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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Jennifer Ann-Schultheis O’Donoghue
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Title: Transitioning Between the Requirements of Accrediting Bodies in Athletic Training Education Programs: What It Might Take
Dr. Sue Poppink, Chair
Dr. Andrea Beach
Dr. Jody Brylinsky
Date: Friday, March 21, 2008 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
3208 Sangren Hall
Athletic training education accreditation recently transitioned from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), to the newly established independent accrediting agency: the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
The purpose of this case study is to utilize the Western Michigan University’s Undergraduate Athletic Training Education Program (WMU-ATEP), as an illustrative case, to examine and evaluate the effort to make the transition, and the structural, curricular, human and financial resources necessary to satisfy the requirements of the 2005 CAATE Standards for the Accreditation of Entry-Level Athletic Training Education Programs and Comprehensive Review for Accreditation Process when it transitioned from the 2001 CAAHEP Accreditation Standards and Guidelines and Accreditation Process for Educational Programs in Athletic Training. The study evaluates if the requirements for satisfying the 2005 CAATE Accreditation Standards and Process allow for more flexibility, efficiency, promotion of professionalism or the development of collegial relationships.
This research project was a case study that adopted an evaluative form of qualitative methodology. The data was collected through the techniques of content analysis, document evaluation, personal correspondence and inquiry. I was the qualitative researcher as well as the Program Director of the WMU-ATEP and therefore a participant-observer and primary instrument for data collection and analysis.
The major findings of the 122 areas evaluated found that 95 of the 2005 CAATE Accreditation Sections, Sub-sections, Standards, Sub-standards, or Sub-section Standards were categorized as providing efficiency; 26 provided more flexibility; 58 promoted professionalism; and 21 assisted in developing collegial relationships.
The comparison of the two Accreditation Processes yielded findings that the two did not provide for an immense variation. Overall, the CAATE Accreditation Process was found to be more efficient than the CAAHEP Accreditation Process, and removed unimportant steps and unnecessary information.
Accreditation studies have focused predominately on the categories, purposes, providing agencies and necessity. Very little research has been done to recognize, investigate and evaluate the effort or resources required to achieve or maintain accreditation, especially when transitioning from one accrediting body to another. The findings of this case study added to the literature by providing an example and basis for other ATEPs to understand the effort required in satisfying the requirements of the CAATE Accreditation Standards and the Process brought upon by the transition from the previous recognized accreditor.