Telephone: (302) 831-4909 or (302) 831-6036
The Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology (KAAP) offers undergraduate majors in Athletic Training and Exercise Science, both with Honors Degree options, as well as minors in Exercise Science and Strength and Conditioning. The programs integrate background coursework in the natural and physical sciences with the study of the major field. These undergraduate programs prepare students for clinical careers as athletic trainers, careers in exercise science, and post-graduate study in areas such as medicine, physical therapy, and research in kinesiology.
Each student’s academic advisor will assist in selecting courses and experiences that focus on the student’s interests and professional goals. Careful selection of breadth requirements and elective courses allows students to pursue a minor or an area of interest outside of the college or a double major. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors at least once each semester. Failure to meet regularly with a faculty advisor can result in a delay in graduation if program requirements have not been met.
Students are encouraged to enrich their academic programs by participating in study abroad experiences, seminars, and student organizations. To enhance prospects for employment and obtaining internships, students are encouraged to seek experiences outside the classroom. For those planning to pursue a graduate program, clinical observation opportunities and research apprenticeships are available. Opportunities exist for students to participate as student members of national and regional professional organizations related to each major.
There are several special academic opportunities for exceptionally talented and highly motivated students. Students may participate in the University’s Honors Program, undergraduate research, and the Degree with Distinction program. The College’s Dean’s Scholar Program also provides qualified students with the opportunity to develop individualized programs of study.
Major Degree Programs
The Athletic Training major is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). This major prepares students to sit for the BOC exam for certification as an Athletic Trainer (ATC).
The Exercise Science major, when combined with appropriate electives, prepares students for graduate school, physical therapy school, physician assistant school, occupational therapy school, or other clinical programs and research. When combined with a professional certificate and relevant experiences, graduates from the Exercise Science major are highly competitive for direct employment in health and fitness. The Medical Scholars concentration prepares students for medical and dental school.
Entering freshmen and transfer students may be admitted directly into the major in Exercise Science. Freshmen seeking admission to the major in Athletic Training are admitted to an interest group associated with the major. Freshmen participating in an interest group are eligible to apply for admission to the major at the end of the freshman year. Enrollment in major courses is restricted to majors. Non-majors are allowed to register for 100 and 200-level courses through the drop/add process if space is available. Non-majors are not normally permitted in 300- and 400-level courses.
The Exercise Science minor is designated for students in majors other than exercise science who are planning careers in the health sciences and clinical fields and who wish to acquire knowledge regarding the mechanical, neurological, and physiological aspects of exercise. Students must have a minimum of 12 credits earned at University of Delaware with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee entry into the minor; approval is contingent on available space. Students must submit the web form in UDSIS entitled “Change Major, Minor, Concentration” from January 1-15 (for spring acceptance) or June 1-15 (for fall acceptance); students will be notified by February 1 or July 1, respectively.
The Strength and Conditioning minor is designed to provide students with in-depth understanding of the theory and practical considerations associated with physical training to enhance strength and conditioning. Students successfully completing the minor will be prepared to take the Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification examination offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Students applying for the minor must have a minimum of 12 credits earned at University of Delaware with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee entry into the minor; approval for the minor is contingent on available space.
Enrollment in the Strength and Conditioning minor for at least four semesters is necessary due to sequencing of courses. Electronic applications are accepted March 15th and October 15th. Please contact the Strength & Conditioning Minor Coordinator for information on obtaining the electronic application for the minor.
ATHLETIC TRAINING EDUCATION PROGRAM (ATEP):
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Incoming freshmen and transfer students interested in the athletic training major are admitted to “Athletic Training Interest” program. At the completion of the freshman year, students seeking admission into the athletic training major must have completed the following:
*These courses are used to calculate the Prerequisite Courses GPA. Students MUST earn a B- or better grade in these four prerequisite courses to be considered for admission into the Athletic Education Training Program.
All students seeking admission into the Athletic Training Education Program must have attained a minimum GPA of 2.75/4.00
TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR ADMISSION:
The Athletic Training Education Program at the University of Delaware is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled. An objective of this Program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals engaged in physical activity. The technical standards set forth by the Athletic Training Education Program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this Program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the Program’s accrediting agency (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Programs - “CAATE”). The following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the Athletic Training Education Program. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be admitted.
