Program Philosophy & Guiding Principles

Vision & Mission Statements for Ithaca College Athletic Training Education (Updated Feb., 2016)

Our Vision

The vision of the Athletic Training program at Ithaca College is to produce well-reasoned, reflective, and evidence-informed entry-level professionals that possess the dynamic capability to practice as effective and compassionate lifelong allied healthcare clinicians. The faculty and students are committed to keeping the Ithaca College Athletic Training program a nationally recognized leader in athletic training education and professional preparation.

Our Mission

The mission of the Athletic Training program at Ithaca College is to meet its stated vision by integrating current concepts, theories, techniques and available evidence from athletic training and medicine into the comprehensive and integrated education essential for developing compassionate and capable healthcare clinicians. To nurture and meet the educational needs of our students, we provide concentrated study and integrated clinical experiences designed to promote lifelong professional expertise. Our 3 Pillars+ Curriculum interrelates the experiential, cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains of adult learning and our students' professional development is fashioned from an intentioned and progressive andragogy that is interwoven with clinical reasoning and evidence informed practice. All coursework and experiences are integrated and encapsulated with the most current research, founded upon clinical reasoning and problem solving, and incorporated with appropriate technology in order to further promote intellectual growth, personal development and professional capabilities. In keeping with the mission of Ithaca College, our students are also guided through the school’s Integrative Core Curriculum, a series of general education courses designed to heighten their awareness in the humanities, general sciences, social sciences, and the arts. 

Knowledge Encapsulation

Knowledge encapsulation means that relevant and purposeful concepts, rules and facts from the basic sciences are "encapsulated" into the clinical sciences of athletic training so that greater and more meaningful transfer occurs in students. In other words, the basic sciences are blended with the clinical sciences so that the overall concepts make more sense, and thus, so that learning is enhanced and deepened. At Ithaca College, we work hard to intentionally encapsulate relevant and necessary aspects of physics, chemistry and biology into our curriculum by blending them with our clinical science concepts--the result is that our students' learning is deeper, richer and more usable in clinical contexts. Capable clinicians need to do much more than recite facts, figures and laws if they are to provide high level care for their patients.

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 incorporate clinical reasoning as their chief mode of cognitive processing for clinical encounters. 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.

Role of Instructors

“Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.”
― John DeweyDemocracy and Education

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.

Teaching and Learning

"The purpose of teaching, is for teaching to cease." 

– Michel Serres