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 changed significantly since the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) became the accrediting body for the profession. One of the changes is to require proficiency in both didactic knowledge and clinical performance through evaluation. Clinical education studies are evident and methods of teaching and learning are explored frequently, however little is known about the connection of athletic training students' didactic performance and clinical proficiency competencies with on the field experiences. Objective. The purpose of this study was to create a clinical proficiency evaluation tool as a means to evaluate an athletic training student's clinical skills. Design. The design of this study was a correlation study to note the relationship between GPAs, clinical performance evaluation grades, proficiency grades and the score obtained on the clinical proficiency evaluation tool. Setting. One Division I Mid-Atlantic University with a CAATE-accredited undergraduate athletic training program. Participants. This study included fifteen senior undergraduate athletic training students (6 males and 9 females) with a mean age of 22.5+/-1.5 years. This was a sample of convenience based on availability. Participants included in this study were required to be in their third year in the athletic training program and in good standing in order to graduate at the end of their final semester. The individuals had successfully completed all sophomore, junior, and first semester senior course and proficiency work with a minimum of "proficient" scores. Exclusion criteria included senior students in any other curriculum other than athletic training, individuals in the athletic training program but not in their third year, and individuals who had not scored at least "proficient" in all the proficiencies through the Fall semester of 2009. Intervention. Senior athletic training students were asked to participate in this study, and upon agreement were required to fill out the necessary informed consent paperwork and FERPA forms giving the examiner permission to access their individual scholastic files since acceptance into the athletic training education program through the fall 2009 semester. The students completed the clinical proficiency evaluation tool, which is based upon video scenarios within the established clinical proficiency and competency requirements of the athletic training education program. The tool consists of pictures, questions, situations, and video scenarios that students could experience in the athletic training setting. While viewing the tool, the students completed a 50 item multiple choice test. Upon completion of the examination, answer sheets were collected, and results were recorded. Main Outcome Measures. Based on the results, athletic training students' clinical site grades will correlate highly with the grades obtained from the clinical proficiency evaluation tool, and athletic training students' clinical site grades will improve over the course of each semester. Results. From the possible 16 senior students athletic training students, 15 individuals (n=15) submitted the required material for a participation rate of 93.75%. The mean GPA was 3.40+/-.33. As sophomore students, the mean score for their clinical evaluation grades is 90.2% +/-3.1%. As juniors, the mean clinical evaluation grade is 92.7%+/-4.5%, and as seniors, the mean clinical evaluation grade is 91.4% +/-5.7%. Clinical proficiency score results showed a mean of 88.2% +/-3.0%, and ranged from a minimum of 85.0% and a maximum score of a 93.0%. Results of the clinical proficiency evaluation tool had a mean of 63.1% +/-5.8%, and scores ranged from a minimum of 48% to a maximum score of 72%. Strong correlational relationships were found between the junior year clinical evaluation grades and GPA (r =.639, P=.010), clinical proficiency grades and GPA (r =.711, P=.003), as well as clinical proficiency grades and the junior year clinical evaluation grades (r =.754, P=.001). Conclusion. This study shows a strong correlation between GPA and clinical performance evaluation grades, and a moderate correlation between proficiency grades and the clinical proficiency evaluation tool. The clinical proficiency evaluation tool may have some areas of correlation and significance in accordance to the grades and scores already being obtained by programs. Information obtained in this study could be used by individual athletic training education programs to evaluate clinical proficiencies near the end of the athletic training student's senior year.