Athletic training

Athletic training

Looking for hands-on experience in real time? The athletic training curriculum at Central combines classroom concepts with real life situations. In collaboration with faculty and healthcare professionals, athletic training majors learn to master competencies and clinical proficiencies within a liberal arts framework. Central’s athletic training program, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, offers educational experiences that prepare students to sit for the Board of Certification exam and attend top graduate programs across the nation.

first time pass rate for 2015 graduates who earned board certification
  • 99% of recent graduates are attending top graduate programs in related fields or working in the field
  • 45% of athletic training majors are actively involved in athletics

The Real World


Successful Careers

  • Athletic trainer, Chicago Cubs Organization, Chicago, Ill.
  • Assistant athletic trainer, Green Bay Packers, Green Bay, Wis.
  • Athletic trainer, Ankeny Centennial High School, Ankeny, Iowa
  • Physical therapy assistant, Jefferson Hospital, Jefferson, Iowa
  • Dentist, Ackley Family Dental, Ackley, Iowa


  • CAAT (Club Associated with Athletic Training)
  • Exercise Science Club
  • Health Professions Club

No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Central College student

Graduate Placement

  • Old Dominion University, athletic training
  • University of Colorado,  athletic training
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, doctorate of physical therapy 
  • University of Iowa, dental school
  • Texas A & M University,  athletic training
  • Des Moines University, physical therapy


  • Illinois State University
  • Physiotherapy Associates
  • Auburn University
  • Sterling Physical Therapy
  • Iowa State University

Courses & Faculty

Formal application to the athletic training program occurs during the student’s first year at Central. To enter the program, students must complete prerequisites from the exercise science department, maintain at least a 2.8 GPA and complete an interview and the required experiences in the athletic training room.

Students progress through an educational sequence that stresses critical thinking skills. Clinical skills are evaluated regularly by faculty and healthcare professionals throughout the four years. The athletic training major is affiliated with exercise science—find out more about exercise science.

Learn more about athletic training in the course catalog.

Athletic training photo
Meet the faculty:
  • Leslie Duinink, B.A., M.S., Associate Professor of Exercise Science, interest areas include concussion research and public health (local, national and global)
  • Katelin Gannon, B.A., M.S., Lecturer of Exercise Science, interest areas include sport performance, impact of activity on chronic disease, older adult fitness, service learning, female athletes and ACL injuries
  • Shelli Green, B.A., M.S., Lecturer and Clinical Education Coordinator of Exercise Science, interest areas include athletic training and exercise science
  • Cody Huisman, B.A., D.C., Lecturer of Exercise Science, interest areas include human anatomy and physiology, structural kinesiology, functional movement screens and strength and conditioning
  • David Pavlat, B.S., M.A., Ed.D., Associate Professor of Exercise Science, interest areas include physiology, kinesiology
  • Pam Richards, B.S., M.S., Ed.D., Associate Professor of Exercise Science, interest areas include information literacy, exercise science curriculum and health education
  • John Roslien, B.S., M.S., Associate Professor Exercise Science, interest areas include professional leadership and international travel
  • Sara Shuger Fox, B.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, interest areas include exercise as medicine and electronic feedback for diet and physical activity
  • Liz Vermeer, B.S., D.P.T., Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, interest areas include gait/posture analysis and functional assessment for therapeutic exercise, motor learning for all age groups

Board of Certification Exam

Central students consistently excel on the CAATE Board of Certification Exam, far outperforming the National Pass Rate.

Year Graduates Graduates taking exam Graduates passing exam on first attempt First attempt pass rate Overall pass rate National pass rate
2014-15 16 16 16 100% 100% 80.65%
2013-14 13 13 11 85% 92% 82.85%
2012-13 14 14 11 79% 93% 80.8%
Three Year Aggregate 88% 95% 81.4%

Sample Schedule

First year
  • Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology
  • Foundations of Health and Exercise Science
  • First Aid and Sports Injuries
  • Intro to Athletic Training
Sophomore year
  • Level 1: Clinical Rotation
  • Human Anatomy and Kinesiology
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Athletic Injury Assessment: Lower Extremity
  • Athletic Injury Assessment: Upper Extremity
  • Therapeutic Modalities
Junior year
  • Level 2: Clinical Rotation
  • Organization and Administration of Athletic Training
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Athletic Training Pharmacology
  • Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription
Senior year
  • Level 3: Clinical Rotation 1
  • Level 3: Clinical Rotation 2
  • Medical Conditions for the Athletic Trainer
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology Lab

The Central Difference


A primary objective of the athletic training program is to prepare entry-level athletic trainers the Board of Certification exam through classroom and clinical experiences that help develop and master proficiencies. To practice as an athletic trainer, graduates must pass a national certification exam administered by the Board of Certification. Students must demonstrate competency in many areas including biology, anatomy, kinesiology, management, psychology, first aid and others.

Central College is accredited by CAATE (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education)


Central’s state-of-the-art exercise science building includes a dedicated classroom for the athletic training program that features taping stations instead of desks. The human performance lab features a hydrostatic underwater weighing tank, one of only three in the Midwest.

The building uses LCD screens and classroom capture, which enables all classes to be videotaped for review by students. The adjacent Ron Schipper Fitness Center features a 2,000-square-foot athletic training area.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

AThletic Training Room

Learn More

Want to find out more about athletic training at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.