Athletic Training Apprenticeship Program
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Athletic Training Apprenticeship Program

Athletic Training Apprenticeship Program

The UTSA Athletic Training Apprenticeship Program provides an experiential learning opportunity for the Kinesiology majors in the athletic training concentration. The students in the program will gain hands-on clinical experience, mentorship, and observation hours in the athletic training facility at UTSA and local high schools. The program adheres to the policies and procedures as laid out by the scope of practice in the Texas athletic training law, regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Students who complete an apprenticeship program and earn their Texas state license in athletic training can work in Texas secondary schools and sports medicine or rehabilitation clinics. The program also prepares students to apply to master’s programs in athletic training, where they can seek national certification in athletic training.

Athletic Training

An athletic trainer is a “highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professional who renders service or treatment under the direction or in collaboration with a physician in accordance with their state statutes, rules, and regulations.” (NATA) Recognized by the American Medical Association, Health Resources Services Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services as a health care profession, athletic trainers may be employed at the secondary school setting as well as sports medicine or rehabilitation clinics, university and collegiate settings, and professional sports. In the past few years, emerging settings such as the military, performing arts, police and fire departments and their academies, hospitals, and Olympic sports have been hiring athletic trainers full-time.

State License vs. National certification in athletic training

State license in athletic training allows individuals to seek employment as an athletic trainer in secondary schools and sports medicine or rehabilitation clinics within Texas. Students who complete an apprenticeship program and the course work required for the athletic training concentration at UTSA will become eligible to take the Texas state license exam in athletic training. Texas is currently the only state that offers an avenue to the athletic training profession with only a bachelor’s degree through an Apprenticeship Program regulated by The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

National certification in athletic training allows individuals to seek employment as an athletic trainer anywhere in the country. The national certification also broadens employment opportunities to university and collegiate settings and professional sports. To seek national certification in athletic training, students must complete a master’s program in athletic training accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and pass the Board of Certification for athletic training exam. As of Fall 2022, all CAATE athletic training programs are master’s degree level. UTSA does not offer the master’s degree in athletic training, but helps prepare undergraduate students for a program if they desire to pursue this educational opportunity.

How to become an athletic training student (ATS)

  • Attend the information session held at the beginning of fall and spring semesters
  • Complete HIPAA and FERPA training
  • Submit the Persons of Interest (POI) form
  • Review ATOP Handbook
  • Sign up for observation hours
  • A one-page personal statement
  • A pdf copy of DegreeWorks
  • Clinical observation hour sheet (Minimum of 50 hours) signed by supervising athletic trainer
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from an athletic trainer)
  • Proof of American Heart Association or American Red Cross BLS certification (CPR and AED for the health care provider)
  • Proof of HIPAA and FERPA training
Once all steps are taken, you will be contacted for an interview.

Program Requirements

Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Accepted into UTSA
  • Cumulative UTSA GPA above 2.5
  • Completed 30 semester credit hours
  • Completed the following courses with C- or better:
    • BIO1233 Contemporary Biology I
    • KIN2303 Foundations in Kinesiology
    • MAT1073 Algebra for Scientists and Engineers
    • WRC 1013 Freshman Composition I
  • Completed 50 hours of observation hours through ATOP
  • Recommended:
    • Completion of Anatomy and Physiology courses
    • Membership in a local, state, or national athletic training organization

Contact information

For more information, contact Nydia Cabra, Athletic Training Program Coordinator

Frequently Asked Questions

You can attend one of the Athletic Training Observation Program (ATOP) Information meetings held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Attending the meeting is mandatory to join the ATOP and start accumulating clinical observation hours at UTSA needed to apply to the Athletic Training Apprenticeship Program.
You can find variety of information about the profession of athletic training (ex. educational requirement, employment setting, salaries etc.) on the National Athletic Trainer’s Association website. We also recommend you visit the websites for the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association and Texas State Athletic Trainers’ Association.
To become eligible for the State License exam in athletic training, you will need to complete the coursework in the athletic training concentration and accumulate 1800 hours of clinical observation hours over a minimum of 5 long (fall or spring) semesters. Joining the Athletic Training Apprenticeship Program in your sophomore year is recommended to help you meet this requirement. More information on Texas state license can be found on the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations.
To become a nationally certified athletic trainer, you will need to go to a master’s program in athletic training. The list of accredited master’s athletic training program can be found on the Commission of Accreditation and Athletic Training Education (CAATE) website. Please visit the website for each program to learn about the program and admission requirements.
Students seek employment in secondary schools (public and private) in Texas and sports medicine and physical therapy clinics. There are also students who choose to pursue the master’s program in athletic training to seek national certification in athletic training.
Yes. You must be a Kinesiology major in athletic training concentration to join the program. The students will be added to the athletic training concentration when they are accepted into the Athletic Training Apprenticeship Program.
Please contact Dr. Cabra (nydia.cabra@utsa.edu) to seek guidance if you are interested in transferring to UTSA to pursue athletic training concentration. Your options will vary based on how far along you are in your degree.
Please contact Dr. Cabra (nydia.cabra@utsa.edu) to discuss your options if you are a junior/senior student interested in athletic training. Depending on how far along you are in your degree, joining the Athletic Training Apprenticeship Program/concentration may not be advised. In that case, we can still provide guidance on how you can pursue a career in athletic training by going to the master’s program in athletic training.
Yes. You can become a nationally certified athletic trainer by going to a master’s program in athletic training. The list of accredited master’s level athletic training program can be found on the Commission of Accreditation and Athletic Training Education (CAATE) website. Most programs have pre-requisites and require 30-100 hours of clinical observation hours to be considered for admission. You can obtain the observation hours by joining the Athletic Training Observation Program.
You will take the courses required to complete the Kinesiology major with an athletic training concentration. The courses include:
  • KIN3303 Care and prevention of Athletic Injuries
  • KIN3463 Musculoskeletal Anatomy
  • KIN4143 Injury Evaluation
  • KIN4043 Therapeutic Modalities
  • KIN4243 Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, and more
Please consult with Dr. Cabra and follow the guidance from the Academic Advising about the proper course sequence.

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