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Athletic Training program grows at Evangel University

Published on Aug 31, 2015 by Paul K. Logsdon

Featured in the Springfield News-Leader, under headline: “Athletic training program at Evangel University receives national accreditation”

“Athletic trainers aren’t just the tapers and water carriers. That is really only a small percentage of what we do — less than two-percent of our time,” said Sarah Walters, director of the new athletic training degree program at Evangel University.

“Most of our time is spent in injury prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and rehabilitation or treatment of injuries and illnesses,” she continued.

In Missouri, athletic trainers work under the direction of a physician.

“That’s direction, not supervision,” Walters explained. “There is a huge difference in the medical world. This means we are an extension of his services to the site at which we work.”

The athletic training degree at Evangel University received national accreditation this summer by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Completion of the degree program at Evangel qualifies graduates to sit for the Board of Certification exam, and passage of the exam allows them to apply for licensure to work as an athletic trainer in any state.

“Evangel offers a comprehensive program designed for students interested in health care with physically active people,” said Walters.

AT graduates find careers in high school, university and professional sports programs, hospitals, the military, industrial settings and even performing arts organizations.

In addition to working with Evangel athletes, the University has partnered with Cox Health for students to perform clinical rotations.

“Our program is unique because we start providing hands-on experience during the spring of a student’s freshman year,” said Walters. “A lot of programs only provide a minimum of two years of experience, but we are able to offer three-and-a-half years. Our students love the immediate hands-on practice!”

At Evangel, the athletic training program comes under the Kinesiology Department.

Sarah Walters joined the Evangel faculty in 2011 to coordinate the accreditation process, and was asked to serve as program director in 2013. Dr. Kevin King, assistant professor of athletic training and exercise science, shares the course load.

Ms. Walters and Dr. King’s dedication to the university both academically and athletically is unquestionable,” said Dr. Keith Hardy, chair of the department. “They are highly committed to producing the top athletic training students in the country.”