Athletic training program implemented
An 8-year process has produced results as the kinesiology department now offers an accredited athletic training program to students.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs has recently accredited the athletic training education program offered by the kinesiology department.
|“It’s a big relief to know we can get certified here.”
Jeff Oliphant, assistant professor of kinesiology and director of the athletic training education program, was the person who started the process.
The athletic training program has been part of UW-Eau Claire for more than 20 years.
As soon as Oliphant was hired as an instructor, his goal was to get the program accredited.
“It was an extensive process. It started in 1997 when we put together the athletic training major,” he said.
The process is very time-consuming. It starts first with a submitted application, then a two-year candidacy, followed by evaluators who look at every aspect of the program, Oliphant said.
Eau Claire is not the first athletic training program offered within the UW System. UW schools in La Crosse, Stevens Point, Oshkosh, Madison and Milwaukee all offer accredited versions of an athletic training major, Oliphant said.
The athletic training program is the first accredited major within the kinesiology department, he said.
“The accreditation is a very good reflection of our department,” Oliphant said. “It adds to our qualifications.”
In order to become certified as an athletic trainer, a student must have a degree from an accredited program, said Sarah Heins, a senior athletic training major.
Having the program approved for accreditation allows students to become certified as undergraduates, she said.
The new program will not affect the students at first. “It is a very, very big and important step,” Oliphant said.
The program set new standards for 2004 for anyone who wants to become a certified trainer, he said.
During Oliphant’s tenure, 50 students have become certified and 42 of them are currently working as certified trainers, according to a university press release.
Previously, athletic training majors from Eau Claire had to attend a graduate school to become certified, Heins said.
“It’s a big relief to know we can get certified here.”