Frostburg State University's Bachelor of Science Program in Athletic Training has received national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), a distinction that will allow the graduates of FSU's program to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) Examination.
FSU's is one of only three accredited programs in athletic training in Maryland.
"I'm proud of the achievements of the Athletic Training program," said FSU Provost Steve Simpson. "This accomplishment underscores its status as an outstanding program that will serve our students and the citizens of the state well."
CAAHEP is the largest specialized accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2,000 educational programs in 21 health science occupations across the United States and Canada. The accreditation standards are established by CAAHEP and The American Academy of Family Physicians, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and The National Athletic Trainers' Association Inc.
FSU's Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) began in the late 1970s as an internship program that was part of the Health and Physical Education degree. That program grew to the point that FSU established an Exercise and Sport Science program in 2000, with Athletic Training as one of three concentrations.
FSU's previous program, which was based on an extensive internship, had allowed students to sit for the exam, but that rule has just been changed by the Board of Certification, which now requires exam candidates to graduate from an accredited program. The BOC is the only accredited certification program for athletic trainers in the United States.
FSU saw the change coming and decided to apply for accreditation, a multi-year process.
When James Racchini was hired as ATEP director in 2001, he applied for candidacy for accreditation and began the process of establishing the Athletic Training program as a stand-alone major, instead of a concentration within Exercise Science. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents in 2002 approved the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training, along with additional entrance requirements and two new courses.
The candidacy phase lasted two years, followed by a self-study for accreditation through CAAHEP and a team visit from the Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Athletic Training, which performs the accreditation study for CAAHEP.
"The self-study and evaluation, while a long and arduous process, in the long run will help our students and strengthen our program because we made a number of positive changes as a result," Racchini said.
The ATEP at FSU has grown from one sponsoring Certified Athletic Trainer in its infancy to being served by two full-time Certified Athletic Trainer faculty, two full-time staff Certified Athletic Trainers and two graduate assistants.
For more information about FSU's Athletic Training Education Program, contact Racchini at (301) 687-4465.