Athletic training students work with local high schoolers to help prepare them for college

Vince Peluso

Think back to when you were a junior in high school. Did you know exactly what you wanted to do the rest of your life? The answer is probably no.

That’s why Kent State, in conjunction with Kent Roosevelt High School, is working with high school juniors and seniors interested in going into athletic training or similar fields.

Cary Hale, interim athletic training education program coordinator, said they would like students to go into athletic training, but encourage students to do what’s comfortable to them.

“It prepares individuals for any allied health profession,” she said. “We would love to see them in the field of athletic training, but it really helps prepare them for any type of PEP, from working as an athletic trainer to nursing, to EMS work. The focus is on anatomy, physiology, first aid and emergency care.”

The program, which accepts up to 20 students per year, also gives its participants an opportunity to get college credit hours.

“They can get some credit hours by taking a test prior to coming here,” Hale said. “If they get a passing grade they actually will get some credit.”

The program doesn’t just prepare high school students for college, it also gets athletic training students at Kent State involved.

Juniors and seniors in the major get the opportunity to work with the students on a research project and poster presentation.

“We have a mentoring program that is primarily with the upper classmen,” Hale said. “We do several different things such as the research project or poster presentation. They’ve also done a seminar series, and we put them in with different researchers and they work with that.”

Lisa Wilson is a senior member of the athletic training program who said her high school didn’t even have an athletic trainer.

Wilson, who said she would like to work with high school students after graduation, said she thinks the program is a great benefit to students.

“I think it’s great that they get that exposure in high school,” she said. “For me, I never heard of anything like that in high school, and I think I would’ve benefited from it. From my end it was a good experience because I got to work with high school students and help them with their projects.”

Hale said she believes the program allows prospective students to get a grasp of what the athletic training program will be like when they reach college.

According to her, many people confuse the athletic training major with other majors.

“A lot of people confuse it with personal training,” she said. “So for those students that have the experience, they feel more comfortable with the demands when they come in. Those individuals get it, and it gives them a personal advantage because they see what they’re getting themselves into.”

The program has been so successful that Hale said they have decided to do a camp with prospective students during the final week of April.

Contact College of Health, Education and Human Services reporter Vince Peluso at [email protected].