Program Policies

Technical Standards for Admission

The Athletic Training Program at Purdue University is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled in the program. An objective of this program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals engaged in physical activity. The technical standards set forth by the Athletic Training Program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the program's accrediting agency, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the Athletic Training Program. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be allowed to continue in the program. Compliance with the program's technical standards does not guarantee a student's eligibility for the BOC certification exam.

Candidates for selection to the Athletic Training Program must demonstrate:

  1. The ability to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm.
  2. Sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function, and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients.
  3. The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
  4. The ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately.
  5. The capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.
  6. The perseverance, diligence and commitment to complete the athletic training education program as outlined and sequenced.
  7. Flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
  8. Affective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.
  9. Candidates for selection to the athletic training program will be required to verify they understand and meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations. Purdue University is committed to providing an accessible and supportive environment for students with disabilities. Students requesting accommodations for a disability are responsible for notifying the University of their disability and their request for accommodation. To initiate a request for accommodations, a full statement of the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities, and the rights and responsibilities of the University and its faculty and students must contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

(Approved by the Purdue University Affirmative Action Office, May 2001)

Academic Performance & Retention Policy

Department of HK Requirements

Students enrolled in majors within the Department of Health & Kinesiology must earn a "C" or better in all required courses. Additionally, students may retake a class in which they received a grade lower than a "C", but must petition to retake a course for a third time. This rule applies only to courses required in the major.

Retention Criteria

Students admitted to the professional phase of the Athletic Training Program will be allowed to enroll in the coursework and clinical experience. The academic record of the students in the program will be evaluated each semester. The student must receive a 2.75 GPA or better for the semester in order to remain in good standing. If the student's semester GPA is below 2.75, the student is placed on "probation" for the following semester. Two successive semesters below a 2.75 will call for the "suspension" of the student from the program.

Readmission Following Academic Suspension

The student who is suspended from the program for academic reasons may apply for readmission to the program only if the student's semester index is above 2.75 (for 12 credit hours or more) for the semester following suspension. The student applies, in writing, to the Program Director. The Athletic Training Program Appeals Committee (i.e., the Program Director, Director of Sports Medicine, Clinical Education Coordinator, and Head of the Department of Health & Kinesiology) will consider and decide on the applicant's case. If readmitted, the student will be on academic probation for a minimum of one semester. It should be understood that the student must still complete the required clinical experience for graduation from the program.

Communicable Disease Policy

The following policy and procedures have been developed for the attainment and control of communicable diseases. Any student that is diagnosed as having a communicable disease of any form is required to report that disease to the Athletic Training Program Director and Purdue University Student Health Center. Students that contract a communicable disease are required to obey prescribed guidelines by his/her attending physician and the recommendations of the university affiliated physicians at the Purdue University Student Health Center. Students may not participate in clinical rotations and field experiences during the time they are affected by the communicable disease and shall not return to clinical participation until allowed by the attending physician. The following communicable diseases that pertain to this policy are as follows:

  • AIDS
  • Amebiasis
  • Anthrax
  • Botulism
  • Brucellosis
  • Campylobacter infections
  • Chancroid
  • Chlamydia trachomatis infection
  • Cholera
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Diphtheria
  • Infectious encephalitis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Giardiasis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Haemophilus influenza
  • MalariaMeasles
  • Meningitis (bacterial)
  • Maningococcemia
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Plague
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Psittacosis
  • Rabies (animal, human)
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Rubella
  • Salmonellosis (typhoid fever)
  • Shigellosis
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Syphilis
  • Hand, foot, and mouth syndrome
  • Viral and acute hepatitis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Herpes
  • Hantavirus
  • HIV
  • Legionellosis
  • Leprocy (Hansen disease)
  • Lyme disease
  • Tetanus
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Trichinosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tularemia
  • Yellow Fever
  • Pinworms
  • Ringworm
  • Scabies
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
  • Strep pharyngitis

Clinical Supervision Policy

Required Educational Experience: 

Athletic training students complete required clinical experiences under the direct supervision of a qualified preceptor in all clinical settings.

