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The athletic training program at Valley City State University was granted a five-year initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) on April 14, 2016.

The program accreditation is the capstone of a multiyear process which began at VCSU in the 2011–12 academic year with the application for an athletic training major with the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education. That application was approved in 2012, and VCSU began admitting students for the program for the 2012–13 academic year.

Preparation for accreditation required a Comprehensive Self-Study, which took place from 2012 to 2015. VCSU submitted its self-study report to the CAATE on June 30, 2015.

The CAATE conducted its site visit on the VCSU campus Feb. 1–3, 2016, analyzing the VCSU athletic training program’s compliance with its “Standards for Accreditation of Professional Athletic Training Programs,” a list of 109 criteria used “for the development, evaluation, analysis, and maintenance of athletic training programs.” The comprehensive review by the CAATE left only two standards in need of modifications, which VCSU addressed with a rejoinder.

After the CAATE review of the rejoinder, the VCSU athletic training program was granted the maximum five-year accreditation.

Athletic training is the healthcare profession responsible for the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. Graduates of the VCSU athletic training program may sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) Examination; successfully passing the exam qualifies an individual as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). Certified athletic trainers are an integral part of athletic programs at the high school, university, club and professional levels. They may also work in clinical settings such as sports medicine clinics.

Going forward, VCSU will maintain compliance with the CAATE Standards, submitting updates by Oct. 15 annually. VCSU’s next self-study will be due June 30, 2020, with a CAATE site visit to be scheduled between Oct. 15, 2020, and Feb. 15, 2021.