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Athletic Training Program Earns 'Gold Standard' Review

WC Receives Maximum 10-Year Accreditation

September 20, 2012

Senior Liz Delehanty provides an ultrasound treatment to freshman football player Alex Koyfis as head trainer Brian Dykhuizen (left) and program director Larry Howard observe.

Senior Liz Delehanty provides an ultrasound treatment to freshman football player Alex Koyfis as head trainer Brian Dykhuizen (left) and program director Larry Howard observe.

Earning the “gold standard,” maximum 10-year accreditation provides the icing on the cake of a banner year for Wilmington College’s athletic training program.

The College recently learned it met the highest standards set forth by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. It represented the culmination of an intensive two-year process.

The year 2012 also has witnessed, among other things, the program and its students winning state competitions, attaining a 100 percent pass rate on the National Certification Exam and seeing all of its 2012 graduates either employed in the field or enrolled in graduate school.

“We were very successful with the accreditation — they confirmed we we’re compliant with all the standards,” program director Larry Howard said.

He said the accreditation certifies the quality of the College’s program and confirms a standard for which everyone, from future students and their parents to prospective employers of WC graduates, can be assured of the education they will receive or have received.

“When we send them away from here, we have to be 100 percent sure they are competent,” he said in commending the AT faculty and staff.

Howard and Jennifer Walker, assistant professor of athletic training, played lead roles in the exhaustive accreditation process.

They led the compilation of a 700-page, self-study document that provided a comprehensive look at all aspects of the athletic training program.

“They read our self-study document and went back and forth with me for clarification — from start to finish, it was a lengthy process,” Howard said, noting that, after the accreditation team finished with the document, they spent three days in Wilmington.

“They interviewed everybody from the president of the College to new freshmen — virtually everybody associated with the program,” he said. “They spoke with clinical instructors, librarians and 65 students, and went on tours of such clinical sites as Wilmington High School and Clinton Memorial Hospital’s physical therapy facility, everywhere we send our students for field experience.”

Howard, who has experience as an athletic training accreditation team evaluator, said most colleges and universities average 10 instances of noncompliance while Wilmington had but one — “and it was easily corrected.”

He said the commission could issue program accreditation status ranging from a two-year probation period to five, seven and the maximum 10 years between site visits.

“Our alumni will be pleased to learn about the 10-year accreditation — this really serves to endorse the value of their education,” Howard added, noting alumni are some of the program’s best recruiters of new students.

The accreditation news caps 2012 as a banner year for the program. Other highlights include:

• WC was Ohio Athletic Training Quiz Bowl Champion in 2012 and five of last six years.
• A Wilmington student received the Ohio Athletic Training Association’s Undergraduate Exceptional Research Award in 2012 and seven of last eight years.
• The College entered into an agreement with Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and Drayer Physical Therapy Institute to be its sports medicine providers.
• The AT program began the fall 2012 semester with 103 majors.
• 100 percent of senior athletic training majors passed the national certification exam on their first attempt each of the past two years. The national rate is about 60 percent.
• All 2012 graduates have jobs or are in grad school.

Howard said WC athletic training graduates typically have multiple job offers and the present appears to be an especially opportune time in which to study athletic training.

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks job forecasts, has indicated that athletic training will be in the top 10 for job opportunities for the next 10 years,” he said.