  • The preceptor will be physically present and have the ability to intervene on behalf of the athletic training student to provide on-going and consistent clinical education.
  • The preceptor will consistently interact with the athletic training student at the site of the clinical experience.
  • There will be regular planned communication between the Clinical Education Coordinator and the preceptor.
  • The number of students assigned to a preceptor in the clinical experience component will be maintained at a ratio that will ensure effective education and will not exceed a ratio of eight students per preceptor in any clinical setting.

Clinical Education Policy

The clinical education portion of the Athletic Training Program consists of six semesters of clinical coursework beyond the Pre-AT program. It is the overall plan of the program that the clinical experiences of the athletic training student parallel their didactic coursework. It is also important to the clinical staff that the student be placed in a situation that challenges the student while not putting the patient or the student at risk. The overall functioning of the clinical education component accomplishes these goals by moving the student through a three-step progression from skill acquisition to skill application and, finally, to skill integration. This method not only allows for "learning over time", but prepares the student to enter the profession. The athletic training student gains both the technical knowledge and critical thinking skill necessary to be a successful clinician.

Criteria for successful completion of the clinical coursework is included in the syllabus for each clinical course.

The clinical rotations and assignments provide opportunities for students to gain clinical experiences associated with a variety of different populations including genders, varying levels of risk, protective equipment (to minimally include helmets and shoulder pads), and medical experiences that address the continuum of care. These experiences will prepare the student to function in a variety of settings and meet the domains of practice delineated for an entry-level certified athletic trainer in the profession.

Student clinical experiences are conducted in such a way as to allow the ATP faculty/staff to regularly and frequently evaluate student progress and learning, as well as the effectiveness of that experience. It is the responsibility of the Clinical Education Coordinator to establish the evaluation procedures and instruments and see to their use to assess the effectiveness of the program components.

The students' clinical experience requirements are carefully monitored by the Clinical Education Coordinator and his/her designee.


The profession of Athletic Training sometimes requires the certified athletic trainer to work more than 40 hours per week.  This fact is true of most salaried professionals.  In addition, those athletic trainers working with athletic teams or other sporting events many times work weekends and/or evenings.  It is not the intention, nor should it be the practice, to make time demands on the athletic training student that approach those of the certified athletic trainer.  The Purdue University Athletic Training Program does, though, want the athletic training student to understand the responsibilities and obligations of the career, i.e., what it’s really like to work as an athletic trainer.

To that end, we will expect the athletic training student to participate with their preceptor in the care and treatment of student-athletes assigned to that preceptor.  That expectation may include clinical experiences that occur prior to 8:00 am, after 5:00 pm in the evening, or on the weekends.  It is not the expectation, nor is it the requirement, that the athletic training student be present with a team at all practices and games.  It is the expectation, and should be the desire of the student, that he/she receives the experience necessary to gain the competencies and proficiencies required of that experience, as well as an understanding of what is required of the certified athletic trainer in that professional setting.

Following, then, is the clinical experience hour requirement for the Purdue University Athletic Training Program:

Students are required to be present during their assigned clinical education experiences and are expected to meet the minimum and maximum clinical hour requirements in their clinical experience courses. For HK 201, 301, and 401 students shall obtain a minimum of 225 hours and a maximum of 450 hours of experience. No student shall exceed 30 hours of clinical experience per week. Summer internship and independent study courses may have different clinical hour requirements.

Weekly hours will be monitored by the Clinical Education Coordinator and if students are putting in more than the required number the studnet and preceptor will be contacted and the situation clarified and corrected as necessary. 

All athletic training students will be scheduled at least one day off per week during their clinical experiences. The athletic training student also has the opportunity to ask for time off when they have an exam, group project, or large assignment due. It is expected, though, that at those times, the student ask for the time off from their preceptor two to three days in advance so students can be rescheduled.

For additional information, please contact Scott Lawrance, Program Director.