Context: We describe methods of sampling the widely-studied, yet poorly defined, population of accredited athletic training education programs (ATEPs).

Objective: There are two purposes to this study; first to describe the incidence and types of sampling methods used in athletic training education research, and second to clearly define the accredited ATEP population.

Design and Setting: Literature review and web-based information search

Participants: Accredited programs as of January 2008

Measurements: We conducted a literature review with the following limits: (1) articles with keyword “accreditation,” (2) articles utilizing accredited ATEP population, (3) articles published in the Journal of Athletic Training and the Athletic Training Education Journal, and (4) articles published since 2000. We categorized articles based on their sampling method(s). We conducted a web-based search of all accredited programs as of January 2008 and collected demographic data including: state/private affiliation, university enrollment, cost of attendance, National Athletic Trainers' Association district, and athletic affiliation.

Results: Our literature search identified 37 articles. Twenty-seven (73%) articles did not clearly state their sampling methods. Twenty-two (59%) of the articles used some sort of random sampling method. The remaining 15 articles (41%) used some sort of nonrandom sampling method. As of January 2008 there were 360 accredited programs.

Conclusions: The following generalizations can be made: (1) The majority of articles used a random sampling method. (2) The vast majority of programs were undergraduate. (3) A majority of programs are affiliated with state institutions.

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Author notes

Dr. Carr is an Assistant Professor and the ATEP Director at the University of Kansas

Ms. Volberding is a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Athletic Training Education Program at the University of Kansas