Clinical Education

Athletic training student doing clinical work on a softball field

Clinical Requirements

The purpose of the Clinical Instruction Plan at the University of Arkansas is to place students in a structured clinical setting where they can develop their athletic training skills under the direct supervision of an athletic training preceptor or physician certified by the Board of Certification for Athletic Trainers (BOC). The goal of the clinical education program is to provide students with the opportunity to put their didactic learning into practice. In order to be in compliance with the accreditation guidelines of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), students admitted to the Master of Athletic Training program are required to be exposed to populations that include clients/patients:

  • Throughout the lifespan (for example, pediatric, adult, elderly)
  • Of different sexes
  • With different socioeconomic statuses
  • Of varying levels of activity and athletic ability (for example, competitive and recreational, individual and team activities, high- and low-intensity activities)
  • Who participate in nonsport activities (for example, participants in military, industrial, occupational, leisure activities, performing arts)

Additionally, clinical education opportunities are planned so that students gain exposures to a variety of health conditions commonly seen in athletic training practice including patients/clients with the following types of conditions:

  • Emergent, behavioral (mental health), musculoskeletal, neurological, endocrine, dermatological, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, otolaryngological, ophthalmological, dental, environmental conditions

Clinical Placements

During the 2½-year clinical experience, students will be rotated through several clinical sites and have experiences with several preceptors. During the clinical experience, a preceptor who has successfully completed the University of Arkansas Preceptor Training must directly supervise athletic training students. The experience typically includes:

  • Preseason experience
  • Collegiate sthletics
  • High school athletics
  • Orthopedic physician’s office
  • General practice physician’s office
  • An immersive clinical experience of the student’s choice:
    • Students of the University of Arkansas MAT are responsible for finding potential immersive clinical experiences with the assistance of the Clinical Education Coordinator. This means that students can find internship-type opportunities in any athletic training setting, anywhere in the US as a clinical site so long as the minimum requirements to become a clinical site and preceptor can be met in reasonable time. There may be previously established relationships between the University of Arkansas MAT and other entities that could be available to students on a first-come, first-served basis.

Clinical Experience Suggested Sequence

Semester Clinical Course Clinical Hours Required Required Clinical Education Opportunities
Summer I ATTR 5232 Minimum = 50, Maximum = 150 Preseason experience
Fall I ATTR 5232 Min = 250, Max = 480 15 weeks
Spring I ATTR 5242 Min = 250, Max = 480 15 weeks
Summer II ATTR 5253 Min = 200, Max = 550 6-week (minimal) Immersive Experience, student selection
Fall II ATTR 5262 Min = 250, Max = 480 15 weeks
Spring II ATTR 5272 Min = 250, Max = 480 15 weeks

Students may be expected to complete/participate in supplemental clinical education activities, complete required paperwork outlined in each course syllabus, and successfully pass an OSCE, SP encounters and comprehensive examination.