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
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sumed that these criteria may or may not
the results of investigations in other allied program. Phys Ther. 1988;68:238-242.
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son3 noted that "each format for select- tween academic achievement and clinical perfor-
mance in a physical therapy education program.
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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