Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a trainer and a certified athletic trainer?
The ATEP at MSU prepares students for careers as certified athletic trainers to provide health care in any setting to individuals who have suffered maladies as a result of activity. Prior to the establishment of the NATA in 1950, there were boxing trainers and horse trainers who were often referred to as simply 'trainers'. Since that time a variety of others, who are not allied health practitioners, have come to call themselves 'trainers' including individuals in business and the fitness industries and others who work with animals. To clarify confusion, the individuals who have earned a degree in an accredited US educational program accredited by CAATE, and have earned the right to use the BOC credential, ATC, after their names, should be referred to as certified athletic trainers. The acronym ATC® is used incorrectly as a noun. It is used after the name of an individual who holds the credential. The clinical setting where athletes are cared for, in schools and universities, should be referred to as the athletic training room.
What is the difference between BOC certification and state licensure?
The BOC administers an voluntary examination to individuals who have completed a prescribed course of study to practice athletic health care nationally and internationally. In the US, the practice of athletic training is regulated in about 41 states. The regulations vary in some instances, however, the BOC certification is the regulatory standard in most states. Students who complete the BS in Athletic Training degree program and all program requirements are eligible to sit for the BOC examination. Successful examination candidates are then eligible to apply for licensure where they choose to seek employment.
Suppose I want to work in a state other than NJ?
The individual state regulatory agencies in each state disseminate specific information on the requirements, including New Jersey. The MSU faculty will direct you to the proper resources when you are a senior. It would be wise to declare your intentions earlier, if known, as one or two states require very detailed hour logs for state licensure.
Will I need a car to fulfill my clinical requirements while at MSU?
A car is necessary for most of the five clinical education rotations; MSU does not provide transportation to clinical education rotations. The senior internship may require a vehicle and/or temporary housing in another locale depending on the site of the selected internship.
When do clinical rotations begin?
For freshmen entering in the fall of 2008, the first clinical rotation will commence with the fall semester of the sophomore year. All students are required to participate in an orientation session in August for the next two fall rotations (Clinic 3 and 5). In addition, students are required to participate in 16 hours of pre-season for Clinic 3 and 5. The start date is variable; approximately the second week in August.
What am I financially responsible for?
In addition to tuition, students are responsible for books, uniforms, health insurance, transportation to and from clinical sites, food, lodging, immunizations, and possibly professional liability insurance for the senior internship. Additionally, a $125 clinical lab fee for each Clinical Education Course and Clinical Anatomy has been approved by the University effective for the Spring semester, 2004.
Is a criminal background check required for clinical education?
As of January, 2007 all MSU ATEP students will be required to submit to criminal background check. The information will be given to you well in advance of the date required. The student is responsible for this and all ancillary costs other than professional malpractice insurance, associated with clinical education.
Any athletic training major or prospective athletic training major who believes s/he may have an indiscretions such as those delineated in the linked document or have charges pending from the aforementioned should contact Dr. David Middlemas, the ATEP Program Director immediately.
What are the uniform requirements?
As with other allied health professions, specified professional attire is required when involved in clinical education. The clothing is casual, but professional, with the colors and style of shirt and slacks specified. The specific requirements are listed in the ATEP. For safety and health reasons, some jewelry, body piercing, hair, and nail styles will need to conform to accepted parameters of the medical profession. Tatoos visible while in uniform will need to be covered while in the clinical setting.
Will I be permitted to work or participate in extra-curricular activities like theater, orchestra/band, campus government, or athletics?
The requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training, content and sequencing have been established in accordance with the Standards and Guidelines of the accrediting agency. The student determines the length of time to program completion. Students undertaking a protracted program of study will be responsible for changes enacted by the ATEP and/or accrediting or certifying agencies; students must meet the certification requirements in place at the time of BOC examination application.
Will I graduate in four years?
The ATEP program spans four academic years with one offering of courses per year. While it is intended that contiguous instruction will result in graduation in four years, the ATEP does not make decisions for students. A number of factors could delay one's progress including: family and personal emergencies; military duty; ATEP remediation; failure to complete clinical education didactic or clinical hour requirements; and failure to immediately rectify TISK deficiencies. TISK is an ATEP acronym for Things I Should Know. Students are responsible for maintaining a level of proficiency in previously mastered skills. Spot checks occur periodically ; students who fail to maintain proficiency (most notably first aid, CPR, taping, universal precautions and basic assessment) are removed from clinical education until the situation is rectified.
Does MSU accept transfer athletic training students?
Transfer students who meet admission requirements and pre-requisite coursework may apply for admission to the ATEP on a space available basis. It is suggested that prospective transfer students contact the program director well in advance. He will be happy to help you coordinate your coursework even 1-2 years ahead of the anticipated transfer. It is highly suggested that transfer students have completed the Anatomy and Physiology requirement before matriculating. Additionally, current CPR for the professional rescuer, AED, and First Aid certifications should be in hand.
When must I declare Athletic Training as my major?
All students must declare Athletic Training as their major in order to register for ATEP coursework; all sections are closed to non majors and require permission of instructor. Incoming students must declare their intentions to the Admissions Office before New Student Orientation. Transfer students must meet with Dr. Middlemas before being given permission to register. The major is open to all students accepted for matriculation at the University. However, there is an application process for the clinical portion of the ATEP curriculum. The application is due by December 1st of the freshman year. Acceptance decisions are made after fall grades have been posted.
Does the ATEP accept international students?
The University enrolls a considerable number of international students. The ATEP is proud to have several international students (Japan, Korea, India, Brasil, and Great Britain), and a few who have emigrated (Poland, Jamaica) and for whom English was a second language at some point. As with US students, acceptance into the ATEP requires admission to the University. While some support services are available at MSU, please be mindful that the program is rigorous and taught in English. The BOC examination is also in English; no accommodations are made for individuals for whom English is a second language. Please contact the ATEP faculty with specific questions.
How should I address the ATEP faculty in communications?
The ATEP faculty and most of the members of the ESPE Department have earned doctorates; they should be addressed as Dr. (and their surname) until you are instructed otherwise. Your clinical instructors should be addressed as Mr. and Ms. until you are directed otherwise.