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    West Virginia

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Am I automatically in the Athletic Training Program as a freshman?
    1. No. It is competitive and we can only accept between 12-15 students per year. Many schools have this acceptance rate. There is a secondary application process to enter the program.
      • The student must declare AT as their major.
      • The student must obtain an overall GPA of a 2.8 or higher at the end of their freshman year.
      • The student must earn no less than a "C" in Anatomy and Physiology with a lab (BIO 127, 128, 129) and Intro to Hospital Science (CLS 121). A grade of "B-" or above is preferred but at least a "C" is acceptable.
      • The student must show interest by completing observation hours in the Athletic Training Clinic to gain a better understanding of the program and the profession.
      • The student must submit an application to the AT Program during the spring semester of their freshman year.
      • Depending on the number of qualified candidates, interviews might also be necessary to further determine our next cohort of students.
  2. What courses should I take in high school to best prepare me for Athletic Training as a major?
    1. Biology courses with an emphasis in anatomy are the backbone of most any Health Science major's education. You will have classes at WJU that emphasize anatomy, but having a solid base in the field from classes in high school could make the transition to college much smoother.
  3. What if I want to switch majors to another health science during my freshman year?
    1. If so, this is done with ease. We have the curricula in the health sciences set up to have freshmen of all health science disciplines taking the same general schedule. Therefore, if a major is switched at the end of the freshman year, you might not lose a year.
  4. What if I want to switch my major to AT during my freshman year from another major? Can I still qualify to enter the program?
    1. Yes. You would need to meet with the AT Program Director to determine your best options for entering the program. Summer school might be required to meet all the course obligations.
  5. Is WJU's Athletic Training Program accredited?
    1. Yes. As of the spring of 2010, WJU is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). This accreditation allows students to sit for their Board of Certification exam.
  6. Do I have to take a final exam to become an Athletic Trainer?
    1. Yes. Through the Board of Certification, you must pass your "boards" at the end of your senior year to become a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). The coursework in the AT program is designed to best prepare you for this exam.
  7. What are my options once I graduate with my AT degree and become a Certified Athletic Trainer?
    1. Go into the work force as an Athletic Trainer.
    2. Earn your Master's Degree in AT or a related field by being rewarded a Graduate Assistantship. There are hundreds of these positions available on an annual basis. Applications start during your senior year. Depending on the position, many pay for your degree along with a stipend. Past graduates from WJU have attended West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia Wesleyan, Indiana University, Ohio University, Muskingum University, and California University of Pennsylvania,
    3. Continue your education in another medical field. Some students decide to take their AT knowledge to other post-graduate medical fields. WJU AT alumni now work as medical doctors, physical therapists, and physician assistants.
  8. What does the job market look like for AT?
    1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected growth of 22% in AT jobs by 2022 (faster than normal). The sports industry is not going anywhere. As long as people continue to play, then people will suffer injuries. Athletic Trainers are needed for the immediate care, follow-up, and rehabilitation of injuries occurring to athletes and the physically active.
  9. What if I play a sport in college? Can I still get in the program?
    1. Yes. The academic portion of college comes first though. Some AT programs make students choose between athletic training and their particular sport. Our philosophy is to allow and facilitate for the most growth possible by you in your years at WJU. Clinical education hours are usually what conflicts. We are sensitive to your "in-season" times and try to schedule accordingly. In other words, we would not necessarily assign a fall sport athlete to a big fall sport like football which is available at a local college or at high schools. We try to work around your schedule, but the off-season schedule may end up with some conflicts. The best way to avoid potential conflict is good communication between the student, the coaching staff, and the AT program.
  10. Where are your clinical sites other than WJU?
    1. Bethany College
    2. The Linsly School
    3. Wheeling Park High School
    4. Buckeye Local High School
    5. St. Clairsville High School
    6. Wheeling Nailers Hockey Club
    7. Mountain River Physical Therapy
    8. Wheeling Hospital
    9. Ohio Valley Medical Center

**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

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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