North Central College - Naperville, IL

Clinical Education

Clinical education rotations/assignments are designed to build upon the classroom and laboratory experiences. Clinical education will begin during the initial term of attendance at North Central College. There are five components to the clinical education experience:

Pre-Admission Observation

The pre-admission student is required to complete a 50 hour directed clinical observation experience at the clinical sites on the campus of North Central College. A minimum of 15 hours must be completed each term. The student is encouraged to complete the assignment with a combination of practice, rehabilitation, and event experiences. The deadline for completing the observational experience will be May 1 (application deadline date). Each student is responsible for signing up for observation experiences in the Pre-Admission binder. Prior to beginning the observation experience, the student must complete blood borne pathogen training.

Documentation of the 50 hours must be submitted to the Athletic Training  Program Director with the application to the Athletic Training Program (ATP). Each time a student completes observation hours, he/she must fill out the “Pre-Admission Observation Verification” form. The forms are part of the "Pre-Admission Student Handbook".

There are 13 clinical proficiencies assigned to this directed observation, divided into 3 terms. Each term students will be assigned to upperclassmen mentors. The mentors will work with the pre-admission students throughout the term, assisting in orienting the student to the ATP, the staff, and facilities.

Athletic Training Students

Once admitted to the ATP, the student will complete 9 terms of clinical experience coursework. These courses will have 3 levels: Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training I, II, and III. The student will enroll for Level I during all three terms of their first year (sophomore) in the program, Level II during the second year (junior) in the program, and Level III during the third year (senior) in the program. This schedule will be altered for transfer students. Each level of clinical experience will have assigned clinical proficiencies, divided into the three terms. The proficiencies will be evaluated in the following manner:

  1. Initially, all clinical proficiencies will be introduced and evaluated in the didactic courses.
  2. Clinical proficiencies will be reviewed during the clinical experiences courses.
  3. Students must perform each proficiency to an upperclassmen for evaluation (clinical proficiency checklists).
  4. Clinical proficiencies will be evaluated during the term in the clinical experience class by the clinical instructor and in a final exam administered at the conclusion of each term.
  5. Clinical instructors supervising the students will evaluate their clinical proficiency in the clinical rotations.

Each course will meet once per week. These class meetings will be conducted as stated in the syllabi.

Level I

The student will enroll in HPE 220 (Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training I) during all 3 terms. The student will be assigned to a clinical rotation at a high school athletic training room for a minimum of 50 hours, and at North Central College for 250 hours. Specific requirements are included in the syllabus for HPE 220.

Level II

The student will enroll in HPE 330 (Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training II) during all 3 terms. The student will be assigned to a rehabilitation intensive rotation at an orthopedic outpatient clinic or related setting for a minimum of 50 hours and clinical rotations at North Central College for 250 hours. Specific requirements are included in the syllabus for HPE 330.

Level III

The student will enroll in HPE 440 (Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training III) during all 3 terms. The student will be assigned to a 15 hour clinical rotation with an orthopedic physician/surgeon. In addition, the student will complete a 10 hour rotation with a general practice physician. The student will also complete clinical rotations at North Central College for 175 hours. The specific requirements are included in the syllabus for HPE 440.


The student is required to complete an internship as part of their education in a setting of their choice. Our proximity to the Chicago provides access to variety of opportunities with clinics, high schools, industrial and corporate institutions, professional teams and athletes, and NCAA Division I athletic teams. The minimum hour requirement will be 150 hours.