Professional Athletic Training Program
Professional Athletic Training
Welcome to the Athletic Training Program at the University of South Florida! We are excited that you have expressed an interest in the profession of Athletic Training, and even more so that you have chosen to be part of our Master’s level Professional program at USF. The move to a Master of Science in Athletic Training further positions our graduates to become integral members of the health care team. You may have many questions about our program, so please refer to the tabs at the left for further information.
Our Athletic Training Program is one of only a few, nationwide, to be anchored within a medical college. It was also the first program of its kind in the country to be housed in a department of orthopedics, and now resides within the USF Health School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. For our faculty, staff, students, preceptors and alumni, this innovative program creates intense learning experiences and daily collaboration with the best Athletic Training, Orthopedics, and Primary Care Sports Medicine practitioners. As part of USF Health, our students participate in numerous interprofessional educational opportunities with other health care students and faculty.
The goal of the USF Athletic Training Program is to prepare our graduates for personal and professional success while setting the standard for excellence in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine nationwide. We invite you to explore our website to discover all of the exciting educational opportunities within USF Athletic Training and USF Health.
Amanda Tritsch, PhD, LAT, ATC, CSCS
Program Director, Professional Athletic Training Program
About Our Program
- Housed in the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences in the Morsani College of Medicine
- Formal inter-professional education with students within USF Health, including Physician Assistant, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, and Medical programs
- Opportunity for greater than 34-weeks of immersive clinical experiences, with 26 required weeks integrated throughout the program
- All students obtain clinical experiences in the high school, small college, major college, and general medical and rehabilitation clinic settings. Additional opportunities exist within the various professional sports teams in the Tampa Bay region.
- Students also obtain additional certifications in Stop the Bleed, Mental Health First Aid, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (Hawk Grips), Safe Space Ally Training for the Athletic Trainer. These are all built within the curriculum of our program, and provided at no additional cost to students.
The USF Athletic Training Program is a limited-access program designed to prepare students for a successful career as an athletic trainer, educated and experienced in the management of health care problems associated with the physically active.
The program is an on-campus intensive and continual 6 semester, 24-month program, with clinical experiences included across the curriculum. All clinical experiences include immersive periods, where the student has no didactic responsibilities for weeks at a time and is fully integrated into their assigned clinical setting for that rotation.
The USF Athletic Training Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Graduates from our program establish successful careers as athletic trainers in secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports programs, sports medicine clinics, and other athletic health care settings.
The mission of the USF Athletic Training Program is to provide our students with the most comprehensive and progressive foundation that focuses on the integration of evidence based-medicine, development of critical thinking skills, and promotion of diversity and inclusion in order to provide exceptional healthcare to all patients throughout a career in Athletic Training.
The vision of the USF Athletic Training Program is to be recognized as a leader in the field of Athletic Training by contributing to and advancing the knowledge base of injury prevention, injury recognition, injury management, and inter-professional collaboration. Through the acquisition of evidence-based information and the use of new techniques and research, USF Athletic Training will serve as a model for community partnerships and innovative program delivery.
History of Athletic Training at USF
While our formal academic model in athletic training education spans more than 15 years, it is important to note that even prior to that, numerous students seeking certification from the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification (NATA-BOC) achieved it by way of internships. USF's formal Athletic Training Student Program was initiated in 1983. The program began with only two interns and grew to now include around twenty students in each cohort.
When changes in the Athletic Training profession and academia established a more formalized education preparation, the development of an accredited Athletic Training Program began. The USF Athletic Training Program obtained initial accreditation in October of 2003.
The summer of 2007 marked the start of a new era in our athletic training history. In a bold move to further strengthen its role in Sports Medicine and a buildup of sports safety and orthopedics at USF Health, the program was moved from the College of Education to the Morsani College of Medicine. In January 2021 our Athletic Training Program moved into the medical school's School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences.
The summer of 2015 marked the next big milestone in the Athletic Training program at USF, in that we admitted our first cohort of Master's level professional students. The graduating class of 2016 was the last group of students to complete their Athletic Training degree at USF with a Bachelor's degree.
Statement of DEI and Social Justice Commitment
USF Athletic Training Program commends and stands behind the statements and actions of our alumni and students regarding the increased attention to the continued acts of racism and police brutality that have been targeted at black people since our country’s inception. Systemic racism has existed throughout our history, and systematic social changes are the only appropriate response. Words alone have not been and will not be enough. To acknowledge the need for a continual action-oriented response to mistreatment of marginalized groups, the Athletic Training Program commits to the following:
- Utilize our platform to advocate for positive social change.
While words alone are not enough, words do matter. Our position in the profession allows us the opportunity to amplify the voices of our students and clearly state the values we prioritize.
- Purposefully engage in discussions regarding social and healthcare disparities throughout the curriculum.
There is no single topic or condition that could fully represent the pervasiveness of disparities in access, interventions, or outcomes. As such, it is necessary to engage in continual comprehensive discussions.
- Provide education and resources to recognize acts and language that proliferate bias and racism.
Inappropriate language and acts of bias can only be stopped if recognized. We pledge that all stakeholders in our program will be fully aware of, and not have the excuse of ignorance to these issues.
- Maintain an environment of inclusion and respect in both the classroom and clinical settings.
Issues surrounding race do not stop at the classroom door. To further acknowledge the wholistic nature of society’s actions, we are committed to a positive programmatic culture across all settings. ·
- Support the involvement of students of color in state, district, and national leadership opportunities to ensure continual change and progression within the profession.
Active and powerful voices of those in leadership positions are necessary for organizational change. We commit to providing leadership opportunities to students that represent under-represented groups across our profession.
- Continue to increase diversity within the student body by actively recruiting students of diverse backgrounds.
The profession of athletic training under-represents minority clinicians at a woeful rate. Though no single program can overcome this gap, we pledge to maintain a diverse student enrollment above the national average within the profession.
- Continue to choose diverse suppliers when available for programmatic purchases.
Financial support of black owned businesses is one of our most powerful actions to ensure a broader establishment of generational wealth in the black community.
While the attention to this topic may be recently increased, the oppressive and violent acts are not new. As such our response cannot be singular, nor a brief moment in time. We will continue to support our marginalized students and push for positive change within our profession and society at large.