Currently there are 16 active post-professional athletic training education programs that are accredited by the commission on accreditation of athletic training education (CAATE). CAATE accredited post-professional programs are designed to prepare athletic trainers for advanced clinical practice, research and scholarship, in order to enhance the quality of patient care, optimize patient outcomes, and improve patients’ health-related quality of life. The CAATE states that: “The mission of a Post-Professional Athletic Training Graduate Degree Program is to expand the depth and breadth of the applied, experiential, and propositional knowledge and skills of athletic trainers, expand the athletic training body of knowledge, and to disseminate new knowledge in the discipline. Post-professional graduate education in athletic training is characterized by advanced systematic study and experience—advanced in knowledge, understanding, scholarly competence, inquiry, and discovery.”
Post-professional programs in athletic training are now a popular choice for further education amongst newly certified athletic trainers. However, with the potential move to professional masters degrees in athletic training in the pipeline post-professional masters degrees may no longer continue to exist. Instead the transition to athletic training residency programs and athletic training doctoral degrees is being considered. Post-professional residency programs in athletic training provide advanced preparation of athletic training practitioners through a planned program of clinical and didactic education in specialized content areas using an evidence-based approach to enhance the quality of patient care, optimize patient outcomes, and improve patients’ health-related quality of life.
As a student currently enrolled in a CAATE accredited post-professional program, I believe that my program is meeting the purpose defined by the CAATE and is allowing me to achieve my goals of gaining further clinical and experiential knowledge whilst also being exposed to research opportunities, adding to the current body of knowledge and advancing my scholarly competence.
What is your position regarding post-professional programs?
Are they more beneficial to entry level athletic trainers than degrees in other specializations? such as…exercise physiology, kinesiology, sport psychology, sport administration, etc.?
If our profession is to make the move to professional masters degrees, would you consider additional schooling and consider an athletic training residency or doctoral program?
Stephen Edwards LAT, ATC