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ERIC Number: EJ1095936
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1947-380X
Considerations for the Use of the Observation Experience to Aid in Early Socialization and Retention of Athletic Training Students
Mazerolle, Stephanie M.; Dodge, Thomas
Athletic Training Education Journal, v9 n2 p54-58 Apr-Jun 2014
Context: Retention of quality students in athletic training programs (ATPs) is important. Many factors contribute to retention of students, including their motivation level, peer support, positive interactions with instructors, clinical integration, and mentorship. Objective: Highlight the use of the observation period for preparatory athletic training students as a means to promote retention. Background: Many ATPs require a period of observation as part of or as a precursor to application for admission. The experience gives students initial exposure to the profession while allowing the ATP to evaluate the student's potential for admission and success within the program and as a young professional. The roles of an athletic trainer are complex and challenging; therefore, ATPs need to ensure they are preparing their students for professional practice. Synthesis: A review of the retention literature was conducted and specific applications suggested based upon the authors' professional experiences. Results: Early socialization into the profession is helpful for understanding an athletic trainer's role. Diversity during the observation period can facilitate a student's understanding, plausibly improving persistence. Recommendations: Athletic training programs are encouraged to provide the preparatory student with structured, required observations of athletic trainers. Specifically, students should be exposed to diverse clinical employment settings and the different domains of clinical practice for the athletic trainer. This exposure could plausibly facilitate retention. Conclusions: It is important to identify strategies to help retain quality students in order to promote and advance the professional stature of athletic training. Focusing on clinical experiences, rather than quantity of hours, may benefit students who are evaluating their futures as athletic trainers.
National Athletic Trainers' Association. 2952 Stemmons Freeway Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75247. Tel: 214-637-6282; Fax: 214-637-2206; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A