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2012 News Releases

Longwood’s athletic trainers earn certification on the first try

May 29, 2012

Longwood athletic training majors Hanna Sacks '15 (left) and Matt Rawlins '12 assist Gracie McGurn of Richmond at the Richmond Marathon.
Longwood athletic training majors Hanna Sacks '15 (left) and Matt Rawlins '12 assist Gracie McGurn of Richmond at the Richmond Marathon. (photo credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The recent graduates of Longwood's athletic training program have completed a major step toward getting jobs - all five have successfully passed the Board of Certification examination and earned their certified athletic trainer credentials.

"Basically, this is their ticket to a job," said Sharon Menegoni, assistant professor of athletic training at Longwood, adding that the program has a 100 percent placement rate. "Typically somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of first-time test takers pass the examination."

Menegoni credits Longwood's hands-on approach and tough standards with preparing the graduates to pass the exam. Clinical experiences begin during the freshman year and culminate with a required internship at an off-site location. The students work with clinics for high-school students and as medical staff for the Richmond Marathon and McDonald's National Cross Country Festival.

"We are constantly working to create opportunities for our students," said Menegoni. "Our students regularly observe doctors as they interact with patients, and this teaches them valuable communication skills that will benefit them in the future."

The newly certified athletic trainers and members of Longwood's Class of 2012 are Ashlyn Johnston of Stafford, Derik Claar of Franklin, Kaylyn Hopkins of Barboursville, Caitlin Keroack of Williamsburg and Matthew Rawlins of King George. Johnston is entering graduate school at Auburn University and will serve as the school's first athletic trainer for the ROTC program. Claar has a job offer from a high school in Pennsylvania.

About 60 to 65 percent of all Longwood athletic training graduates enroll in graduate or professional programs within three years of graduation. Areas of employment for trainers include the usual (colleges, high schools, middle schools, private sports medicine clinics, orthopedic offices) and the unusual (performing arts groups, NASCAR, rodeos and clinics for corporate and industrial settings).

"Athletic training is a growing field," said Menegoni.