Compliance with the Program’s technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination.
Candidates for selection to the Athletic Training Education Program must demonstrate:
The mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts, and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm;
Sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function, and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely, and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients;
The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice;
The ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately;
The capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress;
The perseverance, diligence, and commitment to complete the athletic training education program as outlined and sequenced;
Flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations;
Affective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.
Candidates for selection to the Athletic Training Education Program will be required to verify that they understand and meet these technical standards or that they believe, with certain accommodations, they can meet the standards.
The Director of the Office of Disability Support Services will evaluate a student who states he/she could meet the Program’s technical standards with accommodation and confirm that the stated condition qualifies as a disability under applicable laws.
If a student states he/she can meet the technical standards with accommodation, then the University will determine whether it agrees that the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodation; this includes determination as to whether the accommodations requested are reasonable, taking into account whether accommodation would jeopardize clinician/patient safety, or the educational process of the student or the institution, including all coursework, clinical experiences, and internships deemed essential to graduation. If the student disagrees with the decision made by the University of Delaware as to whether the accommodation request is reasonable, the student may file an appeal as per the University’s ADA Grievance Procedure (see www.udel.edu/dss for more information).
In accordance with CAATE “Health and Safety” standard V athletic training students will abide by the following:
Technical standards required for completion of the program must be clearly defined, published, approved by appropriate institutional representatives and be publicly accessible.
Students must read and sign the technical standards and are required to update their signature if their health status changes. Students who require accommodation to meet the technical standards must obtain verification by a physician or appropriate institution disability officer as defined by sponsoring institution policy that proper accommodation has been provided for the student to meet the standard.
Students must have documentation of immunizations appropriate for health care providers as determined by the institution.
An active communicable or infectious disease policy as determined by the institution must be established and made publicly available.
Students must read and sign the Program’s active communicable disease policy as described in Standard V.C.
Athletic training students must have liability insurance that can be documented through policy declaration pages or other legally binding documents.
Athletic training students must have verification of completion of applicable HIPAA training as determined by institution.
The program must establish a uniform written safety policy for all clinical sites regarding therapeutic equipment. Sites accredited by JAHCO, AAAHC or other recognized external accrediting agencies are exempt.
The program must provide proof that therapeutic equipment at all sites is inspected, calibrated, and maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, or by federal state or local ordinance.
Blood-born pathogen training and procedures:
Formal blood-borne pathogen training must occur before students are placed in a potential exposure situation. This includes placement at any clinical site, including observational experiences.
A detailed post-exposure plan that is consistent with the federal standard and approved by appropriate institutional personnel must be provided to the students.
Blood-borne pathogen policies must be posted or readily available in all locations where the possibility of exposure exists and must be immediately accessible to all current students and program personnel including preceptors.
Students must have access to and use of appropriate blood-borne pathogen barriers and control measures at all sites.
Students must have access to, and use of, proper sanitation precautions (e.g. hand washing stations) at all sites.
All sites must have a venue-specific written Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that is based on well-established national standards or institutional offices charged with institution-wide safety (e.g. position statements, occupational/environmental safety office, police, fire, and rescue).
CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION:
Eight (8) criteria are evaluated as part of the admission process in accepting students into the Athletic Training Education Program: (ranked in order of weighting importance high to low).
Prerequisite Courses GPA*
Directed Observation Hours
Letters of Recommendation #
Clinical Competency Evaluation and Palpation Checklists
(*equal weighting # equal weighting)
In evaluating the criteria, different ranking scales (1-5, 1-10, etc.) are used. In each case the top student in each criterion would receive the lowest (“best”) rank number awarded.
In order to adhere to CAATE-accreditation standards regarding student: faculty ratios, UD’s ATEP will only accept between 16-20 students at the conclusion of the ATI experience. These accepted students will then begin the formal Athletic Training major beginning with the Fall semester of their sophomore year.
