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UW-Eau Claire Now Offers
Athletic Training Major
MAILED: May 29, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's athletic training program has been converted to a major, which means students can now earn a bachelor of science degree in athletic training from the university.
The athletic training program has been part of UW-Eau Claire's kinesiology and athletics department for more than 20 years, preparing students for successful careers in the prevention and care of sport and activity related injuries.
"We take great pride in the success and quality of our athletic training education program," Jeff Oliphant, assistant professor of kinesiology, said, noting that program graduates work in public schools, colleges, private clinics, industrial sites and with professional sports teams. "It is a program built with an excellent reputation — a program that meets the increasing need for athletic trainers. UW-Eau Claire graduates who have become certified athletic trainers have had no difficulty finding jobs or getting admitted to graduate schools."
Each year the student demand for the athletic training program has exceeded the number of students who can be served, Oliphant said, noting that he expects interest to continue 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. Twelve students will be admitted to the program each year under the new major, up from the eight admitted yearly in the past, he said, adding that 50-60 students inquire about the program each year.
Among the strengths of UW-Eau Claire's 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, Sacred Heart Hospital and Oak Leaf Surgical Center.
"These partnerships, and others, provide our students with a diverse and outstanding educational experience, and bring the university and community closer together," Oliphant said.
These partnerships help to meet community needs in the following ways:
Athletic training students help high schools meet the medical needs of their athletic programs.
High school students and coaches stay current in the prevention, care and treatment of athletic related injuries by participating in free or low cost workshops and professional development opportunities offered by the university.
UW-Eau Claire student athletic trainers will provide support to UW-Stout's athletic programs.
Student athletic trainers help meet the medical needs of participants in community events such as Special Olympics, Badger State Regional Games, YMCA football, and youth basketball and hockey tournaments.
UW-Eau Claire already has in place the faculty, curriculum and resources for the athletic training major, said Mark Clark, dean of the College of Professional Studies. All courses required by the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification have been in place at UW-Eau Claire since 1981. And UW-Eau Claire is seeking accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, Clark said.
"The change in name — from an emphasis within the kinesiology major to an athletic training major — will more accurately reflect the quality and extent of our program," Clark said.
The UW System Board of Regents approved the major during its May meeting.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 29, 2002