The Saga Continues...EKU AT Program Re-Accredited for Another 10 years!
Starting this winter, I have been privileged to introduce my kids to the Star Wars saga. I'm not a "fan" of much but I have enjoyed the movies and I enjoy seeing their excitement as we begin to watch each of the movies in chronologic order. Their excitement (at least the older 2 kids) has mimicked the hype that generally surrounds each new release of a film and the anticipation of the next. That got me thinking...what has been around just as long, been through just as many "new releases" and matters just as much to the "fans" invested in it ...
That's right! Both EKU's Athletic Training (AT) Program and George Lucas's first "space opera" got their start in the year 1971 (https://www.biography.com/news/george-lucas-star-wars-facts). The EKU AT Program started with a curriculum that was designed to meet the new National Athletic Trainers' Association's (NATA) certification exam standards. In 1976-77, the curriculum was formally recognized by the NATA, becoming the first curriculum in Kentucky to do so. Incidentally, 1977 was the release date of the first Star Wars film.
Over the following years, EKU's program underwent many transitions until it gained its initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs' (CAAHEP) Joint Review Committee in 1995 which would later become the current accreditor, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). These changes closely paralleled the release of the first three episodes of the Star Wars saga which occurred from 1999-2005. During these years, EKU's AT Program underwent several accreditation reviews with the last "release" date in the 2007-08 academic year where they were granted 10 years of re-accreditation with a scheduled review in 2017-18.
December of 2017 saw the release of Star Wars Episode VIII and EKU's CAATE Site Visit. While "The Last Jedi" grossed over $1 Billion in earnings, EKU's AT Program Site Visit earned notoriety of a different sort. Zero earnings but zero citations! Few programs achieve this distinction, with only about 15% of programs in the 2015-16 review cycle completing the re-accreditation process with zero citations.
Congratulations to EKU's faculty, administration, preceptors, and students for earning another 10 years of accreditation! Without the involvement and efforts of all "fans" involved, this achievement would not have been possible. And...though this might not match the earnings of one of the greatest media franchises, it continues the tradition of Athletic Training at EKU and maintains EKU's title of Kentucky's longest accredited Athletic Training Program!
Matt Sabin, PhD, ATC
Published on January 15, 2018