positive representation of the TLU Athletic Training Educational Program across campus and in the community.
- Comply with the Technical Standards of the program.
The Athletic Training Program Director and athletic training staff will review each student annually to decide on retention in the program. Compliance with these standards serves as the primary criteria for renewal.
Athletic training students will be required to purchase a Clinical Proficiency Assessment Tool (CPAT) as they enter the program. The CPAT is vital to the clinical education of all students and its cost typically covers the cost of printing.
Athletic training students will also be responsible for transportation to various clinical assignments. Currently, students will spend at least one semester in the High School setting and in a general medical rotation. High school locations used have traditionally been in Seguin or the surrounding areas. The general medical rotation requires travel to one of TLU’s team physician’s medical practice in New Braunfels, TX which is approximately 20 miles from campus. Eight visits over a period of a month are required to fulfill the general medical requirement.
Safety of the AT Student
The safety and wellness of the athletic training student at TLU is of critical importance. All clinical sites must take appropriate measures to prevent or minimize situations that may lead to injury or exposure to communicable disease. In addition, TLU athletic training students with active infections must have access to medical care as a priority over any clinical responsibilities. The following guidelines are to be adhered to at all clinical education sites used by the TLU athletic training education program.
Communicable diseases are those which can be transmitted from one person to another by direct or indirect physical contact, inhalation, injection, or a vector from animals or insects. Prevention is paramount in protecting the athletic training student from communicable disease. To reduce the possibility of disease transmission, athletic training students must:
- Complete annual blood borne pathogen training.
- Practice proper hand washing techniques and good hygiene as outlined in blood borne pathogen training.
- Practice Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- Avoid contact with blood and other bodily fluids
- Use breathing barriers such as resuscitation masks, face shields, and bag valve masks when giving rescue breaths to a victim
- Wear disposable gloves when providing care, particularly if contact with blood or bodily fluids is likely
- Use gloves that are appropriate to the task and provide an adequate barrier
- Remove jewelry before wearing gloves
- Do not use gloves that have been previously used or that are discolored, torn or punctured
- Change gloves when providing care to a different patient
- Cover open wounds of any kind prior to using protective devices
- Remove gloves without contacting the soiled part of the gloves and dispose of them in the appropriate container
- In addition to gloves, protective coverings such as face shields and protective eyewear must be worn in situations in which blood or bodily fluids may splash.
- Dispose of contaminated materials and sharps in the appropriate containers.
- Keep contaminated linens separate and wash with an appropriate solution before reuse
- Have been vaccinated against Hepatitis B virus (HBV) or sign a declination statement. Athletic training students that have not had the HBV series will be offered the vaccine at no cost.
- Have access to basic barrier methods of preventing disease transmission. These supplies will be supplied by the academic program and the clinical education sites.
- Have access to proper disposal of sharps and materials soiled with blood and bodily fluids. The disposal items will be provided by the academic program and the clinical education sites.
- Do not provide patient care if they have active signs or symptoms of a communicable disease unless they have been cleared by a physician.
Athletic training students who follow these steps may still be exposed to blood or bodily fluids during their normal interaction and care of patients. An exposure incident is defined by either: a) the skin is pierced, cut, or scratched by a sharp object contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious body fluids; or b) spills or splashes of blood or other potentially infectious material occur onto non-intact skin (cuts, hangnails, abrasions, etc.) or mucous membranes.
If an athletic training student is exposed to blood or other bodily fluids through a needle stick, cut, splash to eyes or mouth, or has a cutaneous exposure involving large amounts of blood or prolonged contact with blood, the following actions must be taken:
- Immediately wash needle sticks and cuts with soap and warm water.
- Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water.
- If eyes are exposed to blood or contaminated fluids, flush with warm water or saline for 15 minutes.
- The student immediately informs the Preceptor
- The clinical instructor will evaluate the exposure to determine if immediate referral is warranted.
- The preceptor will notify the Program Director.
