Achievement in an

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					                                                                                               lection process. Several investigators
Prediction of Academic                                                                         have examined the effectiveness of ad-
                                                                                               mission criteria to predict the academic
Achievement in an                                                                              performance of allied health stu-
                                                                                               dents."12'4'8'9 Some of the predictors stud-
                                                                                               ied were: preprofessional grade point av-
NATA-Approved Graduate                                                                         erage (GPA), science GPA, standardized
                                                                                               test scores, written composition scores,
Athletic Training Education                                                                    recommendations, and interview scores.
                                                                                                  The basic goal of athletic training ed-
                                                                                               ucation is to produce competent, entry-
Program                                                                                        level practitioners. To attain this goal,
                                                                                               students must first successfully complete
                             Douglas R. Keskula, PhD, PT, ATC                                  academic requirements. Previous aca-
                               Paula G. Sammarone, EdD, ATC                                    demic achievement has been shown to be
                                                                                               a good predictor of academic success in
                                     David H. Perrin, PhD, ATC                                 graduate business students,10 allied
                                                                                               health students,9 and physical therapy
                                                                                               students." 2'8 However, there are no pub-
                                                                                               lished reports of prediction of academic
                                                                                               success in athletic training education.
Abstract:    The purpose of this investi-      GRE-V, hours, and program did not sig-             Our investigation attempted to deter-
gation was to determine which informa-         nificantly contribute individually or in        mine which specific criteria used in the
tion used in the applicant selection pro-      combination to the prediction of GPAg.          applicant selection processes would best
cess would best predict the final grade        The results of this investigation suggest       predict the final grade point average of
point average of students in a National        that, of the variables examined, GPAp is        students in an NATA-approved graduate
Athletic Trainers Association (NATA)           the best predictor of academic success in       athletic training education program.
graduate athletic training education pro-      an NATA-approved graduate athletic
gram. The criterion variable used was          training education program.
the graduate grade-point average                                                               Methods
(GPAg) calculated at the completion of                                                            Subjects were 55 students (32 men
the program ofstudy. The predictor vari-               raduate education,    once   consid-    and 23 women) enrolled in the graduate
ables included: 1) Graduate Record Ex-                  ered an exception in athletic train-   athletic training program at the Univer-
amination-Quantitative (GRE-Q) scores;                   ing, now is becoming the rule for     sity of Virginia during a 5-year period
and 2) Graduate Record Examination-            success for the entry-level athletic trainer.   between 1986 and 1990. Ninety-one per-
Verbal (GRE-V) scores, 3) preadmission         Although there are many avenues through         cent of all students included in this group
grade point average (GPAp), 4) total           which an athletic trainer may pursue grad-      were NATA-certified or eligible for cer-
athletic training hours (hours), and 5)        uate education, only 13 NATA-approved           tification at the time of admission. The
curriculum or internship undergraduate         graduate athletic training education pro-       remaining students were deficient in the
athletic training education (program).         grams currently exist. There are also non-      number of clock hours of clinical expe-
Data from 55 graduate athletic training        approved graduate athletic training-related     rience. Complete data on each of the 55
students during a 5-year period were           programs that provide excellent graduate        students were collected from application
evaluated. Stepwise multiple regression        education for athletic trainers.                files and final academic transcripts.
analysis indicated that GPAp was a sig-           For each seat available in these graduate       We examined five predictor variables
nificant predictor of GPAg, accounting         programs, program directors often receive       representing criteria used in the applicant
for 34% of the variance. GRE-Q,                five or more times the number of appli-         selection process: students' scores on the
                                               cants. To select from those qualified can-      quantitative portion of the Graduate
                                               didates, program directors must determine       Record Examination (GRE-Q), scores on
Douglas R. Keskula is an assistant professor   how to predict the potential success of ap-     the verbal portion of the Graduate
in the Physical Therapy Program at the Med-    plicants. Although most universities and        Record Examination (GRE-V), the
ical College of Georgia, in Augusta, GA        colleges have specific criteria for admis-      preadmission grade point average
30912-3209.                                    sion, a program director often is faced with    (GPAp) based on course work completed
Paula G. Sammarone is an assistant profes-
                                               the final determination of qualified individ-   before admission into the graduate pro-
sor and department chair for the Undergrad-
                                               uals with very similar credentials and abil-    gram, total hours of preadmission clini-
uate Athletic Training Program at Duquesne
University.                                    ities from an applicant pool.                   cal experience (hours), and the students'
David H. Perrn is an associate professor and      The selection of admission criteria          method of undergraduate athletic train-
Director of the Graduate Athletic Training     that best predict academic success is an        ing education (curriculum or internship).
Program at the University of Virginia.         important precursor to the applicant se-        The categorical program variable was

