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Accreditation extended for athletic trainers

Michael Escañuelas
Staff Writer

The athletic training education program recently received a renewal of its national accreditation for an additional 10 years.

The program, which was headed by Marilyn Oliver during the application process, will now hold national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education through 2019, extending its certification from 2001.

“This accreditation is the start for the next 10 years,” Paul Alvarez, director of the athletic training education program, said. “We look for ways of reaching students that will drive the program.”

The athletic training education program provides athletic injury care, prevention, rehabilitation, and management services to the athletics department and visiting athletic teams.

With additional services at local high schools and colleges the program allows students to get hands on experience with physical treatment.

The certification acknowledges the programs overall quality, including faculty, students and alumni’s performances and accomplishments.

The accreditation gives the program a more professional title, and makes it easier for students to obtain jobs after graduation. The process to obtain the title included self-studies and subsequent on-site visits during the past spring semester.

Previously the athletic training education program was certified in 2001 under the direction of Marilyn Oliver.

Oliver has since stepped down for the fall semester for sabbatical leave, leaving the program under the direction of Paul Alvarez.

“While the process was stressful and tedious,” Kim Detwiler, associate professor of athletic education, said. “It’s a necessary process to assure our students to be medical professionals.”

In addition to earning the Bill Cramer Professional Development Award in 2008, which acknowledges professional performance in the program, many of the alumni have been noted to obtain several successful jobs, including working not only a number of local high schools and colleges, but also several hospitals like Pomona Valley Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital and other unlikely places like Disneyland and sports teams like the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Clippers.

This program comes from having a successful track record for exceeding excellence.
“If our students are able to get into the field they want, then we feel we’ve been a successful program,” Alvarez said.

The program’s renewal of accreditation also gives graduates eligibility to take the test for the Board of Certification, a program that is recognized by the American Medical Association and awards the title of Certified Athletic Trainer for graduates.

“It definitely gives me more confidence in our program,” said Mariam Sabry, a junior athletics education major. “We were able to pass some difficult guidelines.”

With the recent accreditation, the athletic training education program will hold the prestigious title that draws many students for another 10 years.

In some California colleges, athletic training education programs are facing elimination, but the ULV program’s accomplishments reflect that the campus faith in the small program.

“While we have a small program that is located next to such bigger programs, there are some very special things that make it unique,” Detwiler said.

Considering the titles that have been bestowed upon the program and the number of successful alumni stories, the program looks to have a bright future ahead of it.

Goals for the future include updates to the teaching that include with new technology and heavy recruitment in high schools and colleges, Alvarez said.

“People might think this is an easy major,” said Sabry. “But it’s not; you have to really like what you do.”

Michael Escañuelas can be reached at michael.escanuelas@laverne.edu.

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