Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Athletic Training

Committee Chair

Michelle A Sandrey


Context. Athletic training clinical education has gone through reform since the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) has become the accrediting body of the profession. The amount of time that an undergraduate athletic training student has in the clinical education setting is very valuable to their development as a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and possibly as an approved clinical instructor (ACI). Therefore, the preparedness of the approved clinical instructor is very crucial. Objective. The purpose of the study is to determine the perceived preparedness of graduate assistant novice ACIs in the supervision of undergraduate ATSs in clinical education. Design. The design of the study was a prospective descriptive analysis, through use of a questionnaire to determine the preparedness of graduate assistant novice approved clinical instructors at twenty-seven CAATE accredited undergraduate athletic training programs that have been accredited for five or more years. Setting. Twenty-seven CAATE programs that have been accredited for five or more years. Participants. This study included thirty-three novice approved clinical instructors. This was a sample of convenience based on the twenty-seven CAATE institutions that agreed to participate in the study. Participants included in this study were graduate assistant ACIs at an institution that has a CAATE accredited undergraduate athletic training education program for five years or more and be a graduate assistant ATC that has one year of clinical experience and attended a ACI training workshop at their institution. The participant must also have the responsibility of supervising and evaluating ATSs. The participants that will be excluded are those institutions who do not have graduate assistant ATCs supervising undergraduate ATSs, a CAATE undergraduate accredited athletic training education program (ATEP) for under five years, and if the position is a one year internship. Participants were excluded if the ACIs at the above mentioned institutions are not considered to be a novice graduate assistant ACIs according to the definition of the study. Intervention. The undergraduate program director received an email asking if their institution was willing to participate in the study. Once confirmation of willingness to participate was received, then an initial cover letter with the link to the questionnaire was e-mailed to the program director to forward to the participants to complete. After a two week period, a second cover letter that included the link to the questionnaire was e-mailed encouraging participants to complete the questionnaire if they had not already done so. Main Outcome Measures. Based on the responses the graduate assistant novice ACIs will feel that they were prepared to supervise athletic training students in the clinical setting. Based on the responses the graduate assistant novice ACIs will feel that the ACI training workshop prepared them in their first year as an ACI. Results. Of the 178 initial e-mails sent out, 27 institutions agreed to participate. Thirty-three of the possible 140 novice graduate assistant ACIs completed the electronic questionnaire for a return rate of 23.5 %. Forty-six percent of ACI graduate student, had less than one year of experience as an ACI, 36.4 % were certified athletic trainers for two years, 72.7 % were currently working in the college/university setting, and 45.5 % supervised three to four undergraduate ATSs. Fifty-five percent of the participants were supervised by a graduate assistant ACI during their own undergraduate experience. The majority of all of the participants felt prepared in the areas of learning styles, ACI responsibilities, evaluation and feedback of student performance, and ACI preparation. The participants felt most prepared to evaluate ATS clinical skills (61%, n=20) and least prepared to evaluate professional behaviors (6%, n=2). The participants felt most prepared to provide feedback in ATS clinical skills (67%, n=22) and least prepared to provided feedback in professional behaviors (9.1%, n=3). When asked to rank the ACIs first year, the mean score reported was 6.97 +/-1.2 and the range was 4 to 10. The greatest challenges the ACI experienced were time constraints (69.7%, n=23), controlling the learning environment (57.6%, n=19), and understanding institutional policies and procedures (39.4, n=13). Conclusion. The participants who responded to the questionnaire, mostly felt prepared to be an ACI in their novice years. Evaluating and providing feedback on professional behaviors may be a weakness among novice ACIs. Most of the participants felt that that ACI training workshop was beneficial but there was about one-quarter of the participants who felt that the training workshop was not beneficial to their development as an ACI.