Louisiana State University Athletic Training

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eValue simplifies course mapping, evaluations & site management so LSU AT educators spend less time with spreadsheets & more time on teaching

LSU Athletic Training Program at the top of its game in board certification pass rates.

Ray Castle is really clear about what’s important to him. His Louisiana drawl is friendly with a slight twang, and his words are straightforward and direct. Castle is an educator who wants his Athletic Training graduates to be the best they can be.

He and his colleagues at LSU are clearly helping students reach their full potential. Over the last four years, 98 percent of LSU graduates in the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training program have passed the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) board certification exam on the first attempt, giving LSU one of the highest first-time pass rates in the country.

Castle is the Program Director for Athletic Training at LSU and an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology. With a Ph.D in Human Performance and Recreation, and over 20 years of award winning higher education experience, Castle knows what it takes to deliver top notch graduates.

“To build and maintain a great program, we invest in outstanding faculty, so we want them to spend their time teaching,” said Castle.  “Using eValue to track the administrative details of our athletic training program has been a big help. Our faculty can spend more time with students in the classroom and in the field.” Using eValue as the central repository for all program curriculum and training data, Castle and his colleagues are making the LSU program stronger. And curricula measurement and management has gotten even easier.

Beginning with the end in mind

Among the 360-plus professional-level degree programs in athletic training in the country, LSU has one of the best. The program at LSU is a limited-admission, highly-competitive program designed to train graduates for managing the health care problems associated with those who are physically active. LSU graduates go on to work as athletic trainers in a variety of settings, including high schools, physician clinics, military, college athletics and professional sports.

“We spend a lot of time thinking about and preparing for success with our students. Our main goal is to provide students with a rock-solid foundation that serves the basis for a successful career in athletic training,” said Castle. “Having reliable and readily accessible programmatic data has been critical to us developing their professional foundation as a process so that the student is a highly skilled and competent athletic trainer upon graduation from LSU.”

The program at LSU is a mix of classroom curriculum and clinical experience. Being able to coordinate and document preceptor and student work with eValue is one of the biggest gains for LSU.

“We have dozens of locations where our students are heavily engaged in clinical rotations, and it’s always been a challenge to collect performance and evaluation data,” said Castle. “eValue holds all of that in one place now and makes it much easier and faster for students and preceptors to perform their evaluations.”

One important component of learning in clinical settings is gaining experience with specific clinical encounters, not just heat-related illnesses and joint sprains, but rather complex and varied diseases and conditions across the lifespan. Students can log their clinical encounters online or via mobile device with eValue’s PxDx functionality, and teachers can review and validate those encounters.

“When students and educators record clinical encounters and evaluations in eValue, we get great insight into the progress they’re making,” said Castle. “eValue shows us where we are strong, and where we need to focus more effort.”

Castle’s quest for excellence is also supported by eValue’s Curriculum Mapping functionality.
This component aligns curricula, courses, outcomes, and competencies. Specific board certification exam items drive the mapping and measurement.

“We want to be aligned with CAATE accreditation standards and with state and regional accreditors that LSU provides data to, and eValue makes that hassle-free,” said Castle. “We can track our performance data down to the item level so we can make adjustments in curricula quickly and confidently. If we can measure it, we can make it better, and data review and evaluations with eValue can now be done in a matter of minutes, rather than hours.”

Turning information into knowledge

With eValue, Castle has made his evaluation process 95 percent paperless. The time spent handling, printing, sending and storing paper has been greatly reduced.

“Everything occurs online and we get instant tracking and auditing capabilities,” said Castle. “Gathering program data was impossible before, and now it’s ready and available for anyone that has the permission and needs to see it.”

Castle uses the eValue reporting for accreditors, as well as the LSU System degree assessment plan when he provides annual program progress updates.

“eValue helps us spend more time doing what we love, which is teaching,” said Castle. “Our program is better and stronger when we do that, which means that our graduates are better off, too.”