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Doctor of Athletic Training Degree Online

Doctor of Athletic Training Degree Online

Doctor of Athletic Training Degree Online

Doctorate in Athletic Training

A.T. Still University’s (ATSU) Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) degree develops clinical and academic leaders who advance the athletic training profession. Doctors of Athletic Training serve as expert clinicians, educators, and administrators with advanced knowledge and skills for analyzing, developing, and implementing practical solutions to improve the delivery of athletic healthcare and the health outcomes of physically active individuals and their communities.

Graduates gain expertise:

  • Orthopedic rehabilitation
  • Clinical decision-making
  • Professional leadership
  • Applied research
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The success of the Doctor of Athletic Training degree from A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) is attributed to the distinctive program design:

  • Curriculum was built at the PhD level of critical thinking
  • Tailored for real-world clinical applications.
  • Selection of the best within the athletic training industry and forming students into adept thought leaders who will influence the profession’s standing within the healthcare continuum.
  • Faculty are expert scholars and leaders within their profession, intimately familiar with emerging trends in athletic training practice and education.
  • One of the few post-professional degree programs in athletic training to be affiliated with a private medical and health professions University, and housed within a school of health.
  • Designed for those seeking a top athletic training graduate program with a specialized terminal degree dedicated to athletic training as opposed to an academic degree (i.e. PhD) in another field with only a concentration in athletic training.

Alumni of ATSU’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program can graduate from the 36-month DAT program 12 months earlier with advanced standing. Educators receive formal graduate training in athletic training. In fact, the courses are precisely what is needed to teach students and not usually covered in other PhD programs.

Most athletic trainers who are best fit for an online athletic training doctoral degree are elite clinical, educational, and industry professionals who gain a powerful educational benefit as students are embedded in a work setting while progressing through the curriculum. Educators are prepared with the advanced graduate training needed to effectively teach their own students to succeed as athletic trainers. This doctorate in athletic training program will enable DAT students to apply lessons immediately, while also bringing their unique needs and challenges into the online coursework.

Alumni of ATSU’s Master of Science in Athletic Training degree program are already 24% of the way toward obtaining their Doctor of Athletic Training degree. Doctoral students can actually graduate from the 36-month program as much as 12 months earlier with advanced standing.

Graduates with a doctoral degree in athletic training excel in whatever role they choose, from clinician to educator to administrator because they gain the advantage with:

  • Advanced clinical decision-making in athletic training practice in a manner that integrates clinical experience, patient values and the best available evidence.
  • The critical appraisal, dissemination and translation of information and research for the purpose of improving patient care within athletic healthcare delivery systems.
  • Evaluation of the safety and comparative effectiveness of athletic healthcare delivery systems and interventions through the use of both clinician-based and patient-based clinical outcome measures.
  • Producing practice-based research to expand the body of evidence in athletic healthcare.
  • Utilizing information and technology to improve the quality of patient care, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support clinical decision-making.
  • Learning to characterize the athletic trainer as a community-and population-healthcare professional and organize athletic healthcare delivery systems to reflect that role.
  • Providing more comprehensive knowledge, filling knowledge gaps that other athletic training professional educational competencies have – either because they do not cover these topics at all, or they cover them in a superficial way that does little to change practice and impact patient care.

As a terminal level degree, ATSU’s Doctor of Athletic Training degree is beyond the level of current accreditation standards because it’s a post-professional degree. The new standards of accreditation are very clinical/educational-focused. While ATSU’s Master of Athletic Training program is accredited, the doctorate is beyond those sets of standards.

Sports medicine leadership and expertise is demonstrated throughout the program, including by ATSU’s faculty and staff. Prior to accepting the position as President of the University, Dr. Phelps was named NBA Physician of the Year. Dr. Eric Sauers, the Department Chair of the DAT program at ATSU, is also a Commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).


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  • Doctor of Athletic Training Degree, ATSU | Dr. Eric Sauers, Professor
  • Athletic Training Programs Professor & Director, Tamara Valovich-McLeod | A.T. Still University
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  • Doctor of Athletic Training, ATSU | Quinton Sawyer, Student
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  • Arizona School of Health Sciences, ATSU | Randy Danielsen, Dean
  • Arizona School of Health Sciences, ATSU | Ann Lee Burch, Vice Dean
  • Athletic Training Program, ATSU | Dr. Craig Phelps, President
  • Diversity at A.T. Still University
  • Accreditation +

    • A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

      230 S. LaSalle Street; Suite 7-500
      Chicago, IL 60604

      Phone: 800.621.7440 | Fax: 312.263.7462

      Degree-granting authority for the Arizona School of Health Sciences has been given by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, 1400 West Washington Rd., Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Phone 602.542.5709.

  • Career Advancement+

    • Students in the elite ATSU-ASHS Doctor of Athletic Training degree online are practicing athletic trainers who want to advance to the forefront of their careers in many exciting areas of healthcare including:

      • Elite Level Athletic Trainer
      • Head Athletic Trainer
      • Clinical Preceptors
      • Director of Athletic Training
      • Clinical Education Coordinator
      • Program Director at Liberal Arts College
      • Program Directors
      • General Faculty
      • Physician Extenders
      • Entrepreneur (Industrial Athletic Training)

  • Program Outcomes +

    • Upon completion of the Doctor of Athletic Training program at ATSU, students will be able to achieve the following outcomes:

      1. Demonstrate advanced clinical decision-making to determine the effectiveness of athletic training practice.
      2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in orthopaedic rehabilitation
      3. Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of professional leadership, and evaluate and influence health policy and delivery systems, especially in the provision of athletic healthcare services.
      4. Produce an applied research project that addresses a significant clinically oriented issue relevant to athletic training practice.

