Context: The Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) degree has recently been introduced into academe. Limited literature exists regarding how individuals with this degree can be utilized as athletic training faculty.
Objective: To identify department chairs' perceptions of the DAT degree and determine whether they view the degree as viable when hiring new faculty within a post-baccalaureate professional AT program.
Design: Cross-sectional survey design
Setting: Online survey instrument
Patients or Other Participants: 376 department chairs who had oversight of Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education athletic training programs were invited to participate. 190 individuals (50.5%) accessed the survey and 151 of the 190 department chairs completed (79.5%) all parts of the survey.
Intervention(s): A web-based survey instrument, which included several demographic questions and 4-point Likert-scale items related to perceptions of the DAT degree, was completed.
Main Outcome Measures: Independent variables included institutional control, student enrollment, degree granting classification, faculty with a clinical doctorate, and advanced degree requirements. The dependent variables were the department chairs' responses to the survey items.
Results: More than 80% of department chairs were moderately or extremely familiar with the concept of an advanced practice doctoral degree and 64% reported it would be extremely to moderately beneficial to hire someone with this degree within the AT program. Furthermore, 67% of department chairs reported they were very likely or likely to hire someone with a DAT degree, and believed they would do so in the next 5 years. Characteristics associated with higher perception scores included higher institutional student enrollment, having more current faculty with an advanced practice doctoral degree, and increased level of institutional degree granting classification.
Conclusion(s): Department chairs recognize the DAT degree as a viable degree qualification to teach within professional AT programs. Future research should examine the need for the DAT degree within clinical practice settings.
Van Lunen, B. L., Clines, S. H., Reems, T., Eberman, L. E. Hankemeier, D. A., & Welch Bacon, C. E. (2020). Employability of the Doctor of Athletic Training degree within academe. Journal of Athletic Training. Doi: 10.4085/253-20
Journal of Athletic Training
National Athletic Trainers’ Association