Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Kristen Smith

Second Advisor

Holly Sisson

Third Advisor

Stephen Leppard


The goal of the study is to unveil the significance of the athletic training profession at the high school level and identify any barriers that restrict high schools from employing athletic trainers (ATs). While ATs are a commodity in collegiate and professional sports, many high schools around the nation struggle to employ these health care professionals. Surveys were sent to both superintendents and athletic directors (ADs) throughout the state of Michigan, to establish common hindrances to hiring athletic trainers in secondary schools. The survey covered topics such as common barriers to hiring ATs, reasons they prefer to hire ATs, school size and location, sponsored sports, AT employment status, and whether or not they believe ATs are valued resources.

The Korey Stringer Institute’s athletic training location and services (ATLAS) survey (NATA ATLAS, 2018) was utilized in order to identify schools with and without athletic trainers on staff. Subsequently, contact information for high school ADs were allocated from the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) website (2018). Contact information for all superintendents in Michigan were provided by a master list from the Michigan Department of Education. To ensure privacy of the study, the anonymity of participants was preserved.

The overwhelming obstacle to hiring ATs in the high school setting was budgetary concerns, as nearly 90% of participants responded that finances and resources were lacking in order to have an AT on staff. The second largest response as a barrier to hire was location of the school, resulting in nearly 35% of all responses.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access