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Competitive Admissions Process-Application to the Athletic Training Program

Selection of Students

The role of the ATP is to provide the skills and knowledge needed to learn the process of providing systematic and competent care for an ill or injured person.  ATS must learn how to provide swift, effective and complete diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, which occur during practice and competition in various sports.  This knowledge and skill comes not only from a structured academic setting, but also from exposure within the athletic training room and during clinical experiences.  It is necessary to establish some guidelines for students to follow to be able to remain actively involved as an ATS and to ultimately prepare the ATS for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination upon completion of the program.

Competitive Admissions Process – Fall Semester Entrance

Ohio Northern University has a CAATE (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited ATP.  Students majoring in athletic training during the first year are considered “Preprofessional Students”.  A maximum total number of ten (10) preprofessional students are selected for admission into the ATP by an established competitive admissions process.  During the fall semester, a maximum of six (6) preprofessional students will have a priority admittance opportunity into the ATP at the end of the fall semester.  The six preprofessional students that rank the highest after successfully completing a portion of the requirements listed below will be conditionally admitted at the conclusion of the fall semester with the understanding they must also successfully complete required courses, sport observations and meet the minimum total points requirement during the spring semester.  A minimum of four (4) spots will remain for students to enter in the spring. 

Competitive Admissions Process - Spring Semester Entrance

Preprofessional students entering the athletic training major at ONU mid-year (i.e. spring semester) will be able to compete for a minimum of four (4) or any additional remaining spots not yet filled by fall semester students.  Specific requirements and deadlines for completion are listed on the following pages. 



1.)  Directed Observation

Preprofessional students will participate in directed observation within the athletic training room. Students will be assigned to complete 2-3 hours per week* based around their academic schedules.  Schedules will be posted during the third week of classes and students will maintain the same observation schedule throughout the semester.  Directed observation hours are also used as a portion of your course grade in ATTR 1011, Basic Athletic Training Lab.  Directed observation schedules will change for spring semester based upon student’s academic schedules.  Students must obtain a minimum of 50 directed observation hours during to be eligible for the formal interview (see #7).  Hours obtained during sport observations will also count towards the required 50.  Students are not allowed to perform any skills on actual patients during this time, this is an observation-only experience.

      Physical Examination & Immunization History

Prior to preprofessional students beginning directed observations or sport observations (see #3 below), students will be given a two-week period to:

  1. Document communicable disease immunity by verifying immunization history AND
  2. Obtain a physical examination to determine the student’s physical health and compliance with Technical Standards 

Students MUST obtain this physician-verified immunization history documentation from their primary care physician or local medical records FIRST prior to obtaining a physical examination. 

The immunization history must be in compliance with the Center for Disease Control policy for health care workers before being exposed to blood or blood-contaminated products.  These immunizations include:  Hepatitis B (first, second & third) – or signed refusal waiver; MMR (measles, mumps, rubella); DPT (diphtheria, pertussis & tetanus); Varicella Zoster (chickenpox); and Mantoux test (TB) – or negative chest x-ray (completed within the past year).   Students who need immunizations (or updated immunizations) may obtain these at the university Student Health Center, at a cost to the student.

Once the immunization history has been documented, the student may then complete their physical evaluation at the university Student Health Center at no charge to the student.  Should there be any medical or immunization concern or discrepancies, the ATP Medical Director (Dr. John Oehler, DO), will be the final reviewer and final authority as to a candidate’s compliance with the requirement to complete the observation hour requirement. 

      Preprofessional students must obtain 30 hours of observation by the end of fall semester to be eligible for priority admittance opportunity.

      * Preprofessional students not entering the major until spring semester may be assigned additional observation hours per week in order to accumulate a minimum of 50 .

2.)  Freshmen Skill Sheet

Basic Athletic Training Lab (ATTR 1011) also teaches the preprofessional student a variety of entry-level clinical psychomotor skills (i.e. crutch fitting, applying an ice bag, etc.).  Specific skills have been selected that the student must learn, practice and perfect throughout the semester.  Students will be evaluated on these skills during class.  Skills are worth a maximum of 10 points each, and must be completed with 80% proficiency (i.e. 8/10).  Any skills performed at less than 80% proficiency must be repeated until this proficiency level is met.  The score that is received the first time a skill is attempted will be the score applied towards the student’s course grade as well as the grade entered for the master check sheet (see #8). 

Students must complete ALL skills with an 80% proficiency by the conclusion of the fall semester to be eligible for priority admittance opportunity.

