The Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) embraces the principle of "Learning Over Time." Students are provided multiple opportunities to practice, develop, and refine the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to successfully function as high caliber healthcare professionals.
Our Clinical Education Philosophy
The union of classroom instruction and clinical education is a vital part of the preparation of the athletic training professional. The goal of clinical education in the George Mason University ATEP is to facilitate understanding through practice and application of classroom knowledge and clinical skills in an array of practice settings.
During the professional phase, students are required to complete a sequence of consecutive practicum clinical education experiences (See Degree Requirements). Clinical experiences are designed to provide students with diverse service learning opportunities in a variety of athletic training health care settings. Practicum clinical experiences are designed to provide students with diverse service learning opportunities in a variety of athletic training health care settings. Each practicum clinical experience is designed to promote student learning through interactions with real patients under the direct supervision of a preceptor.
Click here to see a Map of ATEP practice settings.
Clinical Education Guidelines
The George Mason University ATEP clinical education plan follows guidelines set forth in the CAATE "Standards and Guidelines for an Accredited Educational Program for the Athletic Trainer" for effective clinical instruction.
Clinical experiences follow a logical progression consistent with students’ levels within the program that reinforce the sequence of formal classroom and psychomotor skill learning. Each clinical experience has an overarching theme. These themes progress throughout the ATEP professional phase as follows:
- Level I: Practicum Clinical Experience 1 and 2
- Theme: Assessment and Management Techniques (Musculoskeletal and General Medical Conditions)
- Level II: Practicum Clinical Experience 3 and 4
- Theme: Treatment Techniques (Therapeutic Modalities and Rehabilitation) and Professional Responsibilities (Organization and Administration)
- Level III: Practicum Clinical Experience 5
- Theme: Culminating Clinical Experience (Professional Practices and Skill Integration)
At the beginning of each clinical experience students and preceptors are educated about these clinical experience themes. In addition, preceptors are provided information related to current academic status and clinical abilities for their assigned students. Therefore, the GMU ATEP ensures that preceptors provide appropriate levels of progressively increasing clinically-supervised responsibility to each student as they advance through the ATEP.
Practicum clinical experiences are assigned and scheduled by ATEP faculty based upon consultations with students and preceptors. All clinical experiences are paired with concurrent didactic and clinical education courses (See Degree Requirements). Over the course of their academic career, students obtain several supervised clinical experiences exposing them to diverse patient populations, injuries, and conditions.