Athletic Training

Athletic Training Education is hands-on learning from day one. 

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).

Master of Science Degree in Athletic Training (MSAT)

The department of Kinesiology has received approval from the TLU Board of Regents and university faculty to transition the current Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training to a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training (MSAT) for the 2016-17 academic year.

Pending successful completion of a substantive change process through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), TLU students will have access to a five-year educational experience resulting in concurrent completion of a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Science in Athletic Training degree.

The five-year program is divided into pre-professional and professional phases; each have specific admission requirements. Students who complete the professional phase of the athletic training program are eligible to become nationally certified athletic trainers through the Board of Certification (BOC) and for Texas state licensure.

Athletic Training Program

  • 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. 

    Real-World Experience

    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.

  • Mission Statement, Goals & Objectives

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the TLU Athletic Training Program is to provide students foundational education and clinical experiences within the 8 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 fostering clinical decision making skills, communicating effectively in a variety of situations, and exhibiting professionalism as a practicing athletic trainer. Students are routinely placed in hands on learning situations to encourage the development of knowledgeable and resourceful healthcare professionals. The program strives to prepare students to become BOC certified (ATC) athletic trainers who will work and be an active participant in the athletic training profession.

    Texas Lutheran’s ATP will strive to:

    1. Successfully prepare graduates for future practice in the profession of athletic training
    2. Provide students with a variety of clinical educational experiences
    3. Monitor success of ATEP graduates within the allied health community
    4. Encourage active involvement in professional organizations within the Athletic Training profession

    Graduates of Texas Lutheran’s ATP should have the ability to:

    1. Model professional behaviors that are both congruent with the National Athletic Training Association (NATA) Code of Ethics and consistent with professional excellence and the expectations of the athletic training profession.
    2. Model job performance and communication characteristics consistent with expectations of the athletic training profession
    3. Utilize knowledge and clinical skills consistent with expectations of the athletic training profession for entry level practitioners
    4. Utilize clinical decision making skills to properly manage a variety of patient care situations.
  • Pre-Professional Athletic Training Program

    The pre-professional phase of the athletic training program is intended for the traditional college freshman or sophomore who is interested in the athletic training field. This phase is geared toward orientation to the profession and the acquisition of basic clinical skills. Students in this phase are expected to concentrate on academic success while becoming familiar with the TLU athletic training clinic and the academic program. The pre-professional phase includes a small clinical experience requirement that is completed on campus as a part of the Practicum in Athletic Training courses that these students take. Although not required for successful completion of the professional phase of the program, students completing this phase will have ample exposure to clinical situations and be well prepared to begin making clinical decisions for their patients.

    Criteria for Admission

    All students who wish to be considered for the pre-professional portion of the athletic training program must satisfy the following:

    1. Unconditional acceptance to TLU via Enrollment Services Office
    2. Completion of an athletic training program application form, returned to the program director.
    3. An interview with the TLU Athletic Training Program Director.
    4. A minimum of a 2.7 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale for all high school and college work.Preference is given to those with a GPA of 3.0 or above.
    5. Students must complete a physical examination from a medical doctor and complete a technical standards document before beginning the clinical portion of this phase.

    Retention in the Pre-Professional Phase

    Students must meet the following criteria to maintain involvement in the pre-professional phase of the athletic training program:

    1. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale in all courses taken at TLU.Students that fall below a 2.7 will be placed on probation and have one semester to improve the GPA to the required level.Failure to achieve a 2.7 GPA will result in suspension from the program.
    2. On time attendance at all athletic training coursework, program meetings and clinical experience hours.Students are expected to be proactive as conflicts arise and notify the appropriate staff or faculty member if the student will be late or absent.Students who are routinely late or absent to required athletic training responsibilities will be placed on probation and given specific guidelines to follow.Violation of probationary guidelines will result in suspension from the program.
    3. Positive evaluations of clinical experience hours.Students will be evaluated by a preceptor at the middle and end of each semester.Students are expected to use feedback to improve clinical performance.

