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Athletic Training FAQs

Can I participate in sports or other activities while being an athletic training major?

Yes, you can play a sport or participate in some other extracurricular activity for one season each year you are in the professional phase of the program.  That means that if you participate in a sport that has a non-traditional season, such as baseball, you will be able to play in the spring season but not the fall non-traditional season unless you have free time from studies and clinical assignments.  The athletic training educational program (ATEP) faculty understand the value of being well-rounded and involved athletic training students (ATS).  Our coaches and faculty have worked together to allow this opportunity and still make it possible to graduate in the normal four year period.  If you plan to play sports or be involved in another opportunity, you must meet with Dr. Barbara Long as soon as possible to devise an academic plan for the participation.

Is the BC athletic training education program (ATEP) an accredited program?

The Bridgewater College ATEP has met all of the nationally-recognized Standards for Entry-Level Athletic Training Education.  The last review by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) granted the maximum 10 years of reaffirmation.  BC will undergo its next comprehensive evaluation during the 2018-2019 academic year.

What is the graduate placement rate?

Not many programs can say that 98% of their graduates are placed before August in the same year they graduate.  Even fewer can say that 80% of its graduates are placed before they accept their diploma.  Bridgewater College ATEP can say just that, in the last 10 years, nearly every student has known where they were going to school or work at the time of graduation.

What is your Board of Certification (BOC) examination success rate?

Our first-time pass rate on the Board of Certification (BOC) examination has met or exceeded the national average every year except one since CAATE accreditation.  Our students in the last three years have passed at a 100% rate (national average has been nearly 50% in that timeframe).  The faculty are partnering with the students to develop an atmosphere where 100% success on the BOC examination is the normal despite low national averages.

What is the difference between the pre-placement phase and professional phase of the ATEP?

You can declare athletic training as your major from the moment of acceptance.  The first year and a half, you are part of the pre-placement phase (sometimes called pre-professional program).  This pre-placement phase is a time to determine if the major is a good fit for you. Once you have successfully completed the competitive admissions process (a separate process and one with limited number of students admitted), you will enter into the professional phase of the ATEP.  Usually, the professional phase begins second semester of the sophomore year.

What is the pre-placement phase of the ATEP?

The pre-placement phase of the ATEP occurs when a student declares AT as their major and lasts until they either are admitted by the ATEP or change their major.  This phase is an observational time to determine if athletic training is the appropriate career choice for them.  This phase normally lasts until the successful admissions process outlined in the academics overview of this web-page (usually second semester sophomore year).  There is a pre-placement orientation phase that must occur that includes universal precautions and blood-borne pathogens training before a student can begin the pre-placement observations with BC athletic trainers.

What is the professional phase of the ATEP?

The professional phase of the ATEP begins when a student is accepted by the ATEP for admissions.  This process is competitive for limited spots and outlined in the academic overview portion of this webpage.  The admissions process normally occurs following interterm of the sophomore year.  Students are required to be enrolled a minimum of two full academic years in the ATEP (because of external accreditation standards).  The BC ATEP is normally completed in 2.5 years.

Where do your graduates go to graduate school?

Our students have gotten graduate assistant or teaching assistant positions at the following colleges and universities:

Armstrong Atlantic State University
College of Charleston
College of William and Mary
Delta State University
Georgia Southern University
James Madison University
Louisiana Tech University
Northwestern State University
Old Dominion University
University of Florida
University of Virginia
Virginia Tech

In addition we’ve had our graduates attend doctoral programs in physical therapy, medicine, osteopathy, and graduate physician assistant programs.

What percentage of graduates goes into the workforce versus graduate school?

Roughly 70% of our students enter graduate programs with 50% of those gaining paid graduate assistant or teaching assistant positions.  Nearly 30% of our students go directly into entry-level jobs in secondary schools or clinics.

Will I need a car to be enrolled in the professional phase of the ATEP?

Throughout the junior and senior years, there will be opportunities to observe surgeries which will require transportation to Rockingham Memorial Hospital of Hess Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine. Late in the junior year or throughout the senior year, you may be sent to an off-campus clinical affiliation such as a clinic, physician's office or high school near or around Harrisonburg (20+ minutes from campus).  Transportation will be needed for this purpose.  If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from having a car, please contact Dr. long, in most instances, alternative activities can be secured.

Will I need to live on campus to enroll in the professional phase of the ATEP?

Once admitted to the ATEP, you will occasionally travel and returning late from athletic contests.  While this travel may be easier if walking afterward to a dorm room, there is no reason you must live on campus.  The College’s off-campus housing policy applies to all athletic training students.

When do I apply for admissions to the ATEP?

The application process occurs by January 15 following the completion of all of the pre-placement coursework and hours of observation.  This is normally in the sophomore year.

Where might my clinical affiliations occur?

Generally, clinical affiliations occur with one of the five  BC certified athletic trainers and the 25 intercollegiate sports teams they are covering.  You may also complete a clinical assignment in the local secondary schools, Rockingham Memorial Hospital’s Rehab Services, Advantage Physical Therapy, James Madison University or the College of William and Mary.  Every student will complete a general medical rotation within a local healthcare facility.