Clinical education experiences for undergraduate students have always been an important aspect of the Athletic Training major at Ithaca College. These deliberate and progressive experiences help ensure that students are able to practice and apply skills and proficiencies taught in the classroom and labs. Clinical experiences begin with on-campus assignments during the sophomore year. There are six (6) .5 -1 credit Clinical Experience in Athletic Training courses required as well as 7, 1-credit Internship in Athletic Training courses, and 1, 1-credit Fieldwork in AT courses required. Locally based clinical rotations for each athletic training student occur at Ithaca College, Cornell University, Ithaca High School, Cornell/Gannett Physical Therapy, Cayuga Medical Center, local orthopedic physician offices, the IC Hammond Health Center, and a nearby hospital-based medical center where numerous ATCs are contracted to provide care for high school athletes. Obviously, the majority of clinical education occurs here, on campus working directly with the highly competitive and accomplished Bombers Athletics Program, winners of 15 Division III National Championships and numerous individual National Champions. Although summer or off semester internships are NOT required in our program, some of our past students have gained clinical experiences during the summer with various professional sports teams, Olympic Training Centers, universities and colleges, various sports camps, sports medicine clinics, and other facilities where physically active patients are treated.
Junior and senior athletic training students are typically assigned to two clinical rotations per year both on, and off-campus. Potentially, they may be assigned to any of our 18-20 Clinical Preceptors at any of our on campus or affiliated sites. Rotations are set up to assure that each student gains significant experience with sports having a high percentage of upper extremity injuries, lower extremity injuries, equipment intensive requirements, and general medical experiences. All clinical experiences are gained under the direct supervision of our program's trained and dedicated Clinical Preceptors. Students are also assigned at least one rotation where they will gain clinical experience with student athletes, or patients of the opposite gender.
All Clinical Preceptors that supervise our students are licensed health care professionals and are aware of the clinical experience level of each athletic training student, and the overall structure, mission and philosophy of our education plan. Through their participation in various workshops and tireless dedication to the program, they are able to assist with the teaching and evaluation of clinical skills and proficiencies required for each of the students assigned to them, as well as the professional development and maturation of each and every student.
Experiential learning opportunities are deliberately designed to provide students with progressive and supervised experiences in which they are required to be active and intentional learners, to reflect and build upon their learning and to progress from novices to intermediate, and to entry-level capabilities. The concerted goal of our program is for students to transfer their knowledge and experiences from the classroom to current and ongoing events in situations in professional fields, and in different and taxing contexts. Critical to this experiential learning process is for the students to reflect and evaluate their experiences throughout the process, to practice deliberately, and to receive constructive feedback throughout.