The first certified/licensed athletic trainer came to Hardin-Simmons in 1982 and the athletic training tradition at HSU was born. From 1986-1999, Hardin-Simmons had a strong internship- based athletic training program. In 1999, HSU began offering a major leading to a Bachelor of Behavior Science (BBS) degree in Athletic Training. The ATEP was initially accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in 2005. The ATEP is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and will be undergoing reaccreditation during the 2009-2010 academic year. Athletic training students who successfully complete the ATEP degree program are eligible for the Texas State Athletic Training Licensure exam offered by the Texas Department of State Health Services/Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers and the Board of Certification, Inc. exam. Successful completion of these credentialing examinations will provide the athletic training graduate with Texas licensure and national certification as an athletic trainer.
Gaining admission to the ATEP is accomplished by taking the fall semester ATTR 1310-Introduction to Athletic Training and completing the required steps through the admissions process as well as successful completion of the ATTR 1310 course work (see Admissions policy). Admission of athletic training students occurs during the fall semester only, with students beginning the professional or clinical portion of the ATEP the following spring. Athletic training students admitted to the ATEP begin taking advanced course work in athletic training and are enrolled each semester in clinical/field experiences with clinical instructors in NCAA- sponsored sports at HSU, as well as clinical/field experiences at Abilene Sports Medicine & Orthopedics/Texas Midwest Surgery Center, West Texas Rehabilitation Center Sports Center, Chad Ezzell, MD (primary care/sports medicine) office, Abilene Christian University, Abilene High School and Abilene-Cooper High School.