Doctor of Athletic Training Research

  • Research Equipment and Facilities +

    • The Athletic Training program seeks to foster the value of scholarly activity and to develop students’ leadership skills in the research aspects of Athletic Training. The multidisciplinary setting at Arizona School of Health Sciences, which includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, medical informatics, and audiology, promotes cross-disciplinary scholarship and provides students with exposure to a variety of different research programs.

      The Mesa campus of A.T. Still University houses two Interdisciplinary Research Laboratories, the Interdisciplinary Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and the Interdisciplinary Metabolic Research Laboratory, both with an expanded offering of research equipment and opportunities.

      The Neuromuscular Research Laboratory is located in a 3000 square-foot facility and includes an in-floor Kistler 9286 AA Slimline Force Plate, a portable multi-component force plate for measuring ground reaction forces and moments acting in any direction, a Vicon Motion Analysis System with Motion Monitor Software to capture kinematic data, two surface EMG units, the Noraxon Myosystem 1200 8-channel and Myosystem 1400 8-channel surface EMG, for assessment of neuromuscular performance characteristics, a NeuroCom Smart Balance Master with a long forceplate and the Dynavision system, for measuring postural stability and vestibular function, and a Cybex 330 Isokinetic Dynamometer with the HUMAC/Windows/CYBEX 300 upgrade, for the measurement of muscle strength and power. The lab also houses portable equipment including a LigMaster computerized stress device, available for assessment of ankle, knee, elbow, and glenohumeral joint force-displacement characteristics, DataPac 2K2 data acquisition software, electrogoniometers, accelerometers, a custom made shoulder stiffness device, and a GaitRite gait analysis system.

      The Metabolic Research Laboratory is housed in a 1600 square foot facility and includes a Parvo metabolic system with ECG, CosMed portable metabolic system, treadmill, Lode electronically braked adult and pediatric cycle ergometers, Monark cycle ergometer, blood draw chair, and YSI Glucose/Lactate analyzer system.

      ATSU’s Mesa Campus Learning Resource Center (LRC) supports the teaching and eventual practice of students and the teaching and research of its faculty. The LRC takes advantage of electronically based information resources that have developed since the emergence of the Internet a decade ago to facilitate and support access and use evidence in support of all instruction, research, and services at the University. The LRC’s collections are a blending of print and electronic resources to bring information access into the curriculum and clinical rotations of the students.

      Access to and use of the LRC’s electronic resources is facilitated through its website (on the ATSU Intranet) and its online portal ( The web site provides access to the LRC’s print holding, information on services provided and copies of LRC service request forms. The portal provides access to, and facilitates use of, more than 1,000 clinically oriented electronic, full text journals, more than120 full text medical textbooks, and an array of web-based, health information-based vendors. Via the LRC’s membership in the National Network of Medical Libraries’ Docline interlibrary loan system and OCLC’s interlibrary loan system, it can rapidly borrow books and articles from more than 20,000 libraries worldwide. More than 75 percent of the articles obtained from other libraries are received digitally within three days.

  • ASHS Athletic Training Research Agenda +

    • The Athletic Training program has adopted a research agenda focused on outcomes research to enable evidence-based athletic training practice. As a framework for conducting patient-oriented outcomes research, the Athletic Training program has adopted the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) disablement model. The NCMRR has proposed the use of a disablement model as an organizing framework for supporting its research efforts. The core disablement concepts of “impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities” have become generally accepted. The NCMRR model includes the elements of “pathophysiology, impairment, functional limitation, disability, and social limitation.” This framework is also intended to encourage and promote interdisciplinary research efforts.

      Usage of this model as a philosophical guide for research also opens the door to alternate funding sources, especially at the federal level. Multiple agencies, including the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institute of Aging, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and the National Council on Disability support this line of investigation.

      Additionally, because this model looks at all aspects of “disablement,” which could range from simple disease to long-term disability, it therefore also considers the interaction of the individual and their environment when placed within a disabled state. Thus, it is very much in keeping with ATSU’s theme of “Defining Whole Person Healthcare.” In fact, this model very much reflects the results of any pathophysiological condition upon the “whole person” as well as their interactions with society. From this point of view, it is a very public health oriented model as well.

      NCMRR Disablement Model
      Patho-physiology Impairment Functional Limitation Disability Societal Limitation
      Interruption of or interference with normal physiological and developmental processes or structures. Loss and/or abnormality of cognitive, emotional, physiological, or anatomical structure or function, including all losses or abnormalities, not just those attributable to the initial patho-physiology Restriction or lack of ability to perform an action in the manner or within a range consistent with the purpose of an organ or organ system. Inability or limitation in performing tasks, activities, and roles to levels expected within physical and social contexts. Restriction, attributable to social policy of barriers (structural or attitudinal), which limits fulfillment of roles or denies access to services and opportunities that are associated with full participation in society.
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      ATSU Athletic Training Program Research
      Patho-physiology Impairment Functional Limitation Disability Societal Limitation
      Shoulder injury Mild head injury Mild head injury Shoulder injury Neuromuscular control Mild head injury Shoulder injury Neuromuscular control Health-related quality of life Mild head injury Shoulder injury Pediatric sports medicine Health-related quality of life Mild head injury Pediatric sports medicine

      Figure 9: Athletic training faculty research interests fit the NCMRR disablement model.

