Five Great Reasons to Major in Athletic Training at Springfield College
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as the Wall Street Journal, athletic training is ranked among the 10 top fastest growing professions through 2018, with expected growth of 37 percent between 2011 and 2018.
Springfield College athletic training graduates are in high demand. The reputation of the College for educating leaders in the field is renowned in the industry, making Springfield College graduates highly sought for positions as athletic trainers in a variety of settings. Throughout the nation and around the world, Springfield College athletic training graduates are working as leaders, having left Springfield College readied and well prepared to not only serve as experts in the field, but also to assume leadership positions.
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university is required for jobs as an athletic trainer. Students in these programs are educated in the classroom and in clinical settings. Coursework includes many science and health-related courses, such as human anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and biomechanics. While a bachelor's degree is usually the minimum requirement in most states for athletic trainers, many athletic trainers hold advanced degrees.
The Springfield College Athletic Training Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). At Springfield College, athletic training majors begin taking core athletic training courses beginning in their first semester. Unlike other programs, students are able to enroll in the athletic training program immediately, rather than waiting until their second year to begin taking courses within their major program of study.
After achieving bachelor’s degrees, many Springfield College athletic training majors choose to stay at Springfield College to pursue a master’s degrees. Springfield College offers a graduate degree in exercise science and sport studies with a concentration in athletic training. Many students prefer the comfort of being able to stay at Springfield College, where they have already built strong relationships with peers and with faculty who are leaders in the field.
The connection among athletic training faculty, staff, and students begins even before the start of the semester. First-year students meet with their academic advisors as early as June. Faculty members who serve as academic advisors are the same individuals who teach courses, supervise clinical experiences, and provide athletic health care to Springfield College student-athletes. From the beginning, students are immersed in athletic training content and experiences, helping them to quickly begin developing a foundation of athletic training knowledge and skills.
According to the website Quintessential Careers, many career development and job placement experts believe that most jobs may not ever appear in a public posting, but rather are filled by word of mouth. Networking and building professional relationships with industry peers is important in the field of athletic training.
Every alumni of the Springfield College Athletic Training Program represents a networking opportunity for students in both the initial job search and in advanced placement searches. Athletic training alumni are proud of the fact that they began their careers with an education from Springfield College, and often support new athletic training students, showing a commitment to continued advancement in the field.
Athletic training faculty members take their responsibility of continuing to advance the profession through rigorous and challenging coursework and providing hands-on clinical experiences seriously. The support and guidance students receive from faculty does not end with graduation. Once students have been a part of the athletic training program, they are always a part of the program. Long after they graduate, students maintain their relationships with athletic training faculty, thus allowing faculty to connect students with alumni in the field working in the United States and beyond.
There are thousands of Springfield College graduates employed by professional teams, high schools, colleges and universities, and more, who are ready and willing to reach out and help new Springfield College graduates. They know first-hand the training and education athletic training students at Springfield College receive, and how well prepared they are to become successful athletic trainers upon graduation in a wide range of settings, including secondary schools, colleges and universities, sports medicine clinics, professional sports programs, hospitals, and other athletic health care settings.
Fieldwork is an essential component to the athletic training curriculum.
At Springfield College, athletic training students begin observational clinical experiences their first year of the program. They start active clinical rotations during their second year, and participate in three full years of hands-on learning opportunities.
The clinical education curriculum is designed to first introduce the student to skills during highly structured lab settings, where the student is able to learn and practice their skills on fellow classmates under the close supervision of the instructor. The following semester, after having demonstrated basic competence, students are then provided the opportunity to develop skills with actual patients, and are still closely monitored by their clinical instructor. Springfield College athletic training faculty members believe in supervised autonomy, which means that with each subsequent clinical experience, students are constantly refining their clinical skills and knowledge base and are allowed greater partnership in decision making regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries and illnesses. This philosophy is based on research that supports that it takes around three years for students to acquire and master clinical assessment skills involving problem solving and thinking (Guyer, 2003) and about three to five years for entry level professionals to obtain solid clinical decision-making skills and understand how to function in the workplace (Benner, 1984).
Facilities are an integral part of the learning experience for athletic trainers. It is important that athletic training students become familiar with pertinent equipment and facilities which will help them to improve upon their professional knowledge and skills.
At Springfield College, both coursework and fieldwork are enhanced with the recently built Exercise Science/Athletic Training facility, which is part of the College’s state-of-the-art Wellness and Recreation Complex, providing students the opportunity to learn in world-class facilities.
In 2009, the complex received the Outstanding Sports Facilities Award at the annual conference of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association. Since hands-on learning is an essential component of the athletic training program, these facilities provide Springfield College athletic training students with a competitive edge. Employers within the industry know that graduates of the Springfield College Athletic Training Program are well prepared and that they have gained valuable experience, the know-how to excel in the field, and the opportunity to work in first-class facilities. Also in 2009, the athletic training health care clinic was featured on the cover of Collins Sports Medicine. The headline read: “Springfield College’s New Facility Raises the Bar.”