Master of Science in Athletic Training receives full accreditation

September 27, 2019

Bellarmine University’s new Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) is now fully accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Accreditation is required in order for graduates of the program to sit for the credentialing examination for athletic trainers and to be eligible for licensure in most states.
Bellarmine added the MSAT, which is housed in the School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Health Professions, in 2017 after CAATE announced that the entry-level degree for athletic trainers would transition to the master’s by 2022. Bellarmine is one of five universities in Kentucky offering the master’s program and one of only two that is accredited and in good standing. Bellarmine’s first cohort graduated earlier this year. 
“We have also secured affiliation agreements with the University of Louisville and Louisville City FC,” said Dr. Myra Stockdale, associate professor, chair and director of the MSAT program. “These will be great opportunities for our students.” MSAT students must complete a clinical rotation. The university’s 5,500-square-foot Bradford T. Ray Sports Performance Center, where Bellarmine’s four athletic trainers work with athletes from the school’s 22 collegiate sports, provides one venue. Bellarmine MSAT students have also worked in Jefferson County Public Schools and private high schools in the area, as well as in non-athletic settings such as Norton Healthcare hospitals. 
“We have received some terrific feedback from preceptors about the level of skills our students bring to their respective clinical sites,” Stockdale said.
Athletic trainers collaborate with physicians to provide emergency care and rehabilitation for athletes across the spectrum -- from youth leagues to professional sports to “weekend warriors” -- and work with athletes on conditioning to help prevent injuries. Trainers also work in industrial settings and with the U.S. military, particularly in conjunction with basic training. 
Athletic training is a rapidly growing field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13,100 trainers were employed nationally in 2004; by 2016, the number had grown to 27,800. The Bureau predicts the employment of athletic trainers will grow 23 percent over the next decade, much faster than the average for other professions. 
In addition to offering the traditional two-year postgraduate program, Bellarmine offers undergraduates majoring in exercise science/sport performance early admission, allowing them to complete both a bachelor’s degree and the MSAT in five years.  
Article by Carla Carlton, Director of Development Communications in Bellarmine's Office of Enrollment, Marketing and Communication


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