  • Faculty Research Interests +

    • Dr. Anderson’s primary research interests are focused on assessment of fundamental movement patterns and application of corrective exercise in orthopaedic rehabilitation. He has expertise in use of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and is currently involved in research looking at the use of the FMS in injury risk prediction and corrective exercise interventions. In addition, he also has research interests in post-professional clinical education. Mr. Anderson is actively engaged in the continued development and maintenance of the CORE-AT Electronic Medical Record and has interests in its application in clinical education.

      Dr. Welch Bacon has methodological expertise in survey and qualitative research design and her research includes two distinct lines: patient-oriented outcomes research and athletic training educational outcomes. Her research agenda regarding patient-oriented outcomes includes specific emphases on clinician knowledge and best practices as well as capturing the patient perspective of adolescent athletes following sport-related concussion. Research in this line includes questions about athletic trainers’ documentation trends in clinical practice, clinicians’ perceptions and challenges for capturing the patient’s values, goals, and preferences, and methodological considerations to capture the concussed patient perspective. Dr. Welch’s research in the area of athletic training educational outcomes focuses on the incorporation of healthcare competencies within athletic training education, identifying effective educational techniques to aid athletic trainers in learning the fundamentals of evidence-based practice, and knowledge translation models.

      Dr. Huxel Bliven’s line of research focuses on shoulder function and stability, specifically as it relates to muscle activation during rehabilitation and overhead activities, adaptations in the overhead throwing athlete, and properties of shoulder stiffness. Another research area of interest is clinical outcomes in overhead athletes.

      Dr. Bay teaches courses in research methodology and statistical analysis. His primary area of interest concerns the application of statistical models to sports-related injury and rehabilitation.

      Ms. Falsone’s research interests include the effects of dry needling on orthopedic rehab and sport performance as well as cupping and its effects on blood flow, tissue decompression and stiffness. She is also interested in breathing assessment and interventions and upper extremity rehabilitation and sport performance techniques.

      Dr. Lam’s line of research revolves around the prevention and rehabilitation of lower extremity injuries, with a special emphasis on sport-related knee injuries in the adolescent population. He is specifically interested in assessing the clinical outcomes of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries as it relates to the health-related quality of life of the patient and the comparative effectiveness of rehabilitation techniques. Through his research, Dr. Lam hopes to gain a better understanding of the immediate and long-term impact of ACL injuries and help improve patient care following injury. Furthermore, Dr. Lam is interested in identifying potential risk factors related to knee injuries, including jump-landing mechanics and postural stability, and investigating the effectiveness of prevention programs.

      Dr. McLeod’s ongoing line of research revolves around sports medicine concerns of the pediatric athlete, with special emphasis on sport-related concussion. Dr. McLeod completed her dissertation on the use of clinical assessment tools for concussion in youth sports athletes. She has also looked at factors affecting the use of clinical concussion assessments such as practice effects and exertion and sat on the NATA Pronouncements Committee on the Management of Sports Related Concussions. Her current work is investigating the short- and long-term effects of pediatric sports concussion as well as recovery following concussion on traditional concussion measures and health-related quality of life. Dr. McLeod also has research interests regarding gender differences in lower extremity function, specifically neuromuscular control and postural stability. She also has interest in an injury prevention approach with younger athletes through neuromuscular and balance training.

      Dr. Sauers’ primary research interests are related to examination and rehabilitation of the athletic shoulder with specific interests in shoulder outcomes assessment, the effectiveness of interventions for treating shoulder impairment, and shoulder mobility assessment. Dr. Sauers is also interested in the study of shoulder kinematics with research aimed at quantifying normal and pathologic laxity and stiffness of the glenohumeral joint and evaluating the relationship between micro-instability, scapular dyskinesis, and posterior capsular tightness in the overhead-throwing athlete. Dr. Sauers is also interested in studying issues related to athletic training education in the context of health professions education and issues related to post-professional education, including specialty certification and residency education in healthcare.

      Dr. Valier’s research focuses on clinical outcomes assessment, with an emphasis on the evaluation of health-related quality of life. (HRQOL). Her primary area of interest is in measuring the outcomes of various athletic training interventions as well as evaluating the HRQOL of high school and college athletes who suffer sport-related injury. She has investigated HRQOL in adolescent athletes in both the secondary school setting as well as in outpatient orthopaedic clinics. Dr. Valier is also interested in the use and development of patient-based outcomes instruments for the purpose of outcomes assessment and measuring the end result of healthcare services. Her interests also include the measurement properties and interpretation of patient-rated outcome measures, with special attention towards meaningful change values (eg, minimal clinically important difference and minimal detectible change). In addition to her emphasis in clinical outcomes assessment, Dr. Valier has an interest in epidemiology as it relates to frequency, risks, and rates of sport-related injury.