- The Program Director will work with the TLU Human Resources office to determine the appropriate incident report that needs to be completed and begin a worker’s compensation claim.
- The student will be medically evaluated as soon as possible, no later than 48 hours after the incident.
Students entering TLU must provide documentation of measles and rubella immunizations, Mantoux TB test, current Tetanus booster and Hepatitis B vaccine. Providing information to the TLU Health Center as part of admission requirements will fulfill this requirement.
Athletic training students with illnesses must see a physician to determine if the illness is actively communicable. Students must notify their current clinical instructor of any illness that may interfere with their clinical education responsibilities. Athletic training students who have active signs of communicable disease or miss more than one day of clinical responsibilities due to an illness will be required to see a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner to determine their health status. Athletic training students may use their own personal physician or utilize the TLU Health Center. Once evaluated, the athletic training student must follow the recommendations and guidelines of the treating physician. Athletic training students seeking medical care for illness are responsible for any healthcare related costs and are strongly advised to carry health insurance.
All athletic training students must read and sign a technical standards document before beginning the educational program. Students that have conditions preventing normal activity must have appropriate documentation filed with their technical standards form. In such cases, the student, program director, and preceptor will meet to discuss what, if any, modifications should be made during the clinical experience. This meeting will occur before the beginning of the clinical experience.
Preceptors are expected to take every precaution to minimize the risk of musculoskeletal injury of athletic training students during clinical experiences. In the event that an athletic training student is injured as a direct result of their clinical responsibilities, the following actions must be taken:
- The student immediately informs the Preceptor
- The preceptor will evaluate the injury to determine if immediate referral is warranted.
- The preceptor will notify the Program Director.
- The Program Director will work with the TLU Human Resources office to determine the appropriate incident report that needs to be completed and begin a worker’s compensation claim.
- The student will be medically evaluated as soon as possible by the physician of their choice. The physician will determine the course of care and the timeline for return to the clinical setting.
In the event that an illness or injury requires extended time away from the clinical or academic portions of the athletic training education program, the program director and appropriate clinical instructor should be notified as soon as possible. A decision of the athletic training student’s clinical and academic status will be made by the program director. This may result in lengthening of the clinical assignment, reassignment of clinical responsibilities, a grade of incomplete due to medical reasons, or a leave of absence from the program.
The TLU athletic training education program urges extreme caution be taken by its athletic training students, faculty, and clinical instructors in the event of inclement weather. These conditions include but are not limited to lightning, tornadic activity, hail, hurricane, freezing/icy conditions, and rising/moving flood waters. In the event that such unsafe conditions present themselves, seek appropriate shelter immediately and refer to the emergency action plan of that facility. In the event that inclement weather forces the closure of the university, athletic training students are not required to report to clinical settings until such time as the University re-opens. Additionally, preceptors and athletic training students should be aware, exercise caution, and prepare for pending severe weather. Clinical experience time postponed due to severe weather should be rescheduled after conditions improve.
The Texas Lutheran University Athletic Training Education Program encourages all prospective athletic training students to visit our campus to get firsthand knowledge of TLU and our educational program. Depending on the type of visit selected, prospective students have the opportunity to meet athletic training staff, talk with current students, attend program classes, observe normal athletic training room operations, tour the campus and residential facilities, and meet with TLU admissions and financial aid staff. There are a variety of visit opportunities available to students interested in athletic training:
Athletic Training Visit Days
The TLU athletic training education program holds special visit days for those interested in a career in athletic training. These are group visit days that include information on athletic training as a profession, a campus tour, and question/answer sessions with program alumni and current students. In addition, student skill demonstrations and presentations give visitors examples of the clinical and academic skills TLU athletic training students acquire in the program. An athletic training visit day is held in the fall semester for high school seniors, and in the spring semester for high school juniors. Interested students are encouraged to contact the ATEP Director for further information.
