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Frequently Asked Questions

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First Year Accredited - 1990, first in Connecticut

Length of Current Accreditation - until 2017

Number of National Writing Award Winners since 2010 - 2

Current AT experience of faculty - over 70 years

Why should I major in Athletic Training?

Athletic training is an exciting allied health care profession that allows you to work with and care for the physically active of all ages. If you are interested in a challenging career that is people-oriented, action-filled, and combines medicine with athletics, then athletic training might be for you!

Southern Connecticut's program is unique in that it gives you coursework and clinical experience in athletic training as soon as you step on campus. In addition, you will graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training and be eligible to sit for the BOC certification examination and subsequent state licensure. With recent changes in the curriculum, Southern graduates will also be eligible to sit for the NSCA examination to obtain the credentials of a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Is Southern's Athletic Training Program Accredited?

Southern's program is the first accredited athletic training education program in the State of Connecticut.  The program has been accredited for over 20 years.  The last accreditation visit was in the spring of 2007.  During this accreditation visit, Southern received an extension of its accreditation for a seven-year period, which was recently extended three additional years, giving us ten years total. Our next accreditation visit is in the fall of 2016 with a decision in 2017.

Is athletic training the same as personal training?

NO, athletic training is a licensed allied health profession requiring a collegiate degree. Athletic trainers are educated in assessment, injury prevention and therapeutic exercise. Personal trainers, except for some who come from excellent programs such as our own Human Performance program, are often individuals who have taken a three or four day course and have earned a 'certificate of completion'. Athletic trainers are well-adapted to the one on one attention of a conditioning expert and with the emphasis in prevention can be very effective in reducing occupational injuries.

How does Athletic Training differ from Human Performance?

Athletic training is the prevention, care, and treatment of injuries to physically active individuals, such as athletes. Ankle taping, brace fitting, and muscle strengthening are example of injury prevention. Controlling bleeding, assessing a concussion, testing ligaments of an injured knee, or splinting a fracture all constitute caring for an injury. Designing rehabilitation exercises/programs that will return an athlete to play after an injury is a large part of the treatment of the injury. Athletic training involves all of these and more.

Athletic training is an allied health "sports medicine" profession, whereas human performance focuses more on the biomechanical, psychological, and physiological aspects of the body during exercise. Concepts from human performance are incorporated into strength and conditioning programs, cardiac rehab programs, and various areas of medicine and rehabilitation. These foundations in exercise science prepares the athletic training student to better perform the "prevention" part of his or her job by providing an in-depth physiological understanding of the strength and conditioning principles. If you are interested in the injury aspects of sports, athletic training is the profession you are looking for. If, on the other hand, you are interested in "training" athletes to perform better through strength and conditioning techniques, human performance may better meet your career goals.

What qualities do you look for in people applying to your program?

Athletic training, in general, requires hard work, dedication, and strong personal interactive skills; thus, we look for these qualities in our applicants.  Southern's athletic training program is a rigorous academic program, so we also look for good academic skills (i.e., above-average grades), strong communication skills, and the ability to process and integrate information. If you are a hard worker, love working with people (especially athletes), are highly motivated, and are energized by a fast pace and new scenarios each day, we'd love to have you in the program!

How difficult is it to get into your program? What is the average GPA of students applying?

Currently we have approximately 15-20 applicants each year who apply to the program. We have the capacity to accept 18 students each year. We anticipate that the number of qualified applicants will increase over the next few years as the program becomes more competitive. A GPA of 2.7  is currently required in coursework at the time of application. In addition, a C- is required in all exercise science classes at the time of application. However students earning a 3.0 and a B- in freshmen professional courses will be guaranteed admission regardless of the number of applicants.  It should be noted that achieving minimum standards does not guarantee admission into the program.

What happens if I don't get accepted into the Athletic Training Program?

Students who aren't accepted into the athletic training program but meet the requirements for the upper-division courses in exercise science can continue in the human performance program and receive a B.S. degree in exercise science. In addition, students can choose to change their major altogether.  For more information on the exercise science program, see the Exercise Science Department Web site. Students are also welcome to re-apply to the athletic training program the following year, but are not permitted to take upper level athletic training courses until formally accepted into the athletic training program.

Is it possible to take courses at another college?

Core athletic training courses from other schools will not typically transfer into Southern's program. All athletic training core courses in accredited programs are linked to specific required competencies and proficiencies, with athletic trainers specially trained by their own universities to assess each student according to that school's progressions of learning. Because of the linking differences from school to school, and because of the training required by each school to assess the students, core courses cannot be transferred. Courses not linked directly to the competencies or proficiencies are transferable.

What will my schedule be like if I enter the Athletic Training program?

Most of your classes are scheduled in the mornings and early afternoons to allow you to allow you to complete clinical education requirements. The majority of clinical education experiences occur in the Athletic Training Room between the hours of 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with variable times on the weekends.

Athletic training students can expect to serve several hours per week in the clinical setting with the amount of time determined by the student's year in the program; Contact time may include weekends and evenings. Normally second year students can expect to perform 30 contacts days per semester, second year students 45 days and fourth year students 60 days per semester. Students are always able to request additional time off for exam prep, illness, etc.

Assignments are made with an approved clinical instructor each semester. Assignments are made based on the clinical need of the student and clinical site availability. Clinical activities are directed through the student's clinical practice courses and assigned modules. Students are expected to be as involved as possible with the clinical instructor's patients to gain practice and skills.

Athletic training clinical hours are scheduled around classes. Students should never miss classes or other academic requirements in order to attend practices.

Can I play a sport at Southern and be an Athletic Training major at the same time?

Possibly, but doing both takes a lot of commitment and hard work and normally requires additional time (clinical assignments during pre-season and intersession) to complete the program. Sports participation is not a problem during the freshman years because students have not yet been accepted into the program. The sophomore, junior, and senior, however, require many clinical hours which usually conflict with practice/game times. For this reason, students who wish to participate in both the athletic training program and in organized athletics (varsity or club sports) must only participate in one sports season per year and be willing to fulfill clinical assignments during pre-season in the fall or during wintersession. Each student must complete six clinical rotations to graduate from Southern's program.  Intramural sport participation does not normally create conflicts.

Can I hold a full-time job and also do the Athletic Training program? What about a part-time job?

The athletic training program is a very intense program that requires a large time commitment. Although we do not place specific restrictions on outside jobs, we do not allow students to hold positions that conflict with their assigned athletic training duties. Many students work a part-time job for 10-12 hours per week, which is the maximum recommended. It is not possible to hold a full-time job during the academic year while in the program.

Can I attend on a part-time basis? What about just evenings and weekends?

The athletic training program consists of courses that are taken in a specific sequence. Students could conceivably complete the program on a part-time basis; however, part-time attendance would extend the program by several years. It is, therefore, not advantageous for a student to attend part-time.

Most of the athletic training classes are scheduled in the mornings and early afternoons (all Monday through Friday), and clinical hours are completed in the later afternoons, evenings, and on weekends. Thus, it is not possible to complete the program by attending solely in the evenings and on weekends.

How do I find out about tuition, housing, financial aid, etc. at Southern Connecticut State University?

Please visit the Southern Connecticut State University Web site.  

If you have further questions about the Athletic Training Program, contact the program director at