​Clinical Experience Requirements

The athletic training program, administered by Central Michigan University School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences, is designed to prepare entry-level athletic trainers for future employment in colleges and universities, secondary schools, clinics, hospitals, professional sports, as well as emerging settings like the performing arts, public safety, military, and occupational health. The athletic training program provides an effective blend of classroom, laboratory instruction and clinical experiences, which are designed to prepare students in the prevention, management, rehabilitation and referral of injuries and illnesses sustained by patients or clients. As part of the athletic training program, students will complete three different types of clinical experiences - athletic training, supplemental, and immersive. Students may be required to drive up to 35 miles to their clinical experience, therefore, travel costs vary accordingly. Prior to a student being assigned to one of those sites, the Clinical Education Coordinator will ensure the student has the means to provide transportation for themselves.

Clinical Experience Progression

The athletic training student will spend two years in various clinical experiences. Students are required to complete two immersive clinical experiences, six clinical experiences, and supplemental experiences. The goal of clinical experiences is to provide students a range of clinical opportunities within athletic training. The student should develop progressive independence each semester.

Clinical Experience Progression Chart

  • Summer 1: Students will complete their first immersive clinical experience with preseason collegiate athletics at CMU, Northwood University, or Alma College. The immersive clinical experience will provide a four-week, full-time athletic training experience under the supervision of a preceptor. Students will have opportunities to observe and practice athletic training skills and abilities related to injury prevention and professional behaviors.

  • Fall 1: Students will complete their first athletic training clinical experience in collegiate athletics at CMU, Northwood University, or Alma College under the supervision of a preceptor. Students will develop and progress clinical reasoning skills in musculoskeletal examination, diagnosis, and therapeutic interventions.

  • Spring 1: Students will complete two eight-week athletic training clinical experiences, one in CMU collegiate athletics and the other in CMU's Injury Care Center (ICC). Students will have opportunities to put theory-to-practice and synthesize their athletic training knowledge and skills. Students will be able to examine patients, interpret findings, and formulate a comprehensive plan of care.

  • Summer 2: The second summer is devoted to a supplemental clinical experience with allied health care professionals in urgent care clinics and emergency rooms. Students will also participate in a clinical experience associated with high school preseason athletics under the supervision of a preceptor. Both experiences will allow students to advance their critical reasoning, communication, and leadership skills along with athletic training clinical skills.

  • Fall 2: Students will complete two eight-week athletic training clinical experiences, one in the ICC and the other at a high school. Additionally, students will complete a supplemental clinical experience in a rehabilitation facility. Students will integrate their athletic training knowledge, skills, and clinical decision making into patient care under the supervision and guidance of a preceptor.

  • Spring 2: Students will complete a 15-week immersive experience at a CMU athletic training program approved agency. Sites include colleges, universities, secondary schools, clinics, hospitals, professional sports, or occupational health. Students will be given opportunities to demonstrate proficiency in athletic training skills and abilities related to domains of athletic training.