ERIC Number: EJ1094992
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Retention Initiatives Used by Professional Bachelor's Athletic Training Program Directors
Bowman, Thomas G.; Mazerolle, Stephanie M.; Dodge, Thomas M.
Athletic Training Education Journal, v11 n1 p18-26 Jan-Mar 2016
Context: Retaining athletic training students has been identified as problematic by approximately half of athletic training program (ATP) directors. It is unknown what ATP directors do to improve athletic training student retention. Objective: To identify initiatives that ATP directors use to improve the retention rates of athletic training students in their programs. Design: Qualitative study. Setting: Undergraduate ATPs. Patients or Other Participants: We asked directors of ATPs across the nation to complete an Internet questionnaire. We obtained responses from 171 out of 343 ATP directors (51.6%). In addition, we completed follow-up interviews with 16 randomly selected ATP directors. Main Outcome Measure(s): During the online questionnaire, we asked ATP directors to describe any specific initiatives they or their ATP used that were aimed at retaining athletic training students and ideally what they would like to do to improve athletic training student retention at their institution. During the follow-up telephone interviews, we asked participants to further describe their retention strategies and other techniques not already mentioned in their questionnaire responses to gain further insight. We used a general inductive approach to analyze the data and performed multiple-analyst triangulation, member checks, and a peer review to ensure the trustworthiness of the analysis and results. Results: During data analysis, we identified 3 themes that highlight the ATP directors' initiatives to retain athletic training students. Directors discussed fostering a "family atmosphere," "strategic planning," and "having resources" available to support students as ways to improve retention. Conclusions: Athletic training program directors are encouraged to integrate students into their programs early through informal and formal participation opportunities, evaluate student potential prior to formal admissions, plausibly through an interview process, and educate students on scholarship opportunities to help offset tuition and fees associated with program completion.
Descriptors: Athletics, Allied Health Occupations Education, School Holding Power, Administrators, College Programs, Undergraduate Students, Qualitative Research, Questionnaires, Interviews, Educational Environment, Strategic Planning, Student Financial Aid
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A