3.)  Sport Observations / ATS Student Evaluations

All preprofessional students must complete four (4) different, one-week sport observations.  At least two (2) different sport observations must be completed during fall semester*, and at least one (1) different observation must be completed by a designated date in the spring semester.  The remaining observation(s) may be completed either fall semester or by a designated date in the spring semester. Preprofessional students will attend all practices during the week and any home games, including Saturday, should there happen to be one.

*Preprofessional students not entering the major until spring semester may complete all four sport observations during spring semester.  Observations MUST be completed no later than the designated date.

Preprofessional students will be evaluated on their performance during these sport observations by the staff athletic trainers as well as the ATS (sophomore, junior & senior level students).  The top 4 scores from the ATS evaluations will be used for the selection process and entered into the master check sheet (see #8).  Students will be required to complete a “sport observation worksheet” at the conclusion of each observation and return it to the ATP director.

Preprofessional students must have completed 2 sport observations and receive successful (minimum 70% average) ATS evaluations by the conclusion of the fall semester to be eligible for priority admittance opportunity.

4.)  Staff Evaluations

Students will receive two written evaluations during the first year by the athletic training staff who have observed them during a directed observation or a sport observation.  The first evaluation will occur either at the end of the fall semester or beginning of spring semester.  The second evaluation will occur as part of the formal interview process in spring semester.  Preprofessional students will also complete a self-evaluation each time.  Staff evaluation grades are also used as a portion of your course grade in ATTR 1011, Basic Athletic Training Lab. 

Preprofessional students must receive a successful (minimum 70% average) first staff evaluation to be eligible for priority admittance opportunity. 

5.)  Selected Course Grades

Five specific athletic training related courses have been chosen to be used as indicators of successful academic completion of the athletic training major. 

Preprofessional students must pass with a “C” or better: (as they are major course requirements)

Fall Semester:

  • Basic Athletic Training (ATTR 1001)
  • Basic Athletic Training Lab (ATTR 1011)
  • Advanced Weight Control & Sports Nutrition (ATTR 1201)*

Spring Semester:

  • Anatomical Structure & Function (EXPH 1301)
  • Professional Emergency Care (ATTR 1101)

*Preprofessional students who do not enter the major until spring semester or fall semester preprofessional students who have a schedule that does not accommodate this course, will not be required to have this completed prior to admittance in the spring, but will be required to take this course fall semester of the sophomore year (first year in the program).  Preprofessional students who do not complete this course fall semester or who do not successfully pass this course will not be eligible for priority admittance, but are still eligible for program selection at the conclusion of spring semester.  Students would need to repeat ATTR 1201 the following fall semester should they not achieve the minimum “C” grade.

Those preprofessional students that are accepted into the program during spring semester are accepted on a “conditional” basis of successful completion of their spring semester courses, but should realize that unsuccessful completion of these courses WILL adversely affect their prior acceptance. 

Grades from these courses are transferred into “quality points” (A=4, B=3, etc.), multiplied by the number of credits the course receives, and then the sum of these is multiplied by 4 and entered into the master check sheet.  If a student re-takes a course, the higher of the two grades received is entered into the master check sheet (see #8). 

Proprofessional students must pass with a “C” or better:  Basic Athletic Training (ATTR 1001), Basic Athletic Training Lab (ATTR 1011), and Advanced Weight Control & Sports Nutrition (ATTR 1201) by the conclusion of the fall semester to be eligible for priority admittance opportunity.

6.)  Cumulative Grade Point Average

The preprofessional students’ overall or cumulative GPA (Grade Point Average) at the end of the fall semester is transferred into a total point system (i.e. 3.75 – 4.00 GPA = 130 points), which is entered into the master check sheet (see #8).  A preprofessional student must have a minimum 2.00 GPA at the end of the fall semester to be eligible to sit for the formal interview in the spring for admission into the ATP, but must have a 2.50 GPA at the end of fall semester in order to be eligible for a priority admittance opportunity.  Once a preprofessional student has been accepted into the ATP, they must also maintain this minimum 2.00 GPA to remain active in clinical experience rotations.   

Preprofessional students must have a minimum 2.50 GPA at the conclusion of fall semester to be eligible for priority admittance opportunity.

