Publication Date

Summer 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Jay A. Johnson


athletic, director, education, graduate, program, training

Subject Areas



The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is a member organization that oversees the health care profession of certified athletic trainers. A large body of research focused on the structure and content of curriculum for undergraduate programs has played a prominent role in the increase in their quantity and quality. Although attention has been called to graduate-level athletic-training education programs, there is currently a lack of research focused on NATA-accredited post-professional athletic training education programs (PPATEPs).

Using qualitative analysis, program directors' perceptions of quality in these NATA-accredited PPATEPs was assessed. In-depth phone interviews were conducted regarding topics such at the accreditation standards, curricular content, perceived benefits of attending a program, and the future or sustainability of accredited PPATEPs. After these topics were discussed with participants, three main themes emerged. Program directors of NATA-accredited PPATEPs undergo a special accreditation process that assesses and attempts to improve upon the quality of their program. Participants felt that there were specific benefits that accreditation serves to highlight. Participants also felt that the future of post-professional athletic training education was uncertain but on the right track.