Clinical Education Experiences Sequence

Beginning with the first summer of the MATR program, students will begin guided observations in the clinical setting. All of these experiences are designed to give students multiple opportunities to develop clinical competencies and perform independently for an entry-level professional position upon graduation. The progression of clinical education experience allows students to integrate academic knowledge into clinical performance to develop critical thinking capabilities leading to independent practice.

All courses for the didactic and clinical education courses of the program must be taken in the sequence outlined in the POS and curriculum education plan. The courses will fulfill athletic training clinical experience requirements and curricular content standards of the graduate professional program under the supervision of an athletic trainer or physician.


Clinical education: broad term including three types of learning opportunities to prepare athletic training students for the independent clinical practice: athletic training clinical experiences, simulation, and supplemental clinical experiences. In the transition from undergraduate education to professional education with a strong emphasis on clinical education, it is important to understand that students are responsible for their learning.

Athletic Training Clinical experiences: direct client/patient care guided by a preceptor who is an athletic trainer or physician. Athletic training clinical experiences are used to verify students’ abilities to meet curricular content standards. When direct client/patient care opportunities are not available, a simulation may be used for this verification.

Simulation: An educational technique, not a technology, to replace or amplify real experiences with guided experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive manner.

Supplemental Clinical Experiences: Learning opportunities supervised by health care providers other than athletic trainers or physicians. Supplemental clinical experiences do not fulfill the requirements of the program but can play a valuable role in the development of quality, well-rounded athletic training healthcare professionals.

Important Information

The MATR program spans a minimum of two academic years, including summer sessions. Each student will participate in a variety of clinical practice opportunities with a varied client/athlete/patient population.

First Year MATR students will have up to four athletic training clinical experience rotations (summer, fall, and spring) under the direct supervision of an assigned preceptor. The first summer clinical education course will emphasize the following experiences: Special Olympics athletes, Emergency Department rotation, injury pre-screening (Fusionetics), non-traditional strength and conditioning sessions, and concussion baseline testing (Impact, C3Logic).

Second summer graduate student clinical rotation will include a general medical clinic rotation. During the fall and spring semesters of the second year, students will complete two 8-10 week immersive athletic training clinical experiences. Through these immersive opportunities, students will increase their confidence in knowledge and clinical skills in athletic training. These clinical experiences may encompass non-traditional AT settings and specialty clinics.

Clinical placements will be assigned in conjunction with the athletic training students, the Program Director, and the Coordinator of Clinical Education with long term career goals of the student, previous clinical rotation experiences, completion of program courses and clinical expectations including evaluations and available space and clinical preceptor availability in the clinical setting.

Clinical education experiences will include: on or off-campus with traditional patients, middle school, high school, and college-aged populations, and surgical observation under the supervision of orthopedic surgeons. Assignments in clinical education placement may meet the following societal continuum of care preparation: patients throughout the lifespan, of different sexes, with different socioeconomic statuses, of varying levels of activity and athletic ability, who participate in non-sport activities and patients with a variety of health conditions commonly seen in athletic training practice (2020 Standards 17 and 18).

The MATR program requires annual training to ensure all students meet privacy and safety standards prior to beginning any clinical education placements. Annual training is mandatory and consists of a background check, HIPAA, Bloodborne Pathogen training, CPR certification verification (certification is good for two years). All records will be kept on file for verification in the Coordinator of Clinical Education’s office. Students will not be allowed to participate in a clinical education experience unless annual training has been completed. Students are required to pay for all associated costs of room, board, and associated travel of all clinical experiences.

Need More Information?

Mary Meier

223 Forker Building
534 Wallace Rd
Ames, IA 50011-4008