In recent months, discussions have begun on the perceived, growing issue of the decline in athletic training student enrollment. This issue is not specific to athletic training and may be a byproduct of a larger healthcare profession and higher education problem; however, information gathered from NATA Focus Groups, AT EducATionalist Town Hall events, and Strategic Alliance presentations, has provided enough information to justify the formation of a group to investigate the issue further and provide members with resources.
In addition, the workgroup will embrace NATA’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access as a critical tenant to address the current trend in program enrollment.
Objective/Charge to Group
Define the scope of the enrollment challenges facing the athletic training profession and develop strategies to support increased enrollment in athletic training programs. The workgroup will identify a baseline and recommend metrics with deliverables.
Among the workgroup deliverables will be to create plans and initiatives to accomplish the following. It is anticipated that some deliverables will be modified and added as the group works through their process.
- Increase awareness and engagement in current and existing efforts targeted to improving program enrollment.
- Provide current and potential members a better snapshot of various jobs within athletic training and the educational pathways available.
- Develop and foster relationships with other national organizations (e.g. HOSA – Future Health Professionals, American School Counselor Association, professional sports societies, etc.) and with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).
- Aid Program Directors in the creation of resources to better support their promotion efforts.
- Examine the role of Pre-AT programs within universities at the two-year or bachelors level.
- Expand NATA’s efforts to expose high school students to athletic training by showing the scope and career potential of the profession
The workgroup will develop a phased approach with deadlines to accompany each phase. The overall projected goal of completion for this workgroup is NATA 2022. The board will receive quarterly updates of the progress.