Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Sue Poppink


Athletic training education accreditation recently transitioned from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) to the newly established independent accrediting agency: the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

The purpose of this case study was to utilize Western Michigan University's Undergraduate Athletic Training Education Program (WMU-ATEP), as an illustrative case, to examine and evaluate the effort and structural, curricular, human, and financial resources necessary to satisfy the requirements of the 2005 CAATE Standards for the Accreditation of Entry-Level Athletic Training Education Programs and Comprehensive Review for Accreditation Process when it transitioned from the 2001 CAAHEP Accreditation Standards and Guidelines and Accreditation Process for Educational Programs in Athletic Training. The case study then evaluated if the requirements for satisfying the 2005 CAATE Accreditation Standards and Process allowed for more flexibility, efficiency, promotion of professionalism, or the development of collegial relationships.

This research project was a case study that adopted an evaluative form of qualitative methodology. The data were collected through the techniques of content analysis, document evaluation, personal correspondence, and inquiry. The qualitative researcher was also the Program Director of the WMU-ATEP. The researcher was therefore a participant-observer and primary instrument for data collection and analysis.

The major findings of the 122 areas evaluated found that 95 of the 2005 CAATE Accreditation Sections, Sub-sections, Standards, Sub-standards, and Sub-section Standards were categorized as providing efficiency; 26 provided more flexibility; 58 promoted professionalism; and 21 assisted in developing collegial relationships.

The comparison of the Accreditation Processes yielded findings that the two did not provide for an immense variation. Overall, the CAATE Accreditation Process was found to be more efficient than the CAAHEP Accreditation Process and removed unimportant steps and the collection of unnecessary information.

Accreditation studies have focused predominantly on the categories, purposes, providing agencies, and necessity. The findings of this case study added to the literature by serving as an example and providing a basis for other ATEPs to understand the effort and resources required in satisfying the requirements of the CAATE Accreditation Standards and the Process brought upon by the transition from the previous recognized accreditor.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access