ERIC Number: EJ1075544
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Retention Initiatives Used by Professional Master's Athletic Training Program Directors
Bowman, Thomas G.; Dodge, Thomas M.; Mazerolle, Stephanie M.
Athletic Training Education Journal, v10 n3 p205-211 Jul-Sep 2015
Context: Many professional master's athletic training program directors believe retention is a problem facing athletic training education. However, it remains unknown what steps, if any, are taken to improve retention. Objective: To inquire with program directors about their respective methods and interventions aimed at increasing retention rates. Design: Qualitative study. Setting: Professional master's athletic training programs. Patients or Other Participants: Fifteen program directors out of 25 responded to an online survey invitation for a response rate of 60%. We also completed follow-up telephone interviews with 8 randomly selected program directors to gather greater insight into the ways they improve retention. Main Outcome Measure(s): We asked directors of all 25 professional master's athletic training programs in the United States to complete an online survey. We also asked 8 program directors from those who responded to complete telephone interviews. Grounded theory guided data analysis and we secured credibility through the use of multiple-analyst triangulation, member checks, and peer review. Results: We identified 3 themes of ways program directors help improve student retention rates. Our participants described adequately "screening admissions packets, providing financial support to defray the cost of pursuing a degree in athletic training at the professional master's level," and "various student initiatives." Conclusions: Based on our findings, we recommend a thorough application process that screens prospective students and identifies those who can complete the program. Program directors should also find ways to help defray the costs of earning a master's degree to allow students to become integrated into the program intellectually, socially, and clinically without increasing stress levels. Finally, providing students with opportunities for early socialization and mentoring should be aimed at explaining program expectations while preparing the students for professional practice.
Descriptors: Training, Intervention, Qualitative Research, Masters Programs, Online Surveys, Athletics, Allied Health Personnel, Academic Persistence, Institutional Characteristics, Interviews, Selective Admission, Student Financial Aid, Mentors, School Orientation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A