Undergraduate athletic training research identifies potential for local job growth

May 16 2006

MEDIA RELEASE

A study by undergraduate students in Indiana State University's athletic training education program shows that there is job growth potential for athletic trainers in Terre Haute area schools.

The purpose of the one-year study was to determine if local universities and high schools employed the number of athletic trainers recommended by the National Athletic Trainers Association's "Recommendations and Guidelines for Appropriate Medical Coverage of Intercollegiate Athletics," or AMCIA, during the 2004-2005 academic year.

"We wanted to do this study because athletic trainers work long hours to meet the needs of athletes, which might mean that there is a need for more athletic trainers to be employed here," said Jacob Tucker, researcher and ISU sophomore of Lawrenceville, Ill.

The subjects of the "Appropriate Medical Coverage Recommendations in Athletic Training" study were five schools in Vigo County - an NCAA Division-I school, an NCAA Division-III school, and three high schools.

The students worked with the head athletic trainer or athletic director at each institution and asked them to collect the data required for the study. The students made follow-up calls and visits; analyzed the data, performing calculations using AMCIA constants; and presented the results to the head athletic trainer at each site.

All five of the schools in the study were found to employ fewer full-time athletic trainers than are recommended by the AMCIA document.

At the Division-I school, 10.5 athletic trainers were suggested and 10 were observed, resulting in a difference of .5.

At the Division-III school, 6.51 athletic trainers were suggested and 3.33 were observed, resulting in a difference of 3.28.

Overall, at the three Vigo County high schools in the study, 14.71 athletic trainers were suggested and 4.98 were observed, resulting in a difference of 9.73.

"By doing this study we were hoping it would raise an awareness of how much athletic coverage is available to the athletes in Vigo County," said Andrea Clifford, researcher and ISU junior of Hillsdale, Ind. "We concluded that there seems to be good job potential for athletic trainers in Terre Haute, especially at the high schools."

Catherine Stemmans, assistant professor and director of the entry-level program in ISU's athletic training department, says that although the study shows there is room for improvement, she has seen definite progress in this area in recent years.

"I've seen growth in the number of athletic trainers that have been employed, and I think that's a movement in the right direction," said Stemmans, faculty sponsor of the study, along with Jody Brucker, ISU assistant professor of athletic training. "When I came to Terre Haute eight years ago, the only athletic trainers they had in the Vigo County School Corporation were graduate students from Indiana State University. Now, there is one full-time head athletic trainer for each of the high schools, while they also continue to utilize the services of ISU's master's degree students."

Tucker; Clifford; and Katie Oneal, May graduate of Lawrenceville, Ill., conducted their research as Undergraduate Fellows of the Alliance for Excellence through Engagement and Experience, or AEEE.

AEEE is an initiative coordinated through ISU?s Office of Academic Affairs and the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement, and supported by the Lilly Endowment's Initiative to Recruit and Retain Intellectual Capital for Indiana Higher Education Institutions.

Nancy Rogers, director of the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement, said that the students' research was funded because it fits in with the implementation of ISU's "Fulfilling the Promise" strategic plan.

"We're interested in funding projects where students have opportunities to work directly with faculty, but to also have responsibility for creating something of their own," Rogers said. "Rather than students just collecting data for faculty research, we wanted them to be involved in designing and implementing a research project, and then collecting data and analyzing the results."

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Download a high-res graphic here: Athletic Training Study Graphic

Contact: Catherine Stemmans, assistant professor of athletic training, Indiana State University, (812)237-8336, cat@indstate.edu

Writer: Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790 or kspanuello@isugw.indstate.edu

Indiana State University news: www.indstate.edu/news

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Story Highlights

A study by undergraduate students in Indiana State University's athletic training education program, sponsored by faculty members Catherine Stemmans and Jody Brucker, shows that there is job growth potential for athletic trainers in Terre Haute area schools.

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