University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

NEWS RELEASE

News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

UW-Eau Claire Athletic Training
Education Program Receives National Accreditation

 MAILED:  Oct. 7, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — The athletic training education program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire recently was granted initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

The accreditation, which follows peer review by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Athletic Training and the Commission's board of directors, recognizes the program's substantial compliance with the nationally established accreditation standards established by the commission and The American Academy of Family Physicians, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, and the National Athletic Trainers' Association Inc.

"We are very pleased to receive accreditation of our program. It reflects the quality of our program and staff and is important to our students' futures," said Jeff Oliphant, assistant professor of kinesiology and director of the athletic training education program.

The athletic training education program has been part of UW-Eau Claire's kinesiology and athletics department for more than 20 years. In 1989, Oliphant was hired as an instructor and head athletic trainer. In 1996, the process of obtaining a major in athletic training and eventually accreditation began. In May 2002, the UW System Board of Regents gave UW-Eau Claire the approval to offer a bachelor of science degree in athletic training. During Oliphant's tenure, 50 students have completed the internship route to certification and 42 are currently working in the field as certified athletic trainers.

"We've always felt very fortunate to have a person with Jeff's exceptional talents and dedication directing our athletic training program," said Marilyn Skrivseth, chair of the kinesiology department. "Without his leadership and commitment to the athletic training program this accreditation would not have been possible."

Oliphant said accreditation means that UW-Eau Claire graduates in athletic training are qualified to sit for the Board of Certification's national examination, a new standard put into effect by the National Athletic Trainers Association in January.

Accreditation also means that UW-Eau Claire's program will be even more attractive to prospective students, said Oliphant, who expects demand for the program to grow given the U.S. Bureau of Statistics projection of an 18.5 percent growth in the number of athletic training positions nationally between 2000-2010.

Currently 40 students are enrolled in the major, with 24 admitted into the athletic training program. "Our maximum at this time is 15 a year, but I expect more demand in the future now that we are accredited," Oliphant said.

UW-Eau Claire graduates who have become certified athletic trainers have had no difficulty finding jobs or getting admitted to graduate school, Oliphant said. Most work in clinical settings, serving high school and community athletic programs. Others work with college and professional sports teams.

Among the strengths of the athletic training program are the partnerships it has established throughout the Chippewa Valley, Oliphant said. Partnerships exist with North and Memorial high schools in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls High School, as well as area sports medicine clinics, area physicians, Chippewa Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, and Oak Leaf Surgical Hospital.

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JW/JB

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: October 6, 2004