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Evangel’s new athletic training program receives national accreditation

Published on Aug 3, 2015 by Paul K. Logsdon

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Evangel University has become the first Assemblies of God University to offer an Athletic Training degree that is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

This is the first allied health care professional degree awarded by Evangel. Notification of accreditation was received last week (July 21, 2015).

Completion of this new 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 Sarah Walters, program director.

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

According to CAATE, “Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.”

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.”

Hardy anticipates an incoming class of 25 pre-AT students this fall.

“Having achieved this benchmark, we are grateful to our current administration for seeing the accreditation process through and supporting our efforts,” said Hardy.

Evangel’s Kinesiology Department also offers majors in Exercise Science: Personal Training Track; Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy Track; Physical Education (K-12); and Sport Management.

* SIDEBAR: Athletic Trainers in the Arts

Certified athletic trainers have been working with performing artists for more than 25 years.

World-renowned entertainment venues and performing arts groups such as Cirque du Soleil, Disney World and Disneyland, Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Cincinnati Ballet and Blue Man Group utilize an athletic training program to keep their performers in peak condition.

Performing Arts athletic trainers provide specialized injury prevention and rehabilitative care to dancers, musicians and vocalists. Studies show that the on-site medical care that the certified athletic trainer can provide to performers reduces both the frequency and severity of injuries as well as reducing operating and production costs.

Sidebar by: National Athletic Trainers Association