NATA Preceptor Award

NATA Professional Education Committee: NATA Preceptor of the Year Award

Since its modern inception, the profession of athletic training has long had a tradition of acquiring knowledge from those professionals already in the field.  In the current model of athletic training, it has become essential to blend a challenging and rigorous formal education with practical application and clinical decision making needed to become a competent athletic training professional.  This would not be possible without the preceptors every Athletic Training Program needs and relies on as part of their formal curriculum.  The NATA Preceptor of the Year award seeks to recognize those within the profession who have served as a preceptor for an Athletic Training Program, who go above and beyond to help mentor students, and who work to improve the future of our profession by preparing the students of today to become the professionals of tomorrow.


Candidate Criteria

Individuals must meet or exceed the following requirements for consideration:

1. NATA member in good standing.

2. A minimum of 3 years as a preceptor for the nominating institution.

3. NPI number (with appropriate taxonomy code).

4. Evidence of being a quality preceptor.  Evidence can include but is not limited to:

  • Contributions to student learning (e.g., student aide program, opportunities for student growth/progression).
  • Excellence in mentoring students.
  • Advancement of the Athletic Training profession.
  • Progressive work towards CEU activity that coincides with being a quality preceptor (e.g., Master Preceptor program, etc.).
  • Impact on the Athletic Training program.


Application Guidelines

I. The nomination can be made by any athletic trainer, student, administrator, or faculty member of a college/university.

II. Each nominator in collaboration with the nominee is responsible for compiling a dossier supporting the nomination. The materials should include the items listed below:

  1. The nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae.
  2. A summary statement of the candidate’s contributions and impact on athletic training clinical education, athletic training students, the athletic training profession and their own professional growth written by the nominator (collaboration with the nominee is strongly encouraged).
  3. A letter of endorsement from the nominating institution’s program director or clinical education coordinator (different from nominator).
  4. Recommended artifacts include but are not limited to: evaluations of the preceptor completed by students, administrators, and/or peers; letters from former students; evidence of honors and/or awards.

III.  All candidates are reviewed by the selection committee, based on a weighted scale using the candidate criteria noted in this document. 

IV.  Once nominated, the candidate's dossier will be kept on file for a two-year period and considered both years if not selected in the first year.

V.  No more than two candidates will be selected in a calendar year and the award need not be given every year if no candidates are deemed qualified for the award. 

All nominations, including all materials identified in the Application Guidelins must be complete and submitted no later than March 8.  Submit nominations to