    Transfer Policy for Pre-Professional Phase

    Students wishing to transfer into the pre-professional phase of the athletic training program must meet the same admission criteria as freshman students.Selection of transfer students will be based on the listed criteria as well as available space in the pre-professional phase.Accepted transfer students will begin the program at the start of the new semester and be required to complete the introductory proficiency list in one semester.Failure to do so will result in suspension from the program.

  • Professional Athletic Training Program

    The professional phase of the TLU Athletic Training Program is intended for students who have chosen to pursue a career in the athletic training field.Academic and clinical components are designed to cover content leading to proficiency within the 8 competency areas set forth by the NATAEC.The program consists of six traditional semesters and two mandatory summer sessions resulting in concurrent completion of a B.S. in Kinesiology and a M.S. in Athletic Training.Students completing this phase are eligible for BOC certification.

    Criteria for Admission to the Professional Phase

    All students who wish to be considered for the pre-professional phase of the athletic training program must satisfy the following:

    1. Unconditional acceptance to TLU via Enrollment Services Office
    2. Completion of an Athletic Training Professional Program Application.Applications are due March 1st for students beginning the following fall semester.
    3. One academic and one professional letter of recommendation.Letters should be submitted to the TLU Enrollment Services Office.
    4. An interview with the TLU Athletic Training Program Faculty.
    5. A minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale for all college coursework.
    6. Completion of minimum 34 of 51 credit hours of TLU general education requirements.
    7. Completion with a C or higher the TLU equivalent of the following coursework:
      1. BIOL 147: Human Anatomy and Physiology 1
      2. BIOL 148: Human Anatomy and Physiology 2
      3. KINS 120: Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
      4. KINS 238: Foundations of Athletic Training
      5. PRWB 130:Contemporary Wellness

    Applications are obtained and submitted through the TLU Enrollment Services Office.Students whose application file meets the admission criteria will be reviewed by the Athletic Training Admission Committee.Applications will be evaluated and ranked based on the above criteria.Students accepted into the professional phase of the program will be required to sign a technical standards document and submit a general medical physical completed by a medical doctor before beginning the clinical portion of the program.

    Applicants that already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university who are interested in the TLU Masters of Athletic Training program should follow the application procedures listed above.If the applicant’s degree is not equivalent to a B.S. in Kinesiology or is missing coursework in which athletic training competencies are instructed, the applicant must complete courses to address those deficiencies.Additionally, the clinical portion of the athletic training program consists of a minimum of three years to complete.


  • Admission Information

    Technical Standards

    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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. The ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately.
    5. The capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.
    6. The perseverance, diligence, and commitment to complete the athletic training education program as outlined and sequenced.
    7. Flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
    8. Effective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.
    9. 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.

    Required Costs

    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 Disease

    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:

    1. Complete annual blood borne pathogen training.
    2. Practice proper hand washing techniques and good hygiene as outlined in blood borne pathogen training.
    3. 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
    4. 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.
    5. Have access to basic barrier methods of preventing disease transmission. These supplies will be supplied by the academic program and the clinical education sites.
    6. 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.
    7. Do not provide patient care if they have active signs or symptoms of a communicable disease unless they have been cleared by a physician.

    Blood-borne Pathogens

    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:

    1. Immediately wash needle sticks and cuts with soap and warm water.
    2. Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water.
    3. If eyes are exposed to blood or contaminated fluids, flush with warm water or saline for 15 minutes.
    4. The student immediately informs the Preceptor
    5. The clinical instructor will evaluate the exposure to determine if immediate referral is warranted.
    6. The preceptor will notify the Program Director.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.

    Personal Injury

    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:

    1. The student immediately informs the Preceptor
    2. The preceptor will evaluate the injury to determine if immediate referral is warranted.
    3. The preceptor will notify the Program Director.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

    Extended Recovery

    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.

    Inclement Weather

    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.

  • Curriculum

    TLU Master's in Athletic Training (MSAT) Academic Progression

    View the academic progression for the MSAT degree for the expected coursework and credit hours to be completed each semester of the five-year program.

  • Visit Information

    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.

  • Careers

    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

Brian Coulombe

Asst. Prof, Dir. of Athl. Training

Timothy Kent

Asst. Prof, Clinical Coordinator

View All Faculty

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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