January 17-18, 2002
NOTICE OF INTENT�������������� Approval of Proposal to Implement the Master of Science Degree in Athletic Training; Montana State University-Billings
THAT:����������������������������������� The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Billings to award the Master of Science Degree in Athletic Training.
EXPLANATION:�������������������� Purpose of the Proposed Program:� The purpose of this proposal is to implement an entry-level graduate level athletic training program through the Department of Health, Physical Education and Human Services, College of Education and Human Services, at Montana State University-Billings.
Statement of Need:� Through the National Athletic Trainers� Association (NATA), students interested in becoming certified athletic trainers can successfully complete the National Athletic Trainers� Association Board of Certification (NATABOC) exam.� Currently there are two ways that students can become eligible to sit for the NATABOC exam. First is through a curriculum-based program where students study the field of athletic training within a structured education program certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) in addition to completing 800 hours under the direct supervision of a certified athletic trainer.� Second is through the internship route where students complete course work in health, human anatomy, physical education, athletic training, in addition to completing 1500 hours under the direct supervision of a certified athletic trainer.�
Historically, professionals in fields related to athletic training (exercise physiologists, physical therapists, etc.) have selected the internship route in an effort to become certified as athletic trainers.� Unfortunately for these professionals, NATA will be eliminating the internship route as of January 1, 2004, forcing students to: (1) enroll in a school with an accredited undergraduate program and earn a second bachelor�s degree, or (2) enroll in an entry-level graduate program.� Presently there is only one entry-level graduate program in the United States admitting 20 students a year.�
Whereas Montana State University-Billings is a �comprehensive, regional, public university serving the education needs of Montanans� and is committed to �providing a strong and expanding program of outreach to the state and region,� the Department of Health, Physical Education and Human Services proposes to meet the future needs of students interested in entry-level athletic training certification by offering a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training.� Currently, no other University in the region is addressing this unmet need through a graduate level professional preparation program.
Explanation of the Proposal:� The Department of Health, Physical Education and Human Services at Montana State University-Billings proposes to offer a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP).� To accomplish this, a program director would be hired as a full-timeemployee of the University who is currently certified by the NATABOC, has a minimum of three years experience as a certified athletic trainer, and has adequate experience supervising student trainers.� After a director is secured, a curriculum would be established that satisfies the CAAHEP guidelines and enables the program to pursue accreditation.� The curriculum would be comprised of a combination of existing courses and new courses.� The minimum timeline for establishing the athletic training program would be three years from the time the program director is hired with the first cohort of 20-30 students potentially beginning in the fall of 2003.� In order to be accredited by CAAHEP, the athletic training program would have to be up and running and fully-functional.� At the beginning of the first academic year, the program would apply to the Joint Review Committee on Athletic Training (JRC-AT) for candidacy status.� During the final semester of the two-year program, the program director would schedule an onsite visit from JRC-AT who makes the recommendation to CAAHEP as to whether accreditation should be granted.� As of January 1, 2004, only students who have graduated from an accredited athletic training program would be allowed to sit for the NATABOC exam.