The eight (8) criteria are evaluated in the following manner:
1) Prerequisite Courses GPA: A total of four classes (KAAP155, KAAP210, KAAP220 and KAAP240) are used to calculate the Prerequisite Courses GPA. Students MUST earn a B- or better grade in these four (4) Prerequisite Courses to be considered for admission into the Athletic Training Education Program. The candidates’ GPAs are ranked from high (best) to low (worst). The student with the highest GPA receives a score of (1), this number is then multiplied by two (1X2=2) for a total score of two. We continue scoring the students until everyone receives a score. We weight this criterion more heavily than others because we believe the Prerequisite Course GPA is a very good predictor for success in our program.
2) Clinical Evaluations: Students are required to complete a series of clinical rotations during the “interest phase” of the program. UD ATEP believes that the exposures and experiences associated with clinical rotations are an important part of the ATI student’s growth and professional development. However, our accrediting agency CAATE clearly mandates that “athletic training students must be officially enrolled in the program prior to performing skills on patients.” This includes such rudimentary skills such as securing an ice bag, performing flexibility exercises, placing hot packs, simple massage techniques, etc. ATI students however, can practice/refine the skills they have been taught in class, clinic, and in-service workshops on other ATI students, AT students, or their preceptors to gain proficiency. The ATI clinical experience is formally evaluated by their preceptors at the conclusion of each rotation. Clinical performance is critiqued on areas involving both “Skills/Abilities” and “Personal Attributes.” A Likert scale (0-5) is used in this process. The overall evaluation score that combines both “Skills/Abilities” and “Personal Attributes” is averaged across all rotations. Higher evaluation scores are best. The evaluation scores for each student would be rank ordered from highest (best) to lowest (worst). The Clinical Evaluations are scored using the same format used with Prerequisite Courses GPA. We weight this criterion more heavily than others because we believe the Clinical Evaluation score is a very good predictor for success in our program.
3) Interview: Candidates seeking admission into the ATEP are given a formal interview conducted by the athletic training faculty/staff/students in May of each year. Each evaluator uses a standardized scoring rubric. At the end of the interview process the score for each candidate is totaled and then divided by the number of evaluators to get an overall interview score. Higher scores are better. The Interviews are scored using the same format used with Prerequisite Courses GPA. We weight this criterion more heavily than others because we believe the Interview is a very good predictor for success in our program.
4) Overall GPA: Students must attain a minimum of 2.75/4.00 overall GPA to be considered for admission into the Athletic Training Education Program. Overall GPAs of all students applying for admission are rank ordered from highest (best) to lowest (worst) until all students are ordered. The best GPA is given a rank of 1, followed by 2, 3, 4, etc. until all have been ranked. In cases where students have the same GPA, they will receive the same rank score.
5) Directed Observation Hours: Students are assigned by the Coordinator of the “Athletic Training Interest” program to a variety of clinical venues to gain valuable directed observation hours. We feel that 50 hours per rotation (5-7 hrs/wk) is a reasonable goal for students to strive for. With this in mind, 200 hours total should be the goal. Therefore, students who achieve 200 hours or more will receive the best rank score of (1). Students between 190-199 (2), 180-189 (3), 170-179 (4), 160-169 (5), 150-159 (6), 140-149 (7), 130-139 (8), 120-129 (9), 110-119 (10), and 100-109 (11). Students falling below 100 will receive a rank score of (12).
6) Letters of Recommendation: Students seeking admission into the ATEP will be asked to secure three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest for their personal attributes, potential for success in UD’s ATEP, and perhaps even their clinical abilities. Each athletic training faculty/staff member reads the three letters of recommendation and gives them a numerical score of between (1 [excellent] - 5 [poor]). All letters of recommendation are read independently. The scores from all the evaluators are added together and then divided by the total number of evaluators. The averaged score is then recorded and used in the ranking process. The total number of candidates applying for admission to the program is divided by (10). For example, if twenty students apply, 20 is divided by 10 and the result is 2. In cases where a number falls between whole numbers (i.e.2.6) the number would either be rounded up or down depending on where it fell on the scale. 2.5 would be rounded upward to 3, whereas 2.4 would be rounded downward to 2. This is then used to determine the number of groupings (1,2,3,4,…). We then rank the letter scores of the students from high (best) to low (worst). Using the example above, the students would then be placed in groups of 2 with the top two students receiving a score of (1). The next two highest letter scores would receive a score of (2). We continue scoring the students until everyone receives a score.