  • Current Student and Faculty Research Projects +

      • Neuromuscular Control
      • An evaluation of balance and landing characteristics in college and high school athletes
      • The relationship between balance and landing screening and health-related quality of life in college athletes
      • The impact of sport-related injury of the ankle and knee on health-related quality of life
        Shoulder Injury
      • Quantification of glenohumeral joint laxity and stiffness in patients with documented shoulder instability
      • Acute and chronic adaptations in the throwing shoulder of professional baseball pitchers
      • Chronic adaptations in the throwing shoulder of professional baseball players
      • Clinical measures of shoulder motion in professional baseball players: A Comparison of the Dominant and Non-Dominant Shoulders in Pitchers and Position Players
      • The effects of a seven-month season on selected clinical measures of shoulder mobility in the professional baseball player
      • Reliability of a classification protocol for the assessment of scapular motion in patients with shoulder pathology
      • The value of selected clinical measures of shoulder mobility for predicting shoulder pathology in the professional baseball player: A prospective study
      • Range of motion effects of a three week PNF hold-relax facilitory protocol on glenohumeral internal rotation
      • A comparison of glenohumeral joint laxity and stiffness in the throwing and non-throwing shoulders of high school baseball pitchers
      • A comparison of ulnar collateral ligament laxity and stiffness in the throwing and non-throwing shoulders of high school baseball pitchers
      • Qualitative assessment and comparison of scapular kinematics between aquatic athletes with moderate and severe shoulder impingement
      • A comparison of three-dimensional scapular kinematics in the throwing and non-throwing shoulders of professional baseball pitchers
      • Impairment, functional loss, and disability in professional baseball players with shoulder and elbow pathology
      • The relationship between pitch count and pitch frequency and shoulder and elbow injuries in female youth softball players
        Sport-Related Concussion
      • A survey of health professions management practices regarding sport-related concussion.
      • Attitudes, beliefs and knowledge regarding academic accommodations following sport-related concussion.
      • The effect of concussion on measures of symptoms, cognition, balance, and health-related quality of life.
      • A systematic review of health-related quality of life following pediatric traumatic brain injury.
      • The effect of co-morbid factors on symptom reports at baseline and following sport-related concussion.
        Pediatric Sports Medicine
      • Injury surveillance in youth football
        Other Areas
      • Assessment of valgus laxity and stiffness at the elbow using computerized stress arthrometry in collegiate athletes
      • A survey of the current educational environments of athletic training education programs: Academic vs. health professions models
      • The reliability of the FMS research scoring criteria
      • A content analysis of athletic training state practice acts

Doctor of Athletic Training Online Degree Faculty

Renowned faculty are recognized experts with national influence who share emerging trends and opportunities in athletic training practice and education.

Interaction with a variety of instructors offers students exposure to a variety of teaching styles, healthcare- and education-related backgrounds and experiences that contribute to a well-rounded education fostering personal and professional growth.

  • Dean +

      • Randy D. Danielsen, PhD, DFAAPA, PA-C Emeritus Randy D. Danielsen, PhD, DFAAPA, PA-C Emeritus
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        Dr. Danielsen is Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Since graduating from the University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) Program in 1974, Dr. Danielsen has distinguished himself as a clinician, PA educator, author, and editor. He received his BS in Health Science (cum laude) from the University of Utah in 1978, his Masters in PA Studies (MPAS) from the University of Nebraska with an emphasis on Internal Medicine in 1997, and his PhD from the Union Institute & University in 2003 with an emphasis on Medical Education. He completed sixteen years with A.T. Still University as academic coordinator (1995-1997), chair of physician assistant studies (1997-2004), and as dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences (2004-2010) and recently returned as Dean of ASHS. He was honored in 2010 by A.T. Still University with Emeritus Professor status. He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and as a board member and chairman for National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

        Earlier in his career, Dr. Danielsen served as president of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants, the Arizona State Association of PAs, and as chair of the Arizona Regulatory Board for PAs. Retired after 28 years of service in the US Air Force and Army National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Danielsen also is a former president of the Veterans Caucus of the AAPA and was honored with the Caucus’ Civilian PA of the Year Award in 2003.

        Dr. Danielsen was named Outstanding PA of the Year by the AAPA in 1993 and by the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants in 2011. He currently serves as PA editor-in-chief for Clinician Review. Dr. Danielsen has published over sixteen peer-reviewed articles, eighteen journal editorials, two book chapters, and most recently his first book, entitled The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants, published by Jones & Bartlett Learning. Recently he was selected as a Senior Consultant with the Academy for Academic Leadership.

  • Vice Dean +

      • Annlee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD Annlee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
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        Dr. Burch is Vice Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Her primary responsibility is to serve as Chief Operating Officer of the School under the direction of the Dean. In addition, she leads several University or School wide initiatives including the Diversity Initiative Task Force and the ASHS Adelante Project. In her role, Dr. Burch represents the School in the Dean’s absence.

        Dr. Burch received her Doctor of Education (EdD) from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her Masters of Physical Therapy (MS) from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University.

        Dr. Burch received her BA is in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Prior to her appointment as Vice Dean, Dr. Burch served as the Chair of Physical Therapy from 2008-January 2012. Prior to coming to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the Director of Physical Therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Chair +

