The Professional Phase consists of junior and senior year in the Athletic Training program. At this point, the curriculum emphasis is on the continued professional development of the athletic training student into an athletic training healthcare professional. Having transitioned from the Pre-Professional to the Professional Phase, expectations of the students academically and clinically will be higher. However, students and faculty will work together in order to assist students in achieving their fullest potential as athletic trainers and healthcare providers.
With the required liberal arts and basic science coursework complete, Professional Phase students will be engaged almost exclusively in professional athletic training coursework and clinical education experiences. Generally, athletic training students will engage in classroom and laboratory coursework in the morning and early afternoon and will proceed to their clinical education experiences later in the afternoon.
In order to successfully complete the Professional Phase of the program and graduate with a BS in Athletic Training, students must:
- Maintain a 3.0 QPA each semester to remain in good academic standing
- Have a professional overall QPA of 3.0 at the time of graduation to graduate with a BS in Athletic Training
- Not achieve lower than a "C" grade in any required professional course
- Continue to maintain the Standards of Professional Practice and RSHS Student Code of Conduct
In addition to the classroom learning, students are required to accumulate athletic training observations and clinical experiences as part of laboratory courses; two each year during the sophomore, two during during the junior year, and two during the senior year.
These courses allow students to apply the learning and skills evaluated in the classroom and laboratory settings in athletic training settings under the supervision of athletic trainers and other appropriately credentialed clinical preceptors. Students have opportunities to apply their skills in a variety of settings including:
- Athletic training settings at Duquesne University
- Athletic training settings at other local colleges, universities, and high schools
- Professional sport settings: Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater
- Physician offices and sports medicine clinics
To assure the health and safety of the Athletic Training students and patients with whom they work, all students (freshman, transfer, and continuing) are required to meet the Technical Standards/Performance Indicators to ensure that they have sufficient abilities to meet the rigorous work expectations of a student studying Athletic Training.
To further protect the health and well-being, all students are required to have a complete physical exam and demonstrate appropriate immunizations before beginning the first professional Athletic Training course during the sophomore year (ATHT 201).
The requirements for this physical exam are also explained during the pre-professional student body meetings and are available to students in the RSHS Academic Student Handbook, which all students receive.