7) Essay: Students seeking admission into the ATEP will be asked to write an essay as to why they should become a part of UD’s ATEP. Each athletic training faculty/staff member reads the essays and gives them a numerical score of between (1[excellent] - 5[poor]). All essays are read independently. The scores from all the evaluators are added together and then divided by the total number of evaluators. The averaged score is then recorded and used in the ranking process. The Essays are scored using the same method as used for Letters of Recommendation.
8) Clinical Competency Evaluation and Palpation Checklists: Students MUST complete the “Clinical Competency Evaluation Checklist” and the “Palpation Checklists” throughout the course of the academic year (September-May) to be considered for admission into the Athletic Training Education Program.
When all the criteria have been scored/ranked, the eight (8) scores are added together to make a grand total score. The candidate with the lowest (‘best”) grand total score is ranked as the first candidate who will be offered admission to the ATEP. We then rank the others accordingly.
Acceptance into the ATEP is based upon the stated criteria and the number of available openings in the program. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Offers of admission into the ATEP are presented on a competitive basis to those individuals who are most qualified. Students may apply for admission to the ATEP at the end of the spring semester. Acceptance/rejection letters will be mailed to each candidate by July 1st.
Students interested in transferring from another institution or from another major at the University of Delaware must meet University of Delaware and College of Health Sciences transfer requirements and complete the same requirements as freshmen in the “Athletic Training Interest” Program.
Students enrolled in the ATEP meet with the Program Director and Clinical Education Coordinator to plan the clinical education experience. Clinical education experiences are initiated in the first year and required in each succeeding semester of the student’s program and designed to provide the student with sufficient opportunity to develop specific competencies and proficiencies pertaining to the health care of the athlete and those involved in physical activity. The clinical experience provides the student with an opportunity for integration of psychomotor, cognitive, and affective skills within the context of direct patient care. The skills are identified within the knowledge and skills aspects and the clinical integration proficiencies of each of the content areas included in the document, “NATA-Athletic Training Educational Competencies - 5th Edition”. The development of knowledge and skills and the clinical integration of these proficiencies represent a significant focus of the student’s clinical experience; ample opportunity is also provided for development and demonstration of competencies within the cognitive and the affective aspects of each domain identified in the above document.
A curricular requirement for all students in the ATEP is the satisfactory completion of six (6) Practicums. These Practicums (KAAP 257 , KAAP 357 , KAAP 358 , KAAP 457 , KAAP 458 , and KAAP 459 ) are offered in sequence over six full semesters and coincide with the athletic training students’ clinical assignments. Requirements for each of these Practicum experiences include: (1) Clinical Hours, (2) Clinical Evaluations, (3) Performance with Clinical Knowledge and Skills, (4) Clinical Evaluation Observation with Team Physician Forms, (5) Attendance at Required Meetings/Professional Functions, (6) Endorsement of Program Director and (7) Completion of Practicum Notebooks. The details of each of these requirements are clarified in the UNIFORM PRACTICUM GRADING GUIDELINES that are posted on the ATEP web site and may be found here. Clinical assignments will include the University of Delaware athletic training room(s), athletic practices, and competitive events; community sports medicine clinics; physician offices, general medical clinics, high school venues in the greater Wilmington, DE area; and athletic training research environments for a minimum of three academic years under the direct supervision of a variety of qualified allied health professionals (Preceptors). The student will be exposed to upper extremity, lower extremity, equipment-intensive, and general medical experiences of both genders. Athletic training students are evaluated at the end of each clinical assignment.
Once students are admitted to the program, they are required to maintain the following minimum standards:
Cumulative GPA of 2.0;
Satisfactory completion of the required Practicum sequence;
Meet the technical standards for admission.
Students who do not maintain the above minimum standards are placed on probation and are required to correct all deficiencies by the end of the next semester. Students who do not correct deficiencies are dropped from the curriculum.
BOARD OF CERTIFICATION (BOC) EXAM ELIGIBILITY:
Candidates who are enrolled in their final semester/quarter prior to graduation are eligible to sit for the BOC exam. In order to qualify as a candidate for the BOC certification exam, an individual must be endorsed by the recognized Program Director of the CAATE accredited education program.