7.) Formal Interview

A formal interview is the final required process for admission into the ATP.  This interview will occur around the 11th week of the spring semester (specific dates will be announced in advance).  Five criteria must be met in order to SIT for an interview:

  1. Application / Recommendations
    • A formal application to the ATP must be completed, and 2 recommendations must be obtained, one from a professor or supervisor on-campus, the other from an off-campus individual (pastor, employer, teacher, etc.).  Due dates announced in advance. 
  2. Directed Observation
    • A preprofessional student must have completed at least 50 directed observation hours over the course of the fall and spring semesters in the athletic training room and with sport observations.
  3. Freshmen Skills
    • All freshmen skills must be completed with at least 80% proficiency.
  4. Sport Observations
    • All 4 sport observations must be completed, or be scheduled to complete, and all worksheets associated with the completed observations must be turned into the ATP director.
  5. Grade Point Average / Course Grades
    • A student must be in good academic standing within the university (minimum 2.00 GPA) at the end of fall semester.  Students must have passed, with a “C” or better, ATTR 1001 and ATTR 1011.

*Preprofessional students not entering the major until spring semester will have a separate interview opportunity at the end of the semester, prior to finals week.  Students must have completed A, B, C & D listed above, and will only be “conditionally” admitted until the reporting of final grades has occurred to ensure the minimum 2.00 GPA has been met, and students have passed, with a “C” or better, ATTR 1001, ATTR 1011, ATTR 1101 and EXPH 1301.

8.) Master Check Sheet / Final Selection Process

Once formal interviews are completed, a master check sheet is tallied, based on a ‘total points’ system, which may be different for some preprofessional students (based on students entering spring semester, staff evaluation points and course grade points). The components of this check sheet include:

  1. Skills (23 worth 10 pts. each. Max 230 total points possible
  2. Sport Observation ATS Evaluations (Top 4 scores used. Max 96 total points possible)
  3. Staff Evaluations (Total Score of Staff Mid-Term & Final Evaluations. Total points vary
  4. Selected Course Grade Points (Based on courses listed in #5. Total points possible varies)
  5. Overall GPA – at end of fall semester (130 total points possible)
  6. Formal Interview (Max 175 total points possible)

A percentage is then derived from the total points achieved divided by the total points possible for each student, and the top students are selected for admittance into the ATP.  The ATP has a right to deny admission to any student who does not achieve a minimum of 75% of the total points, regardless of the total number of students accepted in a given year.  Preprofessional students should remember that they are only being admitted on a “conditional” basis pending successful completion of their spring semester courses, but should realize that unsuccessful completion of ATTR 1001, 1011, 1101 or EXPH 1301 WILL adversely affect their prior conditional acceptance.  A maximum number of 10 students will be accepted (with a maximum number of 6 fall priority admittance opportunities) into the ATP each year.   

Re-Application to the Athletic Training Program

Program applicants who are not selected to enter into the ATP for the following fall semester will have the opportunity to re‑apply the following year.  An individual choosing to re‑apply must realize that it will be necessary to stay at Ohio Northern University additional semesters to complete all necessary didactic and clinical experiences.  You will be required to matriculate through the selection process exactly as you did the previous year, actively taking part in the sport observations, re-completion of the skill check-offs, continued directed observation hours in the athletic training room, and be required to again meet the requirements to sit for a formal interview, as those parts that you did previously complete will not be carried over from one evaluation year to the next. You may want to consider retaking courses that you did not do well in the first time to increase your quality points and GPA, although it is not mandatory.

Transfer Students

A student desiring to transfer from another college or university must follow the university procedures outlined in the course catalog.  The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will determine your academic standing in cooperation with the registrar’s office. 

Students who wish to transfer core athletic training courses in place of those required at ONU must submit a transcript of grades for consideration to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  Specific athletic training courses may receive transfer credit, but will only be accepted for graduation from the ATP if there is documented evidence from the transfer institution that it includes the same educational competencies & proficiencies as the course(s) it is replacing.  It will likely be necessary to retake these courses to fulfill the competency and proficiency requirement for graduation.  Each situation will be handled on an individual basis, as many variables might need to be addressed.   Please be aware of ONU policies also regarding transfer students, which can be located in the ONU Catalog or on the Admissions website

Transfer students must be accepted into the ATP through the same competitive admissions process as previously outlined for traditional students.  Individual consideration will be made for those students who may be transferring with high credit hours and those who are transferring core athletic training courses in order to facilitate a reasonable graduation time. 



Department of Human Performance and Sport Sciences

Rosanne Hoersten

Administrative Assistant for HPSS
King Horn Sports Center 219
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
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