Athletic training for the future at Simpson


by Ben Frotscher

To allow athletic training majors to accomplish the most thatthey can at Simpson College, the completed accreditation processwas a key step in the three-year-old athletic training program.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health EducationPrograms (CAAHEP), in conjunction with the Joint Review Committeeon Educational Programs in Athletic Training helped Simpson receiveaccreditation last month.

“It’s the highest step an athletic training program can take,”said Mike Hadden, program director of athletic training andexercise science.

According to the CAAHEP, accreditation involves assessing thequality of institutions, programs and services, measuring themagainst standards and assuring that institutions meet thosestandards.

The CAAHEP is the largest accreditation program in the healthscience field reviewing and accrediting more than 2,000 educationalprograms in 21 health science occupations across the United Statesand Canada.

Attending an accredited institution for athletic trainingensures that students with an athletic training major will be ableto fulfill the eligibility requirements for the national exam bythe National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board ofCertification.

“The accreditation process involves a self-study and a campusvisit,” said Hadden.

Accreditation is also important because it ensures students thatan education institution has met certain minimum standards in termsof administration, resources, faculty and facilities, whileassuring a well-prepared and qualified workforce providing healthcare services.

Simpson has offered an athletic training major since 2000 and ithas turned into one of the more successful programs on campus

“We felt the need to offer an athletic training program becauseit was a growing and popular field,” said Hadden. “We had manystudents in the program and they deserved to have the opportunityto have the major. We didn’t want to leave the studentshanging.”

Currently 30 students have declared a major in athletictraining.

“I think athletic training is one of the more popular fields,”said Hadden, who has been at Simpson since 1997.

Students in the athletic training program take a wide variety ofclasses from the departments of physical education, biology,chemistry, natural science and psychology. Students take 69 credithours in the athletic training program.

Besides Hadden, many other staff and faculty members helped theathletic training program receive accreditation including AthleticDirector and Assistant Professor of Physical Education JohnSirianni; Assistant Professor of Physical Education Bob Nutgrassand Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Bruce Haddox.

With Hadden leading the athletic training program, Simpson hasthree other staff members in the department: Greg Seier, headathletic trainer; Neil Nelsen, assistant athletic trainer and NicciWhalen, assistant athletic trainer.