      • Eric Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA Eric Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA
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        Eric L. Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA, is a tenured full professor and chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at A. T. Still University (ATSU), in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. Sauers also holds a joint appointment as a research professor in the ATSU School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. Dr. Sauers received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Seattle Pacific University, his master of science degree in sports health care from ATSU, and his doctor of philosophy degree in sports medicine and adult/university education at Oregon State University. Dr. Sauers has a special interest in both institutional and programmatic accreditation, having co-chaired his institutions regional accreditation site visit, written programmatic accreditation self-studies, and conducted numerous programmatic accreditation site visits. As the founding chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Dr. Sauers planned and implemented the online Human Movement program, the online Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) program, and the online Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) program. He currently oversees the online DAT program in addition to overseeing the Master of Science in Athletic Training program, the Human Anatomy Unit, and the Biostatistics and Clinical Research Unit. Dr. Sauers served as the director of the Master of Science in Athletic Training program from 2000 to 2009. His primary research and scholarly interests are related to the assessment of clinical outcomes and health-related quality of life in athletes following musculoskeletal injury, the examination and rehabilitation of the athletic shoulder and health professions education and accreditation. Dr. Sauers has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and given numerous state, regional, and national presentations related to his research and scholarship. He served as the first active member and then president of the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists (ASSET) that was not dual-credentialed. He has served as a commissioner and the vice president of the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Dr. Sauers was responsible for the visioning and development of the first and only Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research recognized practice-based research network in the athletic training discipline and currently serves as the associate director of the ATSU Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network (AT-PBRN). The AT-PBRN utilizes a web-based electronic medical record that Dr. Sauers helped to design and develop to enable efficient clinical documentation of patient care while supporting back-end mining of a national clinical practice database. He is the associate editor for Clinical Outcomes for the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation and an editorial board member for the Journal of Athletic Training and the Athletic Training Education Journal. He has previously served as the chair of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Post-Professional Education Committee and as a member of the NATA Education Council Executive Committee. He has received the President’s Award from the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Distinguished Educator Award from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers’ Association, and has been recognized for his dedication to the athletic training profession with the distinction as a Fellow of the NATA.

  • Director +

      • Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA
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        Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA, is the Athletic Training program director, professor of Athletic Training, research professor in the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, and the John P. Wood, DO, endowed chair for Sports Medicine at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona.

        Dr. McLeod completed her doctor of philosophy degree in education with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Virginia. She is the founding director of the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network. Her research has focused on the pediatric athlete with respect to sport-related concussion. Her current work is investigating the short- and long-term effects of pediatric sports concussion as well as recovery following concussion on traditional concussion assessments, academics, and health-related quality of life.

        Dr. McLeod is also involved with pediatric sports injury education and prevention through the Positive Play Project in conjunction with Mesa Parks and Recreation.

        Dr. McLeod was a contributing author for the NATA Position Statement on the Management of Sport-Related Concussion, the lead author on the NATA Position Statement on the Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries, and a consultant and contributing author on the Appropriate Medical Coverage for Secondary School-Aged Athletes. Dr. McLeod serves on numerous editorial boards, and publishes frequently in the athletic training and sports medicine journals and is a NATA Fellow.​

  • Faculty +

      • Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA

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      • Alison Snyder Valier, PhD, ATC, FNATA Alison Snyder Valier, PhD, ATC, FNATA

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      • Barton E. Anderson, DHSc, AT, ATC Barton E. Anderson, DHSc, AT, ATC

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      • Eric Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA Eric Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA

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      • Cailee Welch Bacon, PhD, ATC Cailee Welch Bacon, PhD, ATC

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      • Sue Falsone, PT, MS, SCS, ATC, L-AT, CSCS, COMT, RYT Sue Falsone, PT, MS, SCS, ATC, L-AT, CSCS, COMT, RYT

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      • Kellie C. Huxel Bliven, PhD, ATC Kellie C. Huxel Bliven, PhD, ATC

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      • Kenneth C. Lam, ScD, ATC Kenneth C. Lam, ScD, ATC

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      • Chelsea Lohman, PhD, ATC, CSCS Chelsea Lohman, PhD, ATC, CSCS

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      • R. Curtis Bay, PhD R. Curtis Bay, PhD

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      • spacer image for page layout Gary D. Delforge, EdD AT-Retired

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      • spacer image for page layout Karen G. Roos, PhD, MSPT, ATC

      • spacer image for page layout Andrew P. Winterstein PhD, ATC

      • spacer image for page layout Andrea Lopes Sauers, PhD

  • Staff +

      • Amanda Vigil, MBA Amanda Vigil, MBA
        Administrative Manager

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      • Kaylynn Murphy Kaylynn Murphy
        Administrative Assistant

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Doctor of Athletic Training Online Degree Admissions

  • Requirements +

    • The DAT program will admit athletic training professionals with diverse professional and personal experiences who have demonstrated capacity to pursue a rigorous course of graduate study. Prospective students will be selected by considering the overall qualities of the applicant through application content, academic record, and prior experience.

      Candidates accepted for admission must demonstrate and/or submit documentation of the following prior to matriculation:

      Candidates accepted for admission to the DAT program will have earned a masters or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must submit official transcripts from college/university where the highest degree was earned.
      Applicants to the Athletic Training program must demonstrate Board of Certification (BOC) certification as an athletic trainer. Verification of progress toward completion of all eligibility requirements to sit for the BOC certification examination will be accepted at the time of application, but BOC certification must be verified prior to matriculation.
      Students must demonstrate proof of state licensure (if required in your current state of residence). A photocopy of a current state license is acceptable.
      Candidates must have achieved a minimum overall graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

      Official recommendation forms must be completed by: 1) academic advisor, professor, employer, family friend or minister, and 2) a healthcare professional. A formal letter of recommendation must accompany each form. Letters from an educational consulting service will not qualify. Letters of reference must be submitted for each application year.
      Candidates are expected to be computer literate and experienced in word processing. All curricula require extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants are required to have a personal computer prior to matriculation and have access to a high-speed Internet connection.
      Candidates must submit an application form.
      GRE scores are not required for admission to the DAT.

      Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T. Still University. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

      • Option 1 - English is your first language.
      • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year university or college in the United States (minimum BA or BS).
      • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Testing Service (IELTS).

      Acceptable minimal scores for ASHS applications are:

      • Internet based total score = 80
      • Acceptable IELTS score are an overall band score of 6.5

      The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. Information is available at A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 609.771.7100

      Candidates must complete a phone interview with the program director.

      Students must demonstrate proof of state licensure (if required in your current state of residence). A photocopy of a current state license is acceptable.

      Technology Requirements

      All ATSU students are required to own a computer system.

  • Tuition +

      • Application Fee: $70
      • Tuition: $534 per credit hour (2018 - 2019 school year)

      Note: All fees and tuition are subject to change.

      The DAT online program consists of 70 credit-hours of study. Most courses are three credit hours, except for the Winter Institute and ARP courses, which are 5 credit hours each. There are additional fees for books, reference materials, Winter Institute travel and accommodations.

The Family and Culture

Impact patient lives with physical therapy strength training. Diagnose pathophysiological disablement of inhibited knee flexion and range of motion. DAT researchers are developing an osteopathic structural examination and spinal motion testing model Three medical students wearing white lab coats smiling, posed for a picture. Female medical students wearing white lab coats, smiling while consulting with a patient. Students gathered around a woman lying underneath an x-ray machine. Male medical professional examining a mouth mold. Physical Therapy students working together. Close up image of a stethoscope lying on a clouded glass table.


  • Blackboard Demo Course +

    • An iPad logging into ATSU's app with an open book displayed in the backgroundATSU has set up a demo course of our Blackboard
      Learning Management System for interested students.

      Please go to our guest demo site, and login with:

      Username: DATdemo
      Password: atsudemo

      Connect Now

Doctor of Athletic Training Online Curriculum Overview

ATSU’s Doctor of Athletic Training online curriculum is built at the PhD level of critical thinking and tailored to real-world application. Faculty are industry experts highly familiar with emerging trends in athletic training practice and education.

ATSU-ASHS also offers a CAATE-accredited, post-professional Master of Science program on campus.

ATSU’s Doctor of Athletic Training degree curriculum is meticulously designed to prepare clinical and academic leaders. Students earning a Doctor of Athletic Training are able to apply lessons immediately, while also bringing their unique needs and challenges into the online coursework.

Learn more about how this curriculum from a leading health sciences University makes a unique difference in helping students advance their knowledge and their careers to the forefront of the athletic training profession.

Clinical Decision Making Foundation

  • ATRN 7110: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety* (C)(M)+

    • Quality improvement is the consistent, combined effort of many to make changes in healthcare that will improve patient outcomes, system performance, and professional development. This course is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s understanding of quality improvement, especially as it relates to patient outcomes (health), system performance (care), and professional development (learning). An overview of the history of quality improvement in healthcare will be provided to provide a global understanding of the value of quality improvement to the advancement of patient care. Additionally, the Model of Improvement will serves as the theoretical foundation for the course. Topics will include creating and managing interprofessional teams, identifying quality improvement issues, process literacy, data collection for continuous improvement, and implementing system changes. During the course, students will also be introduced to common tools used in quality improvement projects, such as process diagrams, cause-and-effect diagrams, run charts, and plan-do-study-act cycles. Achievement of course learning objectives will occur through readings, multi-media presentations, discussions, presentations, and individual and/or group assignments.

  • ATRN 7120: Evidence-Based Practice* (C) (M)+

    • This course is designed to enable the athletic trainer’s clinical decision-making process in a manner that integrates clinical experience, patient values, and the best available evidence. It is also intended to build on entry-level evidence-based practice courses with the use of informatics and technology to access the medical literature. The course will cover advanced topics related to the EBP process, framing clinical questions to enhance clinical decision-making, searching the literature, critical appraisal, integration and evaluation of the evidence, grading levels of evidence and strength of recommendations, patient values, and statistical terminology related to EBP. ​

  • ATRN 7130: Patient-Oriented Outcomes* (C) (M)+

    • ​Advanced Patient-Oriented Outcomes is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s ability to employ clinician-based and patient-based clinical outcome measures for the determination of effective clinical decision-making through the practice of providing patient-centered whole person healthcare. Discussion of disablement models and outcomes research as the foundations to evidence-based practice will be provided. The use of disablement models as a framework for whole person healthcare and the evaluation of health-related quality of life will be presented. This course builds upon the basic components of clinical outcomes assessment by providing advanced content related to clinician- and patient-oriented outcomes. Instruction on the selection, implementation, and use of single- and multi-item, general and specific patient-rated outcomes instruments will be given. Details regarding the concepts of measurement properties, including assessment of measurement change, will be provided. Opportunity to develop an outcomes study through creation of a clinical question in PICO format will be provided and discussion of using practice-based research networks as means to conducting outcomes investigations will occur.

  • ATRN 7140: Health Information Technology* (C)+

    • ​The purpose of this course is to provide the athletic trainer with a survey of relevant concepts, tools, and systems of healthcare informatics and technology that may be useful throughout the clinical decision-making process. An understanding of informatics concepts and skills related to the use of technology has been identified as critical for all modern healthcare professionals. Moreover, informatics and technology provide several distinct advantages to the modern healthcare system, including, but limited to: cost savings; error detection; quality improvement, and; improved patient outcomes.

Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Foundation

  • ATRN 7210: Foundations of Orthopaedic Basic Science* +

    • ​This course is designed to enhance the athletic trainers’ ability to plan and implement a comprehensive sports injury rehabilitation program based on the sequential biological events of connective tissue healing. Orthopaedic basic science concepts involved in clinical assessment, establishment of therapeutic objectives, and selection of therapeutic agents will be addressed. The histology, morphology, and biomechanics of soft connective tissues, articular cartilage and bone will be presented. Subsequently, the basic science of tissue healing following injury will be covered. Special focus is placed on the relationships between tissue healing physiology and selection of appropriate therapeutic interventions. This course provides the orthopaedic basic science foundation for discussion of therapeutic techniques in future rehabilitation courses.

  • ATRN 7220: Surgical Considerations for Orthopaedic Rehabilitation* +

    • ​This course is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s knowledge and awareness of common orthopaedic surgical techniques utilized in the practice of sports healthcare. Indications, contraindications, and general orthopaedic surgical techniques will be presented. Tissue response to surgical intervention and post-surgical rehabilitation considerations and timelines will be emphasized.

  • ATRN 7230: Assessment of Movement Dysfunction +

    • This course introduces and explores normal fundamental patterns of human movement, and advanced techniques for movement pattern assessment. Neuro-developmental progression, motor development, motor learning, and motor control concepts will be presented. Utilizing the Dynamic Systems Theory and Tensegrity models, techniques for movement assessment will be outlined and discusses. This course provides the foundational knowledge for the subsequent Corrective Techniques for Movement Dysfunction course.​

  • ATRN 7240: Corrective Techniques for Movement Dysfunction +

    • This course provides the athletic trainer with advanced knowledge in the rehabilitation of orthopaedic injuries, by utilizing corrective techniques to restore movement patterns and function. Emphasis is placed on integration of tensegrity and dynamic systems models to develop a sequential and progressive rehabilitation program, centered on restoration of movement patterns in fundamental, transitional, and functional postures. Concepts of mobility, sensorimotor control, movement patterning, and neuro-developmental progression will be discussed. Assisted, active, and reactive techniques for improving mobility, stability, and movement will be taught.​

Leadership Foundation

  • ATRN 8100: Practice Based Research +

    • This course aims to improve the athletic trainer’s understanding of and, ability to conduct, practice-based research. Practice-based research represents the last step of the transnational research continuum and is vital to the translation of evidence into routine clinical practice. In brief, practice-based research is conducted by clinicians at the point-of-care, with real patients, and during the usual course of patient care. To meet its purpose, this course will cover fundamental concepts related to practice-based research including but not limited to the clinician-scientist model, researcher-clinician partnerships, common study designs and statistical approaches, implementation and dissemination of evidence, and practice-based research networks.

  • ATRN 8120: Athletic Injury Epidemiology* +

    • Athletic Injury Epidemiology is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s clinical decision-making process by providing a understanding of the injury patterns associated with a variety of athletic sports. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and applying introductory principles of epidemiology, including the concepts of rates (eg, rate ratios and rate differences), incidence, proportions, odds ratios and relative risks. Students will gain experience calculating epidemiology values through class examples and exposure to national databases. Discussion of epidemiology study design (eg, cohort vs. case-control) will also be included. Evaluations of the injuries with the highest incidence and their associated risk factors will be discussed. ​

  • ATRN 8130: Healthcare Policy and Systems of Delivery*+

    • This course examines the evolution of the U.S. health care system from a health policy and health politics perspective. Topics include financing, organization, and delivery of health care, including: access, coverage, cost, and quality of health services; the influence of medical and nonmedical determinants of health; the design of health insurance, including public and private health coverage models; the evolution of consumer-directed and other price- sensitive cost containment mechanisms; impacts of the changing care delivery systems on providers and their patients; public safety net programs; overview of the status of the 2010 health care legislation; and an analysis of the respective roles of government and the private sector in regulating health care. Special emphasis will be given to the history and evolution of educational, regulatory, and credentialing components of major allied health care disciplines, including athletic training, and their role in the contemporary U.S. healthcare system.​

  • ATRN 8140: Leadership & Professionalism in Athletic Training +

    • Examination and application of theories of professionalism and leadership as they relate to various aspects of the practice of athletic training. Topics include, but are not limited to, contemporary leadership theories, medical professionalism, organizational and interpersonal communication, decision-making, change, and conflict management.​

  • ATRN 8150: Winter Institute – Innovation to Advance Athletic Health Care+

    • The four-day intensive Winter Institute is focused on Innovation to Advance Athletic Health Care. The thread of innovation is woven throughout the course with particular emphasis on innovation to advance higher education, innovation to advance patient care, and innovation to advance research. This course is designed to promote in-depth interaction between students and faculty to facilitate the development of action plans for leading innovation in athletic health care education, patient care, and research. Students will prepare a project proposal specific to their work environment to help them develop the knowledge and skills for leading innovations within their own health care facilities and institutions. The Institute faculty consists of leading innovators in athletic health care from across the country that students will have the opportunity to learn with and from. Each faculty member will lead educational sessions in their respective area(s) of expertise and will serve as small group facilitators. Students will be mixed throughout the week into three distinct small groups that meet daily, each facilitated by an internal (ATSU) and external faculty member, to maximize opportunities for extensive interactions with peers and faculty. Study sections will be used at the beginning of each day to stimulate critical thinking and promote dialogue around the theme of the day. Project groups will meet daily to help students develop their innovative projects for leading and managing environmental change. Reflection groups will meet at the end of each day to discuss the days key points, where students experienced their greatest knowledge gains, how the information can be translated into their work setting, and what new questions may have emerged. An extensive course-reading list will be provided in advance of the face-to-face meeting and students will be required to read all course material prior to the educational sessions. In addition to the project proposal, readings, and attending the face-to-face sessions, students will be expected to complete a post-Institute assessment.

