Gange, Kara Nadine; Ph.D.
Program of Education
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
The Current Status and Future Direction of Post-Professional Graduate Athletic Training Education: A Delphi Study
Major Professor: Dr. Myron Eighmy
The purpose of this study was to ascertain the current status and future direction of post-professional graduate athletic training education. The study was guided by four research questions that addressed health care education models, and current and future post-professional education.
A Delphi methodology was utilized which consisted of three rounds of surveys. The population consisted of two panels of experts, post-professional faculty and leaders in athletic training, based on the required and preferred additional criteria for each panel. A total of 23 experts completed found one, which consisted of 37 Likert-scale statements. A total of 19 experts completed round two, which consisted of 42 statements.
The experts agreed that professional education should be supported at the post-baccalaureate level and housed in a School of Allied Health Professions. They also agreed that there is a concern that professional students are being encouraged to diversify in their masters’ degree and accept a graduate position in a non-athletic training masters’ degree. However, they were not able to reach consensus as to whether professional education should remain at the undergraduate level or move to the masters’ level.
In addition, the experts agreed that more post-professional masters’ programs should be developed and that accreditation should be required of all post-professional educational programs. The experts also believe that all post-professional education should be optional. Although the experts agreed that if professional education moves to the masters’ level, post-professional could evolve into PhD programs; the post-professional could evolve into PhD programs; the post-professional faculty were not able to reach consensus on this. The experts also agreed that a residency experience should be different from a traditional graduate assistant experience by incorporating clinical mentoring and structured development of advanced knowledge and focusing on a specialized area. However, the experts’ suggestions for potential specialty areas varied. In addition the experts’ suggestions for potential specialty areas varied. In addition, the experts were not in favor of a clinical practice doctorate as a professional, advanced, or terminal athletic training degree. Overall, the experts believed that all post-professional education should be optional and that it can help bring parity with other health care professions.