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Undergraduate Athletic Training program transitioning to Graduate level
In response to the "AT Strategic Alliance Degree Statement," Penn State closed enrollment to the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training curriculum in Spring Semester 2021. Students seeking to earn an entry-level degree from the University may now do so through the new Master of Athletic Training program.

Clinical Education Progressions per Clinical Practice & Practicum/Internship Level

ATHTR 231: Foundations of Clinical Practice I (Pre-Professional Phase)

This is a clinical observation experience that is intended to increase student awareness for the role of the athletic trainer as an allied health care professional.  The student will also become familiar with the daily operating procedures of an athletic training facility while being exposed to the culture of the profession.  Students complete two rotations (approximately seven weeks in length) in different on-campus athletic training facilities under the mentorship of preceptors for the curriculum, and upper-level athletic training students.  In an effort to broaden a prospective student’s exposure, they are also required to participate in various observational experiences specific to formal athletic events (e.g. Cross Country meet, Fencing tournament, Rugby match, etc.).  Hands-on opportunities, if made available by supervising preceptors, are limited to basic tasks such as facility upkeep (e.g. sanitation practices, inventory stocking, equipment maintenance, etc.) assisting with the administration of hydration duties, and general clerical tasks.

ATHTR 232: Foundations of Clinical Practice II (Professional Phase)

This represents the initial introductory opportunity for athletic training students to engage in the application of theory, and foundational athletic training knowledge through hands-on patient/client care experiences.  Students at this level are able to apply clinical skills that reflect the didactic material they were exposed to in ATHTR 135, ATHTR 231, and ATHTR 233 as well as those of concurrent courses (ATHTR 235, and ATHTR 334) under the supervision of preceptors.  In addition to the basic tasks stated in ATHTR 231, these clinical techniques consist of neuromusculoskeletal injury prevention/screening strategies, prophylactic taping/wrapping practices, and fundamentals of injury examination (focal, but not limited, to the lower extremity, and lumbopelvic spine), acute care, and emergency response.  Application of therapeutic agents is limited to those categorized as infrared (e.g. cryotherapy, and superficial thermotherapy).  Rehabilitation techniques applied are limited in scope to basic interventions that consist of administering range of motion, and progressive resistance exercises as well as elementary neuromuscular control techniques as prescribed by supervising preceptors.  Introductory exposure to documentation, and record-keeping is also characteristic of this experience.  Patient/client populations for this level are student-athletes participating in collegiate or secondary school sports. 

ATHTR 395A – Clinical Internship I (Professional Phase)

This reflects the first formal internship experience in the Athletic Training major.  Students at this level build on the theory that underpins the psychomotor skills they were exposed to in preceding coursework.  In addition to the applied clinical techniques associated with ATHTR 235, students engage in the rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal injuries to the lower extremity, and lumbopelvic spine under the supervision of preceptors; furthermore, students expand on their injury examination skills with assessing pathology to the upper extremity, head, and torso to include evaluation of concussion under the supervision of preceptors.  In this capacity, students begin to apply elementary evidence-based practice principles in the selection of applicable clinical interventions.  Patient/client populations for this level are student-athletes participating in collegiate or secondary school sports. 

ATHTR 495A – Clinical Internship II (Professional Phase)

Students progressing in their application of knowledge, skills, and abilities in managing neuromusculoskeletal injuries, which includes the rehabilitation of injuries to the upper extremity, and trunk, characterize the second internship.  Along with the clinical techniques specific to ATHTR 395A, students develop, and evolve in their utility of therapeutic agents for the management of injury to include therapeutic ultrasound & diathermy, phototherapy, low-level LASER, electrotherapy, mechanical energy, and manual therapy.  Students refine the selection of interventions through continued exposure to an evidence-based practice paradigm under the supervision of preceptors.  This level is also unique in providing an initial exposure in the assessment, and primary care of non-orthopaedic conditions, which parallels material presented in ATHTR 336, in the context of their primary clinical education assignment.  Patient/client populations for this level are student-athletes participating in collegiate or secondary school sports.

ATHTR 495B – Clinical Internship III (Professional Phase)

Students at this level refine the application of clinical techniques associated with ATHTR 495A; moreover, they begin to heighten their participation in the administrative aspects of athletic training, which entails generating, updating, and maintaining the documentation of related health care records.  Additional clinical education responsibilities entail a graded autonomy in the examination, and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal injuries, and primary care of non-orthopaedic conditions; this includes an active role in determining return-to-play or physical activity, with the use of psychosocial aspects of health care, under the supervision of preceptors.  In addition to the patient/client populations for ATHTR 495A, students receive exposure to non-sport populations.

ATHTR 495C – Clinical Internship IV (Professional Phase)

As the last internship in the program, this level provides students with a transition-to-practice experience, which entails a refinement for the application of all athletic training competencies inherent to the curriculum including an advanced utility for psychosocial strategies in the delivery of clinical care, and administration of health care systems.  Regarding the latter, students assume greater responsibility for fostering communication among related personnel, record-keeping, facility maintenance, event organization/preparation, and delegating tasks to lower-level students at the discretion of supervising preceptors.  Persistent with ATHTR 495B, students operate in continued graded autonomy with the execution of all competencies in preparation to sit for the national exam administered by the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer.  In addition to the patient/client populations for ATHTR 495B, students receive additional exposures to non-orthopaedic conditions, and non-sport populations.