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At a glance: Athletic Training

Ohio Northern’s athletic training education program combines strong academics with a variety of clinical experiences and opportunities. Students begin hands-on experiences as soon as they enter the program, providing immediate exposure to the profession that increases as the students progress. Day-to-day assistance with pre-practice management, injury evaluation, rehab considerations and routine interactions with ONU team physicians create an excellent opportunity and environment to prepare our students for the “real world” experiences they will encounter after graduation.

Kurt Wilson
Head athletic trainer, assistant professor, head strength and conditioning coordinator

The mission of the Athletic Training Program at Ohio Northern University is to offer athletic training students the academic and professional services needed to become a certified athletic trainer. We offer students a unique and comprehensive educational and clinical foundation relating to the profession of athletic training and strive to promote excellence through scholarship, skill and professionalism.

Distinctive features

  • ONU is an NCAA Division III, Ohio Athletic Conference institution
  • 23 varsity sports: 12 men’s and 11 women’s
  • Students complete six clinical experiences during their sophomore, junior and senior years, experiencing a variety of athletics, injury-risk exposures and certified staff preceptors
  • Surgery and physician specialty observation opportunities
  • Direct involvement with allied health care specialists
  • Option to take a human anatomy (cadaver anatomy) course
  • Low student-faculty ratio and class sizes
  • ONU’s first-time BOC exam passing rate is 100% from 2011-2014
  • State-of-the-art modality and exercise equipment for clinical practice and proficiency


Students and professors in the department of human performance and sport sciences (HPSS) have access to modern classrooms and computer facilities equipped with the latest hardware and software, plus a 1,300-square-foot athletic training room in the Sports Center complex and a 1,100-square-foot athletic training room in Dial-Roberson Stadium.

ONU Sports Center:

  • Three full-size gymnasiums
  • A six-lane, 200-meter indoor track
  • Eight volleyball courts
  • Eight basketball courts
  • Two racquetball courts
  • Three indoor tennis courts
  • 25-yard, six-lane swimming and diving pool
  • Wrestling room
  • Dance and free exercise room
  • Weight room
  • Fitness room
  • Exercise physiology lab
  • Athletic training clinical room
  • Locker rooms
  • Jogging path


Program outcomes

Athletic training students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviors to:

  • Recognize and minimize risk of injury/illnes and implement prevention strategies
  • Understand pathomechanics and development, progression and epidemiology of injuries, illnesses and diseases
  • Clinically examine and diagnose a patient to identify risk factor and musculoskeletal injuries to direct proper care, including referral to allied health care professionals
  • Understand medical conditions and disabilities associated with the physically active population
  • Recognize, assess and treat patients with acute injuries and illnesses and provide appropriate medical referral
  • Plan, implement, document and evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic modalities in the treatement of injuries and illnesses
  • Plan, implement, document and evaluate the efficay of therapeutic exercise programs for the rehabilitation and reconditioning of injuries and illnesses
  • Understand pharmacologic applications and governing pharmacy regulations relevant to the treatment of injuries, illness and diseases
  • Recognize, intervene and refere (when necessary) patients exhibiting sociocultural, mental, emotional and psychological behavioral problems/issues
  • Understand the nutritional aspects of injuries and illnesses
  • Develop, administer and manage a health care facility and associated venues that provide health care to a phsically active population
  • Understand professional responsibilities and avenues of professional development to promote athletic training as a professional discipline

Professional placement

Sports medicine clinics, high school outreach, collegiate and professional athletic teams, public and private corporations and industrial facilities

Graduate schools

Dupaun University, Eastern Kentucky University, Ohio University, Syracuse University, University of Dayton, University of Alabama, University of Cincinnati, University of South Carolina, University of Virginia, Western Michigan University, West Virginia University, Wright State University

Career opportunities

Certified athletic trainers find employment in almost any setting where a physically active population exists. This includes such places as secondary schools (both public and private), colleges, universities, professional sports, sports medicine clinics, outpatient rehabilitation facilities, military branches, and industrial and commercial facilities. Certified athletic trainers help active people prevent injuries from occurring, assist them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and level of fitness, and help them return to activity should an injury occur. There are even athletic trainers in areas less known to many, such as professional motorsports (NASCAR), professional bull riding (PBR), professional dance companies, law enforcement and equestrian sports.

In the spotlight

Opportunities exist to pursue summer internships with professional organizations such as the NFL. Coursework that meets guidelines for students to pursue National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certification as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS). Exposure to national championship event coverage such as NCAA Division III Wrestling and Indoor Track and Field Championships.