ERIC Number: EJ1055496
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Program Directors' Perceptions of Reasons Professional Master's Athletic Training Students Persist and Depart
Bowman, Thomas G.; Pitney, William A.; Mazerolle, Stephanie M.; Dodge, Thomas M.
Athletic Training Education Journal, v10 n1 p57-64 Jan-Mar 2015
Context: Student retention is a key issue in higher education. With the increasing number of professional master's (PM) athletic training programs (ATPs), understanding student retention is necessary to maintain viable programs. Objective: Explore program directors' perceptions of the reasons athletic training students persist and depart from PM ATPs. Design: Qualitative study. Setting: Professional master's athletic training programs. Patients or Other Participants: We asked directors from all PM ATPs nationwide to complete an online survey. We obtained responses from 60.0% (15 out of 25) of the population. We also completed follow-up telephone interviews with directors from 8 PM ATPs. Main Outcome Measure(s): Directors of PM ATPs completed an online survey asking for reasons for student persistence and departure. We also conducted follow-up telephone interviews with randomly selected participants. During the telephone interviews, we asked participants for additional detail regarding the enrollment decisions of students. Results: PM ATP directors stated that students persist due to their "commitment to the profession" and the "interpersonal relationships" they build with the program stakeholders. Conversely, students depart PM ATPs due to the "rigor" associated with completion, a change in "career aspirations," and "financial concerns." Conclusions: Athletic training educators should strive to keep commitment and motivation levels high while fostering positive interpersonal relationships by providing a welcoming atmosphere and engaging clinical education experiences. Finally, mentors should be available to assist students with program completion, and students should have options available for defraying the cost associated with completing the PM ATP.
Descriptors: Athletics, Allied Health Occupations Education, Masters Programs, Graduate Students, Academic Persistence, Student Attrition, Administrator Attitudes, Qualitative Research, Online Surveys, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A