Home Football Game Visit
During the fall football season, prospective students are welcome to visit during one of TLU's Saturday home football games. Visitors typically are able to tour the campus, meet with an admissions representative, then observe TLU athletic training staff and students preparation and coverage of the football game. This allows the visitor the opportunity to get to know our staff, current students, and observe the clinical experience TLU athletic training students receive. Interested students should contact the ATEP Director for dates, times, and other details.
Personal Visit Days
Prospective athletic training students also have the opportunity to visit TLU on a weekday, when TLU classes are in session. In addition to campus tours and admission information, visitors that use these days have the opportunity to attend athletic training classes, meet with current students, and observe normal athletic training room operations. Interested students should contact the ATEP Director to schedule a personal visit.
University Visit Days
Prospective students are welcome to attend TLU's university visit days to gain general information about the campus, admissions, and financial aid. Further information on these events can be found on the TLU admissions page. Visitors planning to attend these events are encouraged to inform the admissions office or the ATEP Director regarding interest in athletic training to ensure athletic training staff or information will be available.
The mission of the TLU Athletic Training Education Program is to provide students foundational education and clinical experiences within the 12 competency areas set forth by the National Athletic Trainers Association Education Council giving graduates the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in athletic training. Emphasis is placed on maximizing individual learning styles to engage students in hands on learning situations to encourage development of knowledgeable and resourceful healthcare professionals. The program strives to prepare students to become BOC certified (ATC), state licensed (LAT) athletic trainers who will work, educate, and lead within the healthcare profession.
Athletic training is a rapidly expanding scientific field; its growth has been phenomenal in the last 10 years. This blossoming trend is expected to continue as more and more high schools and colleges/ universities are hiring athletic trainers for practical, moral and legal reasons. Other opportunities are expanding in private sports medicine clinics, industrial or corporate wellness, military and law enforcement, performing arts, and professional athletic organizations. In order to become a practicing athletic trainer, students must pass a licensing exam in Texas or other states with licensing laws. Successful completion of a national certification exam is necessary for employment in many states that do not require licensure. Upon completion of TLU's athletic training education program, students are eligible to sit for both state licensing and national certification examinations. The athletic training education program is a competitive entry program with separate application procedures. More information can be obtained through the program director.
CAATE Accredited Athletic Training Program
TLU’s Athletic Training Program was granted initial accreditation in 2005 through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In 2006, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) was formed as an independent accrediting agency dedicated to the advancement of the education of athletic trainers. In 2010-2011, the athletic training program at TLU went through a re-accreditation process and received a 10 year accreditation award through the 2020-2021 academic year. For more information on athletic training accreditation or to find a listing of accredited programs, visit http://www.caate.net/.
TLU Athletic Training Student Success
|Graduation and BOC Examination Passing Rates||2011-2012||2012-2013||2013-2014||3 yr aggregate|
|Number of students graduating from program.||4||2||8||14|
|Number of students graduating from program who took BOC examination.||4||2||8||14|
|Number of students who passed the BOC examination on the first attempt.||3||2||7||12|
|Percentage of students who passed the BOC examination on the first attempt.||75.00||100.00||87.5||85.71|
|Number of students who passed the BOC examination regardless of the number of attempts.||3||2||8||13|
|Percentage of students who passed the BOC examination regardless of the number of attempts.||75.00||100.00||100.00||92.86|
Athletic Training Faculty
Asst. Prof, Dir. of Athl. Training
Asst. Prof, Head Athl. Trainer
TLU AT Facts
- TLU athletic training educational experiences often transcend TLU with regular involvement in national and regional athletic training organizations.
- Over the past four years, 88% (15 of 17) of graduates have attended either the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) or Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA) Annual Symposia while students in the program.
- Since 2008, 100% of graduates have been able to continue in their chosen field.
- Graduates currently practice athletic training in a variety of settings including the NFL, NCAA Division 1, NCAA Division 3, high school and rehabilitative clinics.
- TLU athletic training graduates regularly expand their educational experiences beyond TLU. Over the past three years, 11 of 14 graduates have gone on to pursue an advanced graduate degree.
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TLU Clinical Education Video