The UNO Athletic Training Program is phasing out the undergraduate program next year.
The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) committee decided for all Athletic Training programs to move to master’s level by 2022, said Health and Kinesiology Professor Adam Rosen.
“We just started that process slightly early as we are one of the seven programs in the country to simultaneously operate undergrad and master’s level program at the same time,” Rosen said.
The UNO Athletic Training Program is the first graduate program in the country, which started in 2000. The program will continue to provide opportunities for undergraduate students through an alternative entry process. Undergraduates can matriculate through the Exercise Science Program before they can apply for Master’s in their junior year, Rosen said.
“In their fourth year, they will be integrated,” Rosen said. “They will take both undergrad and grad classes together and in the end of their fourth year, they will graduate with their Bachelor’s in Kinesiology.”
Students can enroll in UNO and declare as Pre-Athletic Training. “We encourage students who are interested in that to meet with an advisor as early as possible,” he said.
Health and Kinesiology professor Christopher Burcal said the graduate program is a two-year master’s program that starts in the summer.
“It’s a 44-hour credit program that prepares students to be athletic trainers.” Burcal said. “Our program is set up to have educational didactic lecture components as well as clinical education.”
The clinical education is individualized training from an accreditation standpoint.
“We’re required to give students a lower extremity experience, an upper extremity experience, equipment intensive, and a men and women’s sport experiences,” Burcal said.
Students in a beginner class are taught to respond in immediate care in situations where athletes may pass out on the field or fracture any limbs.
“We are learning the basics on how to be an emergency medical responder to those situations,” Rosen said.
Students also work in a number of professional, clinical settings, including: UNO Athletics, Creighton Athletics, Bellevue University, Iowa Western Community College, Children’s Hospital, and 15 area high schools.
“Our clinical aspect is what sets us apart from other programs.” Rosen said. “We operate on a one-to-one in student to preceptor ratio throughout the city and the surrounding Omaha area.”
The UNO Athletic training program has a 100 percent employment rate with a 97% percent overall first-time Board of Certification Examination Pass rate, according to the UNO website on the Athletic training program. The program has been successful in students receiving internships in the NFL, every level of professional baseball, and Division I sports in colleges across the country, Rosen said.
“We boast a 100 percent job employment rate within six months of graduation,” Rosen said. “Our students are passing their national exam, and they have jobs.”