The clinical education portion of the Ball State Athletic Training Program is a key component in the development of the future athletic trainer. Clinical education is the application of knowledge and skills, learned in classroom and laboratory setting, to actual practice on patients under the supervision of a preceptor.

Students are placed in a variety of clinical education settings which may include college, high school, sports medicine physician, physical medicine, clinical rehabilitation, and sports performance, to name a few. Some experiences are offered on campus, while others are at off-campus sites.

Students are not expected to apply those skills in the clinical experience that they have not been instructed on in the classroom. However, once a skill has been taught in the classroom, we encourage students to apply it to patients in the clinical education environment under the direction of a preceptor. As a student progresses through the program, the opportunities for learning and applying knowledge and skills to patients during clinical experiences grows.

Clinical education is a learning environment, and preceptors are working with you every step of the way. Preceptors are health care professionals who will be directly supervising the athletic training student in the clinical experience and may include certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, physicians, or other licensed healthcare professionals.

Ball State is fortunate to have excellent preceptors working with our students in the clinical education setting. Our preceptors genuinely care about the growth and development of the student, and put forth much effort into ensuring that the clinical experience is a positive one. The preceptors will assist you in learning through guidance and continual evaluation of your knowledge, skills, and clinical decision making, and will also mentor you and provide you with assistance in preparing for the health care profession.

Clinical education is only as good as the effort put in. We encourage students to become involved with all facets of the health care delivery system and become familiar with the complex roles of the athletic trainer. So ask questions, take initiative, and interact with the patients, preceptor, and other health care professionals as much as possible. You will learn so much more through your active involvement.