The concept of progression is the most significant aspect of the success of the athletic training student’s clinical education and involves observation, acquisition, and competence.

The clinical education design at West Virginia University is one that is concurrent. The athletic training student will be enrolled in the didactic aspect of the curriculum while simultaneously being active in the clinical setting. The ability of the athletic training student to apply knowledge, skills, and affect immediately upon acquisition is consistent with the WVU athletic training staff philosophy.

Observation

The observation component of the curriculum is designed for little to no hands on experience for PATS students. This involves clinical setting observation and minor assistance to athletic training students to perform daily activities. Ideally, the PATS gain a basic working knowledge of athletic training and some elementary skill development in order to fully appreciate the field and more easily integrate into the curriculum upon advancement.

Acquisition

This is the initial education and introduction of the competencies in a formal educational setting. Whether it includes cognitive knowledge or clinical application, the student must first be introduced to the subject matter. This aspect is most commonly accomplished in lecture based classes but does not exclude any lab classes, either alone or accompanying a lecture course. It also can be accomplished by any instructor or adjunct instructor of the program (i.e. clinical preceptors).

Competence

This aspect is the ability of the athletic training student to practice and master various knowledge, skills, and clinical abilities. This aspect is most commonly accomplished by laboratory assignments, outside practical assignments, role playing, skills testing, and written quizzes and examinations. Competence can be evaluated by any clinical preceptor.