Athletic Training

Athletic Training

Whether you want to become an athletic trainer or prepare for other health care professions, you’ll benefit from a curriculum that combines classroom concepts with real-life situations. In collaboration with faculty and healthcare professionals, you’ll learn to master competencies and clinical proficiencies within a liberal arts framework.

Central’s athletic training program provides educational experiences that will effectively prepare you to sit for the Board of Certification exam and attend top graduate programs across the nation.

Central's athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, 6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100, Austin, TX 78731-3101. The program has chosen to voluntarily withdraw its CAATE accreditation effective July 1, 2022.

first-time pass rate for 2019 graduates who earned board certification
of 2019 graduates are attending top programs in related fields or working in the field
of athletic training majors are actively involved in athletics

The Central Difference

Gain Professional Certification

To practice as an athletic trainer, you must first pass a national certification exam administered by the Board of Certification. In this exam, you’ll be required to demonstrate competency in many areas, including biology, anatomy, kinesiology, management, psychology, first aid and others. The primary objective of Central’s athletic training program is to prepare you for certification through classroom and clinical experiences that help you develop and master the proficiencies you need to succeed in a rewarding career.

Alumni Network Opens Doors to Pro Teams

A Central Connection landed him an internship with the Green Bay Packers.

Learn in Nationally Recognized Facilities

You’ll spend a great deal of time in the Ron Schipper Fitness Center, which features a 2,000-square-foot athletic training area. In Central’s state-of-the-art exercise science building, you’ll find a dedicated classroom that features taping stations and exam tables 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 so you can review them later.

Take Your College Career to the Next Level: Off-Campus Experiences

Enhance your development as a global citizen and earn credits toward your major when you participate in one of Central’s international programs. Our Mérida program offers opportunities for pre-health-related internships. Our Wales program expands your studies with “Outdoor Pursuits,” which includes rock climbing, spelunking and more. It’ll help you get that much more ahead while gaining international experience. Get the attention of prospective employers and graduate schools by adding this to your résumé. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

Central College Graduates Have Found Successful Careers In Athletic Training.

  • Josh Brunk ’18, occupational therapy program, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Brandon Zumbach ’18, athletic trainer, Tri-City ValleyCats (Single-A short-season affiliate of the Houston Astros), Troy, New York
  • Seth Eash ’18, physical therapy program, University of Iowa, Iowa City; internship, Green Bay Packers, Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Brett Boddicker ’17, athletic training doctoral program, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Tyler Folkerts ’16, doctor of osteopathic medicine program, Des Moines University, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Taryn Pennington ’13, high-performance health care services provider, United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Joe Rosauer ’12, athletic trainer, Jackson Generals (Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks), Jackson, Tennessee
  • Jessica Edler ’12, clinical education coordinator/assistant professor of kinesiology and health promotion, Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Shane Nelson ’11, assistant athletic trainer, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho
  • Nate Weir ’05, coordinator of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer, Green Bay Packers, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Former Central Women’s Basketball Player Using Athletic Background To Become Firefighter

Former Central women’s basketball player Hilary Beaird ’14 is training to become a member of the Burlington Fire Department.


  • CAAT (Club Associated with Athletic Training)
  • 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.

Graduate Placement

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


  • Auburn University
  • Illinois State University
  • Iowa Ortho
  • Iowa State University
  • Physiotherapy Associates
  • Sterling Physical Therapy
Central College student

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 this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Leslie Duinink, B.A., M.S., Registrar and Associate Professor of Kinesiology
  • Shelli Green, B.A., M.S., Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Clinical Education Coordinator of Kinesiology
  • Frank Neu, B.A., M.S., Head Athletic Trainer and Clinical Instructor of Exercise Science
  • Dave Pavlat, B.S., M.S., Ed.D., Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Director of Strength & Conditioning and Personal Training
  • Pam Richards, B.S., M.S., Ed.D., Associate Professor of Kinesiology
  • John Roslien, B.S., M.S., Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Director of Athletic Training
  • Jake Schubert, B.A., M.A., Assistant Athletic Trainer/Preceptor
  • Sara Shuger Fox, B.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Kinesiology
  • Katelin Valster, B.A., M.S., Lecturer of Kinesiology

Board of Certification Exam

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

2020-21 2019-20 2018-19 3-year aggregate
Graduates 7 12 8 9
Graduates taking exam 7 12 8 7
Graduates passing exam on first attempt 4 5 7 5
First attempt pass rate 57% 42% 88% 62%
Overall pass rate 100% 83% 100% 94%

View Results

Program Retention Rate

2020-21 2019-20 2018-19 3-year aggregate
Students beginning program 7 13 9 10
Students returning for subsequent year 2 7 12 8 9
Program retention rate 100% 92% 88% 93%
Students returning for subsequent year 3 7 12 8 9
Program retention rate 100% 100% 100% 100%

Student Graduation Rate

2020-21 2019-20 2018-19 3-year aggregate
Students graduating from program 7 12 8 9
Student Graduation rate 100% 100% 100% 100%

Graduate Placement Rate
(Professional & Post Professional Degree)

2020-21 2019-20 2018-19 3-year aggregate
Students employed as AT 1 5 6 4
Student employment rate as AT 14% 42% 75% 44%
Students employed as other 3 2 0 2
Student employment rate as other 43% 17% 0% 20%
Students not employed* 3* (3) 5* (3) 2* (2) 3
Students not employed rate 43% 42% 25% 37%

* number in (#) represents full-time students attending graduate programs in PT, OT, etc.

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Theory and Practical Applications of Skill-Related Fitness
  • Theory and Practical Applications of Health-Related Fitness
  • Foundations of Health and Exercise Science
  • First Aid and Sports Injuries
  • Introduction to Cells
  • Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology + Lab
  • Psychology

Sophomore Year

  • Introduction to Physics
  • General Chemistry + Lab
  • Human Anatomy and Kinesiology
  • Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription

Junior Year

  • Principles and Theories of Strength and Conditioning
  • Principles of Personal Training
  • Sport Nutrition
  • Introduction to Statistics or Applied Statistics

Senior Year

  • Biomechanics
  • Epidemiology of Physical Activity
  • Motor Learning
  • Exercise Physiology + Lab


Learn More

Want to find out more about Athletic Training at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.