Directed Observation Program

Athletic Training Program

Department of Kinesiology and Health Education

All students who want to major in athletic training must participate in the Directed Observation Program. While many pre-athletic training students are lower division students, upper division students are not excluded. You should note that the athletic training major will take four-years to complete even if you have already completed college coursework.

Your first year will be spent in the Directed Observation Program and the remaining three years will be spent completing the classroom and clinical portions of the program. Upper division and transfer students should be especially mindful of this time requirement.

During the Directed Observation Program, you will

  • Rotate to a new sport every two weeks, spending five hours per week observing the athletic trainers who work with that team.
  • Learn and be tested on several basic athletic training competencies and skills,
  • Attain 50 directed observation hours in the university’s athletic training facilities under the supervision of certified and licensed staff athletic trainers, and
  • Be evaluated by our staff throughout this process.

You will apply in May after you complete the Directed Observation Program. The admission process is competitive and is based on

  • GPA,
  • Staff evaluations,
  • Completion of the proficiencies, and
  • Your performance in the prerequisite courses.

Directed Observation Program Expectations

While you will not provide patient care during your clinical rotations, you are expected to interact with our students, staff, and patients. This will build a strong sense of what it is like to be an athletic training student and future healthcare professional. Use this time to ask questions and learn as much about the athletic training program and profession as possible.

We want you to have time to make the transition from high school to college without the added burden of clinical hours in athletic training facilities during your first year. In addition, the directed observation year enables you to get the feel of the athletic training profession and our program, giving you the opportunity to decide whether or not to pursue a career in this or a related field before making a commitment. In addition, this year gives us time to make an informed decision about who to admit to the program based on performance during the directed observation rotations.

Previous Experience

If you have had at least 50 hours of athletic training experience at the college or university level performed under a BOC-certified athletic trainer, you may, at the Athletic Training Program Admissions Committee’s recommendation, skip the directed observation year and be admitted to the Athletic Training Program provided you meet the other admissions requirements for transfer students. You will be placed on a probationary status until all requirements for admission to the program have been fulfilled.

Meet with Your Advisor

You should meet with an academic advisor to receive a list of classes that are needed for the program. You are encouraged to take a variety of general education courses during your directed observation year.

Steps to Becoming a Directed Observation Student

1. Attend an Athletic Training Program Orientation Meeting.

2. Review the content of this website.

3. Send an e-mail to Kelvin Phan by the deadline given at the Athletic Training Program Orientation Meeting, informing him that you are interested in the Directed Observation Program. He’ll respond with the date and time of the Directed Observation Student Orientation Meeting.

4. Attend the Directed Observation Student Orientation Meeting.

Prior to attending this meeting, complete the online modules (OH 218 and CW 500) and print the documentation as directed in the Directed Observation Policies and Procedures Manual. Read the manual and submit those forms along with the Acknowledgement of Policies and Procedures form at this meeting.

Once we receive all of your paperwork, we will e-mail the rotation schedule to you. Get in touch with your site contact person and arrange for times to begin your rotations. Be sure to start the process early.

Prior to reporting for your rotations:

  1. Pick up your name tag from Laura Meitz in BEL 718AC
  2. Create your clinical rotation binder to include:
    1. The Directed Observation Hour Log
    2. The Directed Observation Proficiencies list (pages 24-31 of the Policies and Procedures Packet)

Bring your binder with you to all of your rotations.

Continue to follow the policies and procedures as described in the meetings and in the DO Policies and Procedures Manual.

Additional Notes

  • You MUST attend the Athletic Training Program Orientation Meeting before you can attend the Directed Observation Student Orientation Meeting.
  • You MUST attend both the Athletic Training Program Orientation Meeting and the DO Student Orientation Meeting before you can begin the DO rotations.
  • You MUST submit the forms in the DO Policies and Procedures Manual before beginning the rotations
  • You MUST sign and date DO Policies and Procedures Manual Acknowledgement form
  • You MUST verify completion of OH 218 and CW 500