Student apply electrodes to patient's leg

Clinical Education

The UNCW Athletic Training Program uses more than nine clinical sites and 17 preceptors at facilities throughout New Hanover County.

Clinical Education Plan

The clinical education component of the UNCW Athletic Training Program is designed to provide “real life” learning opportunities for students in addition to classroom and laboratory experiences. Clinical education is encompassed within six clinical courses totaling 18 credit hours. Within each course, students are assigned to supervising preceptors throughout the community.

All aspects of the clinical experience emphasize cooperative and collaborative learning among students as well as directed practical applications from a licensed athletic trainer or other healthcare provider. Although all students will have specific required clinical experiences and specific competencies for each clinical course, it is expected that an agreement is formed between the student and preceptors at the site, defining specific learning opportunities provided at that facility. Clinical assignments are delineated to facilities providing comprehensive health care services, including but, not limited to, practice and game preparation, injury/illness evaluation, first aid and emergency care, follow-up care, rehabilitation and related services. The Program Director and Clinical Education Coordinator decide clinical placement of students.

Travel Policy

Athletic Training Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from their clinical assignments. Clinical assignments are made in several off-campus clinical affiliate sites.

Athletic Training Students are encouraged to travel, with the athletic team, as a part of their clinical education whenever possible. If given the opportunity, students must be accompanied by a Preceptor and follow all other guidelines of the Student Handbook. Before traveling, it is the students’ responsibility to communicate with their assigned preceptor about all expenses that will be incurred and the responsible parties. Only time spent performing athletic training duties may count as clinical hours.

Expected Clinical Time Commitment

Students will be required to accumulate between 120-200 hours per semester the first year, and 300-500 hours per semester the second year, as part of the clinical education plan. This averages out to 10-15 hours per week in year one, and 20-30 hours per week in year two. There will be variation in the number of hours the student will be in the assigned clinical rotation depending on the Preceptor to which the student is assigned and the demands of the clinical assignment.

  • Some exceptions to the hour accumulation guidelines may be considered depending on the clinical rotation. Decisions are considered on an individual basis.
  • Any concerns in obtaining sufficient clinical hours should be addressed with the Clinical Education Coordinator.

The clinical courses also require immersive experiences which are practice-intensive experiences that allows the student to experience the totality of care provided by athletic trainers. Students must participate in the day-to-day and week-to-week role of an athletic trainer. These experiences will be outlined within each clinical course’s syllabus. ATR 503 is a unique clinical course as it is a completely immersive experience occurring during the summer.

Clinical Sites

UNCW Athletics

  • YaLan Chiang, ATC
  • Mikaela Joseph, ATC
  • Scott Hill, ATC
  • Julie Francis, ATC
  • Stacy Kuhn, ATC
  • Danielle Cotellessa, ATC
  • Matt Parker, ATC
  • Graham Joseph, ATC
  • Mark Dominick, ATC


  • EmergeOrtho
    • Richard Bahner, MD
    • Bob O’Malley, DPM
    • John O’Malley, MD
  • Shoreline Physical Therapy: Sport and Spine Specialists
    • Jai Isear, PT, ATC
  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center
    • ED-North
    • Orthopedic ED

High Schools

  • Eugene Ashley High School
    • Sadie Thomas, ATC
  • Hoggard High School
    • Jon Barkman, ATC
  • EA Laney High School
    • Kristen Thacker, ATC
  • New Hanover High School
    • Matt Triche, ATC
  • South Brunswick High School
    • Kayla Fields, ATC
  • North Brunswick High School
    • Joshua Sierra, ATC
  • Coastal Christian High School
    • Savannah Holland, ATC