Life as an AT Major at IC--Becoming a Healthcare Provider

Get a glimpse of how your four years as an Ithaca College athletic training major will unfold.

Year 1 - Laying the Foundation

One student in a blue shirt is seated at a classroom table listening intently to a classroom lecture. There are other students sitting around tables in the room doing the same.

Your first year is characterized by getting to know your way around campus, "becoming" a college student, and gaining a solid academic foundation. First year students are not assigned any clinical education responsibilities; as we want for you to properly adjust to college life, study habits, and time management. Your primary responsibility is to maintain a minimum GPA of at least 2.75, and to perform well in all of your classes. First year AT majors will enroll in the following core courses during their first year: Prevention & Care of Athletic Injuries, Human Anatomy/Physiology I & II, Kinesiology, and Athletic Training Techniques I. All first year AT students should plan on attending any advertised program seminars/meetings, Ithaca Athletic Training Students' Association (IATAA) club meetings, or AT EquAT and InclusivAT events/programs during their first year (but are not required to do so). Freshman AT majors should also make sure that they are indeed "Athletic Training Majors" with the Registrar's Office (Via Workflow) with their academic advisor before the end of their freshman year.

Year 2 - Building the Foundation and Getting Your Hands Dirty

One student in a blue shirt is taping the ankle of a second student with blond hair and glasses seated on an exam table.

Your sophomore year is characterized by a significant increase in AT major course work and clinical-professional responsibilities. In the fall, you are assigned to an on campus certified athletic trainer/clinical preceptor as part of your Clinical Experience I class, and are expected to attend athletic practices/events a few times per week; with an additional one-hour Hill Center AT clinic assignment one time per week. You observe and help the certified staff and upper-class athletic training students carryout various tasks associated with athletic team coverage and clinical duties. You must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, and a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all AT courses with no grade lower than C - . Major courses taken during the sophomore year include Biomechanics, Human Nutrition, Acute Care of Athletic Training, Athletic Injury Assessment I & II, Sport & Exercise Psychology, Clinical Experience in Athletic Training I & II, and Athletic Training Techniques II & III, and Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice & Clinical Reasoning.

At the end of the sophomore year, AT majors applying for retention in the AT major must have completed 60 hours of clinical experience and demonstrated a minimal level of competency on various taping and wrapping skills, and athletic injury assessment proficiencies needed for the completion of Clinical Experiences I & II. Required hours of clinical experience can only be obtained in the athletic training room or at an organized, supervised team practice session.

Year 3 - Diving In

A student in a blue shirt ad tan shorts is seated in a chair while watching an athlete seated on an exam table using a rubber stretching band on her foot.

The junior year is characterized by an additional increase in course load and clinical education responsibilities, as students are now officially classified as Athletic Training Students (ATS) in the program (after successful sophomore retention). Juniors are assigned to a clinical preceptor during two of the three sport seasons, and two additional hours in the athletic training room per week. All athletic training students are required to work with contact and non-contact sports, as well as with men's and women's sport teams. Some ATS will be assigned off-campus rotations at an affiliated local site for one of their four assignments, so adequate travel arrangements must be made ahead of time. In communication with their Clinical Preceptors, Junior ATS must attend assigned team practices, athletic training room hours, and home athletic contests associated with their clinical assignments. In addition, students must attend all seminars, in-services, and student athletic trainer meetings (IATSA), which are intended to continue the athletic training student's education and professional development.

Academically, juniors must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all athletic training courses. Major courses taken junior year include: Clinical Experience III and IV, Therapeutic Interventions I & II, Neuromuscular Control, Research in Exercise & Sport Science, Junior Internship in AT, Medical Science and Athletic Techniques IV & V. At the end of the junior year, each student must have completed a minimum of 400 hours of clinical experience, and completed all competencies & proficiencies assigned in Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training III and IV.

Professional Networking and Fun!

Between 25-30 of our undergraduate students attend the annual Eastern Athletic Trainers Association conference each year, held somewhere in the northeast states. Upper class students get a chance to take part in the annual quiz bowl, skills challenge, student academic programming, professional networking, and numerous social opportunities with program faculty and staff. Funding from the Department of Exercise Science & Athletic Training and the Kent Scriber Fund is made available to all students who present research at any of our professional conferences.

Year 4 - Putting it All Together

A student in a green sweatshirt is on the sidelines of a football field taping the wrist of a football player also wearing a green jersey.

Your capstone senior year is characterized by a decrease in specific AT course work, and a concurrent increase in clinical application and skill mastery, as well as professional development and maturity. The senior athletic training student will enroll in such classes as Seminar in Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology, Senior Internship in AT, and Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training V and VI. During the senior year, you gain more responsibility and graduated autonomy with your clinical experiences, are now responsible for taking part in all team practices and athletic contests, and are required to attend all assigned training room hours, seminars, in-services, and student athletic trainer meetings. Senior AT majors are also responsible for clinically evaluating and effectively treating injured and ill athletes, from the onset of injury to full recovery, as well as for designing and carrying out effective and progressive rehabilitation programs for their patients, in collaboration with their preceptors, other healthcare providers and their peers.

The senior ATS has an increased responsibility to communicate with, and inform the supervising certified athletic trainer and the head coach of all significant injuries and rehabilitation progress. Senior students must also assist with keeping up to date injury and treatment records utilizing our clinical software, and are encouraged to take an active role in educating & mentoring underclass athletic training students during clinical education experiences in an effort to assess and continue their own education. Many senior AT majors also take part in and complete clinical or experimental research projects with faculty and peers, and present their research at one of many academic or professional conferences, nationwide. Once senior AT students have met the BOC requirements for the national certification exam, they may apply to sit for the exam after April of the senior year.

Incoming students - hear advice from Samantha Brown ('18) about how to make the most of your four years at Ithaca College.

Careers & Resources in AT

Click here to learn more about what can you do with an IC Degree in AT?