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Dave Dennis
Department Chair
Email: ddennis@wju.edu
Phone: 1-304-243-2164


Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Will this help my son or daughter get into PT school?
    1. Not necessarily. It helps they are a graduate of this school and that they have all the pre-reqs. They will definitely get consideration, but there is no guarantee that just by graduating WJU they have an automatic acceptance.
  2. Is my son or daughter automatically in the AT program as a freshman?
    1. No. There is an application process to this as well.
      1. They declare AT as a major
      2. Must make an overall GPA of a 2.8 or higher
      3. Must earn no less than a C in BIO 128, 129, 127 (Anatomy and Physiology); CLS 121 (Introduction to Hospital Science)
      4. Show interest by signing up for observational clinic hours to really get an idea of what athletic training is about
      5. Possible interview if needed with the Chair and Clinical Coordinator
    2. It is competitive and we can only accept between 15 and 18. All schools have this acceptance rate.
  3. What if my son or daughter wants to switch majors to another health science?
    1. If so, this is done with ease. We have the curricula in the health sciences set up to have freshman of all health science disciplines taking the same general schedule. Therefore, if a major is switched at the end of the freshman year, your child won't lose a year.
  4. What is the difference between and AT major and an AT major on a PT-Track?
    1. The amount of sciences needed. We have arranged with the DPT program to approve our undergrad curriculum for entrance into the WJU Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. You need to check with other school's requirements if you apply elsewhere. But our PT-track takes care of the physics, chemistry and biology requirements mandated by the DPT program to allow acceptance. Our regular AT majors do not take these classes. (Refer to the curriculum sequence and the starred courses.)
  5. What are the options at the end of four years?
    1. Take the board exam and begin working.
    2. Continue education in field of choice.
    3. Work on a Master's Degree in a related field or AT by earning a Graduate Assistantship. There are hundreds of these available on an annual basis. Once your child successfully completes the board exam, he or she is eligible for a GA position. They would work for the University and get a master's degree paid for.
  6. What if my son or daughter plays a sport?
    1. This is up to them. The academic portion of college should come first. Some programs make students choose between athletic training and their particular sport. Our philosophy is to allow and facilitate for the most growth possible for your child in the years at WJU. Clinical time is usually what conflicts. This is the time they spend covering events as athletic training students. We are sensitive to their "in-season" times and try to schedule accordingly. In other words, we wouldn't necessarily assign a fall sport athlete to a big fall sport like football which is covered off campus at two local colleges. We try to work around their in season schedule, but the off season schedule may end up with some conflicts. The best thing is communication with the coach and the staff.
  7. What are the clinical sites?
    1. We have Wheeling Hospital as a site
    2. Wheeling Nailers Hockey Club
    3. Wheeling Jesuit University
    4. West Liberty State University
    5. Bethany College
    6. Linsly (will be added this coming year)

These are the places the students go to cover the events and gain the practical experience. All students are supervised at all times by Approved Clinical Instructors (ACI's) these are Certified Athletic Trainers aside from our staff, which have chosen to be a part of the WJU Athletic Training Education Program. We have annual seminars with them and semester meetings to communicate the needs of our students. The students work for their particular site for a designated period of time.

  1. What is PBL?
    1. Problem Based Learning is a style of learning that is student driven. Scenarios are presented to the students, and they have to facilitate discussion and learning amongst small groups by deciding on objectives and topics relevant to the scenario. This provides an environment of learning where the burden is placed on the student to go find the information rather than rely on an instructor lecturing. Our DPT program is set up this way and we have implemented some of the components into our undergraduate curriculum. Research has shown that graduates from this type of model are more independent, better problem solvers, and critical thinkers, more efficient finding information, and overall better professionals in the work place.

**Please don't hesitate to call or e-mail with questions.

Dave Dennis, MS, ATC
Department Chair, Program Director, Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Athletic Training
Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling, WV 26003
ddennis@wju.edu
304-243-2164-office

Athletic trainers are medical professionals who are experts in injury prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation, particularly in the orthopedic and musculoskeletal disciplines.



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