Nationally-recognized athletic training organizations have identified leadership knowledge, skills, and competencies as essential for athletic trainers to be successful in the current healthcare environment and to help advance the profession of athletic training. However, little is currently known regarding the methods and the extent of leadership development in athletic training professional preparation programs. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine student and faculty perspectives of the extent and ways that athletic training professional preparation programs address leadership in their curricula.

Data were obtained via surveys completed by 71 students and 83 athletic training professional level program directors. Overall, both groups of participants affirmed that it was important that leadership was addressed in athletic training professional programs. Several formal and informal uses of leadership development methods (e.g., peer-learning, professional organizational involvement, textbooks, and workshops) were examined. The many ways in which leadership was addressed within the respondents' athletic training programs suggests that the profession is comparable with other allied health professions when it comes to informal leadership education in both curricular and clinical portions of athletic training programs. Formal leadership training was reported to be at low levels by students and program directors, a deficit that is recommended to be addressed as more programs consider converting from a Bachelor’s degree level to a Master’s degree level professional program.


Julie Carlson

Committee Member

Patrick J. Sexton

Committee Member

Theresa R. Mackey

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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