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Athletic Training students

Defiance College is currently seeking accreditation for their new Athletic Training program and is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).  The institution will be submitting a self-study to begin the accreditation process on July 1, 2020.  Submission of the self-study and completion of a site visit does not guarantee that the program will become accredited.  Students that graduate from the program prior to accreditation WILL NOT be eligible to sit for the credentialing examination for athletic trainers and will not be eligible for licensure in most states.

Athletic trainers are health care professionals with knowledge of emergency care, preventative measures, medical diagnosis, therapy, and rehabilitation for athletic injuries and conditions. Certified athletic trainers can be found in secondary schools, intercollegiate athletics, professional athletics, sports medicine clinics, the military, the movie industry, professional dance settings, industrial and commercial settings, hospitals, and health clubs.

The athletic training program (ATP) at Defiance College is in the process of transitioning to an exciting new entry-level master’s degree. The degree will be an innovative 3+2 program where students earn a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in athletic training in five years. This means students in the ATP 3+2 will graduate with a master’s degree of athletic training in less time with less cost. The ATP is designed to prepare graduate students, both academically and clinically, for entry into the profession of athletic training. Theory and practical applications of the athletic training principles are distributed through the student’s undergraduate and graduate career.

Practical Experiences
The clinical education component of the program consists of 200 hours of observation and hands-on skills during the pre-professional phase of the program. After formal admission into the master’s program, students will complete more than 1400 hours of clinical experience.

The athletic training program consists of several clinical rotations. Some of the rotations are completed at off-campus athletic training settings such as the Mercy Defiance Clinic. In order to fulfill the requirements of these rotations (which are completed throughout the two-year professional athletic training sequence), a student in the ATP must have access to transportation. All clinical assignments are determined on an individual basis by the program director and the clinical education coordinator. The athletic training student is directly assigned to a preceptor at both on and off campus. This preceptor will supervise and guide the progression of the student.

Admission into the Athletic Training Program
Admission into the Athletic Training Program is a two-step process. Students enter Defiance College as pre-athletic training majors and must complete the first year consisting of core curriculum degree requirements and athletic training prerequisites. The pre-professional phase is completed in their first two semesters on campus.

Applications for admittance into the professional phase of the program are completed and submitted by March 1st. Completion of the ATP requires six semesters in the professional phase of the program.

View more detailed program admission information

Benefits of the Program
The advantage of the DC master’s degree in athletic training is that you earn two degrees in five years. The clinical education component of the master’s program will focus on preparing students for a successful transition to professional employment. At DC, there are a variety of organizations and clinics where students gain hands-on experience.

Through the McMaster School, students have the opportunity to travel to another part of the world and complete a project of their own design, thereby growing their skills in identifying issues and problem-solving while nurturing a global perspective. Athletic training majors have completed projects in Cambodia and Belize that include first aid and CPR training, support with the San Carlos youth soccer team, and informational brochures about five preventable common causes of death. 

Related Programs
Defiance also offers four-year programs to earn bachelor’s degrees in exercise science or sport management.

After College – What’s Next?
Athletic Training classThe career opportunities for ATC’s are widespread throughout health care. There are opportunities working in high schools, hospitals, orthopedic clinics, collegiate athletics, professional sports, industry, military, and performing arts. 

88% of 2015-2017 graduates successfully placed in employment or continued to graduate school.

Some recent graduate employments include:

Ayersville Local Schools, Orthopedic Hospital of Fort Wayne, Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, Defiance Rehabilitation Services, Mercy Defiance Clinic, Northern Illinois University, Kettering Medical Center, Akron Children's Hospital, and Community Sports and Therapy Center. 

Request to Learn More
If you are interested in learning more about the program, please print out the questionnaire, and send or email it to:

Athletic Training Program Director
Defiance College
701 N. Clinton Street
Defiance, OH 43512


In Their Own Words
"Starting a new chapter in college can be very exciting and stressful alike. I had never imagined attending college anywhere outside of Florida let alone Ohio, but Defiance College offered students of this small college with big opportunities as they had promised. The athletic training program at Defiance College gives students a hands on learning experience along with the opportunities to travel, develop relationships with our athletes and peers, and work closely with very knowledgeable instructors. Because of the smaller class sizes, instructors have a chance to work with each student individually, preparing us for success in our careers."
--Alexis Walker, 2017 Graduate

"The athletic training program at Defiance is excellent.  All of your professors in the program truly care about you as an individual, and do their best to make sure that you get the most out of the classroom and clinical experience. The program is very hands-on, and you are constantly applying what you learn in the classroom to the clinical setting. The program is one big family, and as long as you have the desire to succeed, your professors and peers will ensure that you do."
--Brittany Pease, 2016 Graduate

"The athletic training program at Defiance College brought me not only great connections and wonderful learning opportunities, but a home away from home. Small classes allow the professors to really get to know each and every one of their students. They are encouraging and motivational. My classmates and I became a family through our adventures in the program. I couldn't recommend a better place."
--Christine Bernazzoli, 2015 Graduate

"The athletic training program at Defiance College gave me the foundation I needed to achieve my goals after graduation. The consistent effort from each of the athletic training staff motivated me toward success. Without them and my fellow students, I wouldn't be where I am today."
--Audric Warren, 2007 Graduate


Matthew Lundin, Ed.D., ATC, CKTI
Assistant Professor of Athletic Training
Director of the Athletic Training Program

Phone: 419-783-2423

Kathleen Westfall, M.S., ATC
Associate Athletic Trainer
Phone: 419-783-2345

Kevin Tong, M.S.Ed., ATC
Assistant Professor of Athletic Training 
Head Athletic Trainer
Phone: 419-783-2340

Timothy E. Rickabaugh, Ph.D.
Professor of Exercise Science
Phone: 419-783-2584