Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Tessmer

Second Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Schroeder

Third Advisor

Dr. Robyne Elder


This study aimed to examine the impact and potential benefits of a comprehensive skills-based clinical examination within an accredited athletic training program. It was hypothesized that a comprehensive clinical examination could accurately assess student preparedness for the BOC examination and support the students’ continued academic and clinical development. The clinical examination was developed and adapted over several years, and it consisted of multiple psychomotor skills assessments and scenario-based modules with standardized models. The validity of the clinical examination was examined retrospectively, using historical academic data representing four academic cohorts from a single institution. Student demographic profiles and academic data were also evaluated as possible predictor variables of first-time success on the BOC examination.

A quantitative analysis of student performance on the two examinations revealed the following: students who passed the clinical examination on their first attempt were much more likely to pass the BOC examination on their first attempt; students who passed the BOC examination on their first attempt achieved a higher overall score on the clinical examination; students requiring more than two attempts to successfully complete the clinical examination were much less likely to pass the BOC examination on their first attempt; and cumulative GPA was determined to be the best predictor of first-time success on the BOC examination. From a qualitative perspective, an electronic survey was incorporated to better understand student perceptions of the clinical examination and how the examination may have impacted their readiness for the BOC examination and entry-level practice. Students overwhelmingly agreed the clinical examination had a positive impact on their academic and professional development, and students believed their preparation process for the comprehensive clinical examination simultaneously prepared them for the BOC examination. Furthermore, students believed the comprehensive clinical examination motivated them to study and utilize high-impact practices that promoted critical thinking and clinical reasoning. The findings from this research suggests a well-designed, comprehensive clinical-based examination can be implemented in an athletic training program and provide numerous benefits to both the program and the students.


Copyright 2022, Tom Godar.

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