Published April 30, 2020
The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) has awarded University at Buffalo’s Athletic Training Program initial accreditation. UB’s program, part of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, received accreditation for five years, the maximum time period for programs receiving their first accreditation. CAATE is the sole accreditor of athletic training programs in the United States. Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, it defines, measures and continually improves athletic training education.
CAATE implemented its newest standards for athletic training (AT) education this year, and UB’s AT program was one of only eight nationally to incorporate the new standards early. (Other AT programs must begin using the new standards by July 1.) The standards require AT programs to provide a master’s degree in the discipline, eliminating the bachelor’s degree.
Athletic training includes the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions, and athletic trainers work in collaboration with or under the direction of physicians. Organizations like the American Medical Association recognize AT as an allied health profession, and the new standards ensure education that guarantees athletic trainers can perform as such.
“The new standards include more stringent requirements for aspects of our program and curricular content,” explained UB’s AT Program Director Ryan Krzyzanowicz. For instance, teaching injections and suturing are now deemed entry-level skills for athletic trainers. An accredited AT program must now teach those skills.
In addition, said Krzyzanowicz, students have to take (and pass) a national Board of Certification (BOC) exam to enter the profession and must attend an accredited program to be eligible to take the exam. Since UB’s AT program began in 2018, its first graduating class of 2020 is now eligible to sit for the BOC exam.
“The confidence shown by CAATE in awarding the maximum accreditation to a new program demonstrates the quality of our faculty, curriculum, and the range of experiences available to athletic training students at UB,” said David Hostler, PhD, chair of the School of Public Health and Health Professions’ Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. “UB isn’t just training clinicians, we are also training future leaders.”
UB’s AT program joins the ranks of the School of Public Health and Health Professions’ other accredited programs of Public Health, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Dietetic Internship/Clinical Nutrition. For more information, visit sphhp.buffalo.edu/at.