Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation


There were multiple purposes of this qualitative/quantitative research study. The first purpose of this study was to determine if the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Athletic Training curriculum, presented to students under the CAAHEP accreditation standards enables them to meet the vision statement of the SDSU athletic training program. The second purpose was to determine if these objectives are consistent with the expectations of employers. The graduate survey included questions pertaining to the six vision statement objectives stated in the SDSU Athletic Training Policy and Procedure Manual. The employer/advisor survey included questions pertaining to the graduate's skills and competence. Twenty-five of38 (65 .7%) graduate surveys were returned, while 16 of 38 (42%) of employer/advisor surveys were returned. Data was analyzed using the SPSS statistical system. Results showed that graduate's felt well prepared or "excellent" using cryotherapy (84%), hydrotherapy (80%), in the management of sprains/strains (84%), in the rehabilitation of the ankle (80% ), and in the assessment of lower body injuries (76%). An area in which graduate's did not feel as prepared was neurology. Only seven (28%) graduates rated this skill as "excellent". The results related to the use of iontophoresis indicate that five (20%) of the graduate respondents felt "fair" when utilizing this skill. Graduate responses showed a lack of clinical experience related to the assessment of treatment of medical emergencies. Results showed that 10 (40%) graduates responded "seldom" to the assessment of medical emergencies, while nine (36%) graduates marked "seldom" to the treatment of medical emergencies. Graduate written responses indicate that students felt well prepared for their current position and felt that as a whole the SDSU athletic training program was excellent. Written responses also indicated that graduates felt the need for a greater degree of exposure to rehabilitation techniques as well as the addition of coursework to supplement the current program requirements. Employer/advisor results indicate that employers view their graduates' skills as high. The results related to the graduate's use of ethical and professional manners in the work setting showed that 15 (93 .8%) respondents rated this skill as "to a great extent". The findings indicate that students within the SDSU athletic training program may need a family practice medicine or orthopedic clinic rotation in which they can be exposed to a wider variety of medical emergencies and rehabilitation techniques. Overall, employers/advisors are satisfied with the skills and competence of their graduate.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University -- Curricula -- Evaluation
South Dakota State University Department of Health, Physical Education and
Recreation -- Alumni and alumnae -- Attitudes
Athletic trainers -- Education (Higher) -- South Dakota -- Brookings
Physical education and training -- South Dakota -- Brookings



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University