Applied Research

  • ATRN 8010: Research Methods & Design * (M)+

    • This course will focus on the development and application of graduate level knowledge and skills related to research methods in health sciences. Skills regarding the development of a research proposal, including the identification of a problem, conducting a literature review, developing a hypothesis, designing a study and submitting an Institutional Review Board application are integral components of this course. ​

  • ATRN 8210: Qualitative Research Methodology+

    • ​This course is designed to introduce the athletic trainer to the methods of qualitative research. As athletic training continues to identify ways to enhance the care provided to various populations, it is essential to integrate patients’ perspectives and preferences during the decision-making process. To effectively do so, it is important to have an understanding of the various strategies to gather this information. This course will cover the basics of qualitative research, methods to collect and analyze qualitative data, and strategies to incorporate qualitative data

  • ATRN 9001: Analyzing the Problem+

    • This course is the first in a series of four courses designed to assist you with the development of an applied research project (ARP) through the stages of reviewing the literature to project dissemination. Understanding the past and current literature around your desired research topic area is crucial to the development of a sound research project. Therefore, the purpose of this course is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to successfully review the literature around your chosen ARP topic and write a focused review of literature, which will serve as a foundational paper for your ARP. ​

  • ATRN 9002: Proposing a Solution+

    • This course is the second in a series of four courses designed to assist you with the development of an applied research project (ARP) through the stages of reviewing the literature to project dissemination. The purpose of this course is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to develop and present the proposal for your required ARP. The proposal is crucial for the success of your ARP, as it describes in detail the research questions, hypotheses, and methodological details of your study.
      During this course you will work closely with your ARP advisor to ensure your ARP proposal is methodologically sound and feasible. By the end of this course, you will have completed your ARP proposal and will present your project to your ARP advisor and submit your application to the IRB. ​

  • ATRN 9003: Implementing and Evaluating the Solution+

    • This course is the fourth in a series of four courses designed to assist you with the development of an applied research project (ARP) through the stages of reviewing the literature to project dissemination. The purpose of this course is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to continue to finalize your data collection forms and sampling methodology and to successfully complete your data collection as well as properly manage your data. Additionally, this course will help you to develop and implement an analysis plan for your ARP, based on previous methodological and statistical courses, and write the bulk of your results section so that you will be ready to complete your manuscript and prepare it for dissemination in the next course.​

  • ATRN 9004: Completing and Disseminating the Project+

    • ​This course is the fourth and final course in a series of four courses designed to assist you with the development of an Applied Research Project (ARP) through the stages of reviewing the literature to project dissemination. The purpose of this course is to provide the knowledge and skills needed to successfully complete your ARP manuscript, and to identify possible strategies for the dissemination your research findings through means, such as poster and oral presentations or manuscript submission.


*Eligible for advanced standing, Course also included within the certificate (C) or Master’s (M) program of study

Other Programs
Athletic Training Practice Based Research Network
Headquartered at A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ, the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network (AT-PBRN) is an affiliate network of the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and is...
the first and only practice-based research network in athletic training. The mission of the AT-PBRN is to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes for patients under the care of athletic trainers. Personnel consist of 8 athletic training researchers, a bio-statistician, a post-doctoral research fellow, and a research coordinator. In addition, the AT-PBRN houses an external advisory board, which consists of a panel of fellow athletic trainers from across the country. CLOSE
ATSU Concussion Program
A.T. Still University's Concussion Program serves as a resource for sport-related concussion education, research, and service for young athletes, parents, coaches, and administrators. Outreach services...
provided to athletes in Arizona include education, baseline (pre-season) testing and post-injury concussion evaluation. The program also provides training and education about concussions to athletes, coaches, parents, athletic trainers, athletic training students and other healthcare providers. Additionally, ATSU's Concussion Program is engaged in numerous research projects focusing on concussion awareness, assessment tools and interventions to enhance recovery. CLOSE
CORE-AT Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
Students in A.T. Still University’s athletic training programs utilize the industry-leading CORE-AT electronic medical record (EMR) system, a web-based injury surveillance and EMR system for use by...
athletic trainers. The CORE-AT EMR was designed and developed by athletic trainers in partnership with ESSENTIALTALK, an international technology communication company, and is compliant with the data acquisition, storage, and transmission standards set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Health information obtained using the CORE-AT system is not stored locally on computers. Instead, data is uploaded in real time and transmitted to secure, redundant servers. CLOSE
Athletic Training Continuing Education
A.T. Still University is recognized by the Board of Certification, Inc. to offer continuing education for certified athletic trainers. The Athletic Training Practiced Based Research Network (AT-PBRN) is an ongoing...
source for clinical outcomes and evidence-base practice (EBP) education to educate and train post professional athletic training students. Free evidence-base practice category CEUs include:
  • Incorporating EBP into Athletic Training: Overview of Practice-Based Partnerships (.75 - EBP CEU)
  • Health Information Technology in Athletic Training (1.25 EBP CEUs)
  • Coming Soon... Evidence-Based Practice in Athletic Training (3 EBP CEUs)
Learn More