School of Preventive and Rehabilitative Health Sciences

Athletic Training Program

Photo of Brandon Smith


Congrats to Brandon Smith for his acceptance to present his Clinical Case Study at North Carolina's State Symposium.

GWU’s Athletic Training Program is a CAATE (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited program and is housed in the School of Preventive and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. The competitive admissions standard and limited enrollment of 36 students is an ideal environment for you to focus on education. Your educational experience will have two major parts: classroom education and clinical education. This combination of classroom learning and practice in the clinical environment will allow you build on and apply your knowledge. You will develop hands-on skills, and you’ll not only learn how to look at a problem but also how to solve it. Upon successful completion of the academic and clinical aspects of the athletic training educational program, you will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training and will then be eligible to challenge the Board of Certification's (BOC) examination.


A minimum of 128 semester hours is required for graduation: 42 hours within the major, 54-65 hours of general studies requirements, 15-18 hours of additional course requirements that include: EXSI 224, 335, and 306, Biology 203 and 204 (an additional elective hour must be completed for this to be counted as an 18 hour interdisciplinary minor), and the remainder of hours being completed as electives.


Athletic Training Program - Mission Statement

The mission of the Gardner-Webb University Athletic Training Program is to provide the highest quality education that is grounded in a Christian set of values to each and every athletic training student regardless of race, age, or gender through quality instruction and hands-on clinical experiences. Each athletic training student will be a well educated critical thinker and actively engaged in the prevention, recognition and evaluation, management/treatment and disposition, rehabilitation, organization and administration, and education and counseling for injuries occurring to athletes and physically active individuals. Upon meeting all graduation requirements and passing the Board of Certification (BOC) examination, ATSs will find themselves prepared for an entry-level position within the profession of athletic training.

Athletic Training Program Goals

  1. To prepare competent and contributing entry-level BOC Certified Athletic Trainers who can function in a variety of health settings.
  2. To provide students with a variety of quality clinical experiences.
  3. To facilitate student appreciation for the athletic training profession.
  4. To provide students with a rigorous, up to date, quality, undergraduate education in an accredited program

Athletic Training Student Learning Goals

  1. Students will use critical thinking and problem solving skills within the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains presented in both the didactic and clinical settings.
  2. Students will use effective interpersonal skills and strategies to communicate with individuals, professionals, and society.
  3. Students will encompass professional attributes that align with the foundational behaviors of professional practice.
  4. Students will engage in leadership, learning, and service to the athletic training profession as well as local, national, and global communities.


Technical Standards

The Athletic Training Program at Gardner-Webb University is a rigorous and intense, competency-based program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled in the program.


These specific requirements are determined by National Athletic Trainer's Association-Education Council and are identified in the document "NATA Athletic Training Education Competencies." An objective of this program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals in physical activity. The technical standards set forth by the Athletic Training Program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the program's accrediting agency, Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Abilities and expectations as listed in the Athletic Training Student Manual must be met by all students admitted to the Athletic Training Educational Program.


For a listing of the specific cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills necessary for successful completion of the Gardner-Webb University Athletic Training Program, please refer to the Gardner-Webb University Undergraduate Catalog and the Athletic Training Student Manual. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards (with reasonable accommodation for a student with a documented disability as determined by the Gardner-Webb University NOEL Program), the student will not be admitted into the program. For additional information regarding Technical Standards and associated forms, please refer to the Athletic Training Student Manual which is available from the Educational Program Director.


Careers and Employment Outlook

Athletic training is an Allied Health Care Profession recognized by the American Medical Association. Athletic trainers are health care professionals that specialize in the prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation of sports injuries who are certified by the Board of Certification. According to the BLS: ” Employment of athletic trainers is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2010-2020, much faster than the average for other occupations.” Athletic Trainers work with: Secondary School Interscholastic Athletic Programs, Professional Athletic Teams, Corporate Health Programs, Sports Medicine Clinics, Industrial Health Programs and Universities/Colleges. Additionally, there are several emerging careers in military, law enforcement, performing arts, and Ortho-techs.


For more information about the profession, please contact the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) at



GWU athletic training alumni are currently working with NFL football teams, colleges and universities, high schools, and physical therapy clinics. Many also choose to seek graduate assistantships at college and universities. A graduate assistantship allows athletic training students to pursue their master’s degree while gaining additional experience within the profession.

Board of Certification Exam Pass Rates

  • ‪3 Year 1st Time Pass Rate - 5 students have graduated and 5 passed first time for 100%.‬
  • ‪3 Year Overall Pass Rate - 5 students have graduated and 5 have passed for an overall pass rate of 100%.‬
  • ‪The Class of 2013 had 100% Pass Rate - 1 student graduated and passed the exam on the first time.‬

Alumni Placement Rates 3 year aggregate:

  • 5 students graduated
  • 3 students are attending graduate school
  • 2 students are working full-time as an Athletic Training

Board of Certification News: 

Congratulations to Michelle Cooper and Tavarus Ferguson on passing the Board of Certification Exam. We are all very proud of you!



Dr. Heather Hudson

Dean, School of Preventive and Rehabilitative Health Sciences 

Athletic Training Program Director


Phone: (704) 704-3810