The US Department of Education estimates that there are 4,000 colleges in the nation and there are 350 undergraduate programs being offered on athletics training all over the country. A person who wishes to work as an athletic trainer and is living in the southern region of the United States must pursue an athletics course in any of the southern universities and colleges.
Admission to southern universities offering a BS degree vary, but most will require a good GPA of at least 2.0 or better. Completion of a high school diploma is essential as well as submitting an application. In other cases, southern universities may require the submission of an essay plus recommendation letters from former professors or teachers.
Ashland University is one of the southern universities offering 70 undergraduate programs including a BS Degree in Athletic Training. The campus is in Ashland, Ohio. Students can join athletic associations to complement their studies such as the Athletic Training Club, National Athletic Trainer’s Associations, and the Ohio Athletic Trainer’s Association. A major requirement to the course is completion of 600 hours of ‘clinical experience’ involving traveling with sports teams.
East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina is another one of southern universities offering athletics programs. It offers both a BS and an MS degrees in Athletic Training. The BS program requires coursework and 800 hours of athletic training under a certified supervisor. The degree is a Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredited program requiring a minimum of 126 hours of course work. Students who wish to pursue the MS Degree must complete 40 hours of course work and 12 hours of practicum.
Another one of the southern universities in the same state is the Greensboro College offering a four year undergraduate degree leading to a BS in Athletic Training. The first years will require pre-course work and the last three years completion of 5 clinical education courses.
Shenandoah University in West Virginia is also one of the southern universities offering an Athletics Program. Located in West Virginia, it offers a BS degree in Athletic Training. The course is also CAATE accredited and is a combination of clinical training and course work. Distance learning is also possible for some of the coursework and it is complemented by clinical research.
Other southern universities offering athletic programs include the Arkansas State University, Texas State University, and University of West Alabama. In Kentucky, you have the Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Murray State University, and Northern Kentucky University. Barry University in Miami Florida offers a 5-year degree in Athletic Training leading to a Master’s degree, In Louisiana, the Louisiana State University is known for its Athletic Training Program while Tennessee has the University of Chattanooga. Finally or as a first step, consult the Athletic Trainers Society in each of the southern states to get an idea of top southern universities offering athletic program degrees. Each state has a chapter society accredited with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
After getting the appropriate degree from southern universities, graduates are required be licensed or certified. At present, 47 states in the US require athletic trainers to be licensed before they are allowed to practice the profession. Licenses are issued by the Board of Certification (BOC) after successful completion of board certification exams. To keep the license, athletic trainers must take continuing professional education courses approved by the BOC. Alaska, California, and West Virginia are three states where licensing or certification is voluntary.
Sources and Citations
Bureau of Labor Statistics