                                                                                               Journal of Athletic Training            55
coded to represent group membership (0          dividually or in combination with other         GPA was used as a threshold rather than
for internship and 1 for curriculum).           variables in predicting final grade point av-   an absolute determinant of selection, be-
   The dependent or criterion measure           erages of physical therapy students. Milli-     cause GPAs were different from school
was the final graduate grade point aver-        met and Flume6 discovered that there ex-        to school and may have been influenced
age (GPAg) calculated for 36 to 38 se-          isted a linear relationship between GPA         by variables, such as with whom specific
mester credit hours of graduate study.          and GRE scores in the acceptance rates of       courses were taken, where, and when.3
We analyzed the data using a stepwise                                                              A second limitation is the confined vari-
                                                students into graduate programs in psy-
multiple regression analysis. The SPSS7                                                         ability in the range of GPAs of the appli-
stepwise multiple regression program            chology. They indicated that as GPA and         cant pool. In our investigation, the range of
was used to determine significant predic-       GRE scores increased, so did the rate of        GPAp was 2.5 to 3.8. The narrow range
tors of GPAg. Criterion for entry of a          acceptance into graduate programs.              may not allow adequate discrimination be-
variable into the equation was PIN .05             GRE-Analytical (GRE-A) scores were           tween applicants.45 Although the use of
and tolerance of .0001.                         not included in our study. Day4 sug-            GPAp may have some limitations, we be-
                                                gested that the GRE-A provides a mea-           lieve that this measure provides useful in-
                                                sure of analytical ability to highlight the
Results                                         problem-solving ability of a student. Day
                                                                                                formation and serves an integral compo-
   All students in the study had (mean ±                                                        nent of the applicant selection process.
SD) GPAg of 3.4 .31, GPAp of 3.3±               used GRE scores as predictors of aca-              The primary outcome of the appli-
.3, GRE-V of 452 + 69, GRE-Q of 525 ±           demic success in graduate physical ther-        cant selection process is to determine
                                                apy programs. She reported that the
90, and 1332 ± 804 clinical hours. Twen-                                                        those applicants who will successfully
ty-eight students were graduates of an un-      GRE-A component and the preadmission            complete the academic requirements of
dergraduate athletic training curriculum        GPA contributed significantly to the            the program. However, the long-term
program, and 27 students graduated from         variance in predicting final GPAs in            goal is successful clinical performance.
an undergraduate internship program.            physical therapy programs. Goldberg             A selection committee should attempt
   The GPAp was a significant (p < .001)        and Alliger- noted that there was a pos-        to select candidates who have the po-
predictor of GPAg, accounting for 34% of        itive correlation between GRE-A scores          tential to attain both academic and clin-
the variance. GRE-Q, GRE-V, clinical ex-        and the success of psychology students          ical success. Further research is neces-
perience hours, and the type of undergrad-      in graduate education measured with             sary to evaluate the impact of
uate athletic training education did not sig-   multiple criteria. They also discovered         additional predictor variables on both
nificantly (p > .05) contribute individually    that the GRE-Q scores had some predic-          academic and clinical performance.
or in combination to the prediction of          tive abilities of future quantitative grades    Data obtained from interviews, recom-
GPAg. A summary of regression coeffi-           (positive correlations of .2 to .6).            mendations, and other sources may be
cients are presented in the Table.                 The total number of clinical experi-         included in subsequent endeavors.
                                                ence hours and the type of undergraduate
                                                                                                Continued research is required to de-
                                                athletic training education (curriculum         velop and evaluate criterion variables
Discussion                                      vs internship) was found not to contrib-
   Of the variables examined, GPAp is the                                                       related to clinical proficiency.
                                                ute to the prediction of academic success
best predictor of academic success in an
                                                (as determined by GPAg). From this              References
NATA-approved graduate athletic training
                                                finding, however, it should not be as-            1. Balogun JA. Predictors of academic and clinical
education program. This is consistent with                                                           performance in a baccalaureate physical therapy
                                                sumed that these criteria may or may not
the results of investigations in other allied                                                        program. Phys Ther. 1988;68:238-242.

health professions assessing prediction of      impact the qualitative assessments of a          2. Balogun JA, Karacoloff LA, Farina NT. Predictors
                                                student's clinical abilities and success in          of academic achievement in physical therapy. Phys
academic achievement.1'2'8'9                                                                         Ther. 1986;66:976-980.
                                                the clinical components of a student's           3. Chaisson GM. Student selection: logic or lottery. J
   GRE-Q and GRE-V did not contribute                                                                Allied Health. 1976;5:7-15.
                                                education. Further studies, both quanti-
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                                                tative and qualitative, are necessary to             scores as predictors of academic success in four
study. Day4 reported that GRE-Q and                                                                  entry-level master's degree physical therapy pro-
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                                                letic training students in the clinical          5. Goldberg EL, Alliger GM. Assessing the validity
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Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis              The results of this investigation sup-            1992;52:1019-1026.
Summary of Predictors of Final GPA              port the use of GPAp as an indicator of          6. Millimet CR, Flume ME. Estimating graduate ad-
                                                                                                     mission standards in psychology. Res Higher Educ.
in Athletic Training Students                   potential academic success. There are                1982;17:125-136.
                                                several limitations inherent in the use of       7. Norusis MJ. SPSSX Advanced Statistics Guide.
Predictor                 R2                                                                         Chicago, IL: SPSS Inc; 1988:11-71.
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                                                son3 noted that "each format for select-             tween academic achievement and clinical perfor-
                                                                                                     mance in a physical therapy education program.
GREp         55 .34       .34    .001           ing out the most suitable candidates,                Phys Ther. 1988;68:378-380.
GRE-Q        55 .38       .04    .06            even though designed by people with in-          9. Schimpfhauser F, Broski D. Predicting academic
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56       Volume 30 * Number 1 * 1995

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