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Student enrollment has nearly tripled in King University’s Athletic Training Program
(ATP) since the program received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation
of Athletic Training Education in May of 2010.
At the time of accreditation the program had just 10 students enrolled. Today the
program has 27 current students and eight graduates. For the past two years, 100 percent
of the graduates from King’s Athletic Training Program passed the Board of Certification
exam on their first attempt, exceeding the national average of a first-attempt pass
rate of 80.9 percent.
“This success rate can be attributed to the quality of our curriculum and the types
and numbers of clinical opportunities being offered to our students,” says Cara Anderson,
dean of the School of Education at King University. “The increase of students in the
Athletic Training Program is a natural byproduct of the educational initiatives being
put in place as we continually strive to enhance the program.”
The increase in students created a need for a new, multi-purpose space that would
offer opportunities for hands-on experience alongside classroom learning. This fall,
ATP students have begun utilizing this new space for the first time, and they now
have room to practice the skills learned in the classroom and through clinical experiences.
The Athletic Training Program has proven to be a successful program for students pursuing
careers as certified athletic trainers. Eighty-six percent of the program’s graduates
are working in the field for which they were trained or are pursuing additional education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of athletic trainers is expected
to grow by 30 percent over the next several years, much faster than the average for
Leigh Ann Adams, director of the Athletic Training Program, attributes the student
success in part to the program coursework, but also gives credit to the diverse group
of preceptors utilized by King to facilitate the required clinical hours for each
“We have really good preceptors and athletic trainers,” Adams says. “Students are
placed with multiple preceptors who are knowledgeable and very skilled. They get a
variety of experiences and, as a result, see a lot of theories and different ways
to practice. I think that really helps them.”
Whitney Osborne, a May 2013 graduate, says the opportunity to work with King’s athletic
programs as well as with professional athletic trainers in a variety of clinical settings
provides students a multitude of firsthand learning experiences.
“We learned in the classroom but we also had lots of hands-on experience,” Osborne
says. “We were matched up with athletic trainers who have been doing this job for
years. Being able to watch what they do and ask them questions was great. We got to
experience real-life situations rather than just read about it in a book.”
King’s Athletic Training Program is one of only seven bachelor’s degree athletic training
programs offered in the state of Tennessee. Students are accepted into the program
through a competitive admissions process that takes place in the spring of their freshman
year. Starting with their sophomore year, students are required to complete a minimum
of 150 clinical hours each semester. During the last semester of the program, the
required number of clinical hours jumps to 500.
Adams says the new laboratory classroom supplements rigorous student clinical experiences
by offering taping stations, treatment tables and other equipment, providing students
the opportunity to learn in an environment that mirrors those in which they will be
working after graduation.
“This is definitely space that was needed,” says Mikki Oliver, a senior in the program.
“The program has grown tremendously, and the new classroom gives us extra room, enabling
students to practice their skills even more. “
King University is headquartered in Bristol, Tenn., and has established 14 campuses
and locations across Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. King University also offers
degree programs online.
King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King
College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees
and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences,
pharmacy, digital media, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered
in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus
learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University
is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams. For
more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of
any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University
is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact
the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road,
Richlands, VA 24641.