Athletic Training Education

Program Philosophy

Ithaca College's Program Philosophy for Athletic Training Education

Mission for the Major

The Athletic Training Bachelor of Science degree, in the Department of Exercise & Sport Science at Ithaca College is designed to foster and nurture the educational needs of students interested in Athletic Training, and related allied health fields by providing our students concentrated study and clinical experiences leading to certification as an athletic trainer from the Board of Certification. The program of study offered encompasses four interconnected domains of learning: experiential, cognitive, psychomotor, and affective as all students work towards exceeding entry-level competence and proficiency in the following BOC approved athletic training practice domains:

  • Injury/Illness Prevention and Wellness Protection
  • Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
  • Immediate and Emergency Care
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation
  • Organizational and Professional Health and Well-being

Students' cognitive development is constructed with a strong foundation in the basic & life sciences with an underlying emphasis on the various physical, chemical, and physiological interactions; and all courses within the major are taught utilizing the most current research in order to further promote intellectual growth and development. Within the structure of this program, and in keeping with the mission of Ithaca College, students are also guided through a series of general education courses designed to heighten their awareness in the humanities, general sciences, social sciences, and the arts. In addition, the athletic training curriculum at Ithaca College seeks to integrate technology into the clinical and classroom arenas in order to enhance the development of skills and knowledge related to communication across varied mediums.

Vision for the Major

The Athletic Training Bachelor of Science degree, in the Department of Exercise & Sport Science at Ithaca College will prepare future professionals to work and study in the various allied health professions related to Athletic Training, as well as the larger arena of Sports Medicine. This program will also facilitate the educational needs of students interested in studying to be allied health care providers for active populations by integrating current concepts, theories, and techniques in athletic training and sports medicine into the comprehensive education that Ithaca College provides all of its students. In addition to being conscientious, responsible, and socially active individuals and professionals, Athletic Training graduates of Ithaca College will embody entry-level professionals that are well equipped to deal with the myriad challenges associated with providing health care services for physically active populations in the twenty-first century. The faculty and students are committed to keeping the Athletic Training major at Ithaca College a recognized leader in allied health care education and preparation.

Clinical Reasoning Model Utilized for the Athletic Training Major

Students successfully completing a major in athletic training at Ithaca College will demonstrate a range of sports medicine and athletic training thinking skills and abilities used in the acquisition of knowledge and experience. Their work at the end of the program will be clear, precise, and will demonstrate an entry-level appreciation for, and ability to sue clinical reasoning as their chief mode of cognitive processing for clinical encounters and practice. Ithaca College Athletic Training Students will demonstrate in their thinking, command of the key medical and scientific terms and distinctions, and the ability to identify and solve fundamental athletic training and health related problems. Their work will demonstrate a mind in charge of its own sports medicine and athletic training ideas, assumptions, inferences, and intellectual processes. Students successfully completing a major in sports medicine will demonstrate the ability to:

• Analyze athletic training and sports medicine questions and issues clearly and precisely
• Formulate athletic training and sports medicine information accurately
• Distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant when analyzing problems and generating solutions
• Recognize key questionable medical and scientific assumptions
• Use key athletic training and sports medicine concepts effectively
• Use athletic training and sports medicine language in keeping with established professional usage
• Identify relevant competing athletic training and sports medicine points of view
• Reason carefully from clearly stated medical and scientific premises

Students successfully completing the Athletic Training major at Ithaca College will demonstrate excellent athletic training and sports medicine clinical reasoning as demonstrated by the ability to use and discern cognitive skills relative to differential diagnoses and case pattern presentation.

Clinical & Didactic Education Philosophy for Faculty & Staff

As a way to summarize the professional and philosophical position of the athletic training education program at Ithaca College, it is hoped and intended that all professionals involved in the education, advising, or mentorship of Ithaca College athletic training students understand, imbibe and project the following essential fundamentals when engaged with current and future athletic training students, and our future health care professionals:

  1. Our athletic training students are people first, college students second, athletic training students third.
  2. Our athletic training students are NOT employees or staff members for any clinical setting at which they are assigned for clinical education; nor are they to be viewed or treated as manual laborers for any clinical setting/institution at which they are assigned.
  3. As a professional representative of athletic training, we aren't satisfied with the past, with the way things have always been done, or with thinking that what worked for some will automatically work for others.
  4. Most, if not all of our undergraduate athletic training students have a much higher burden upon their shoulders than most prior undergraduates—academically and financially. They are expected to do and learn more in the same time frame than their predecessors were, and we must be respectful of their perspective and experiences.
  5. Many of today's undergraduate athletic training students will not end up working in the traditional university/college AT settings. Their postgraduate and professional health care interests are diverse and far-reaching, and we are respectful and aware of those ambitions and differences in each student.  As such, we will do our best to foster, mentor and guide their learning towards said goals.
  6. Our central job as educators and professional mentors is to educate and guide young minds by providing structure, motivation, leadership, and direction for students to expand and explore cognitively, effectively and professionally. Of course, this includes technical and clinical proficiency (s), and mastery as it pertains to the various domains of athletic training, and all of our students should be held to the highest standards possible as it regards bio scientific knowledge and clinical proficiency. But our jobs entail so much more; if our students only experience, or even remember “best” the negative aspects of their athletic training education, what impressions will they have of our profession when they leave IC? We strive to be honest, fair and open with all students about the field and profession of athletic training, while at the same time being open to all opportunities and how AT fits under, or in the allied health care umbrella.
  7. Overall, we are aware that the discipline of athletic training is an awesome, creative and exciting discipline with myriad possibilities for professional and personal growth.  We are also aware of the reality that there are many things that make the profession of athletic training somewhat suspect for those seeking more professional and personal harmony and accord. As we educate and mentor those around us, we keep note of this different professional paradigm, and seek out constructive and inventive ways to reconcile the discipline of athletic training with the profession of athletic training. In the end, we will all do more than survive—we will all win.


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