Secondary school AT? Then you should be familiar with and completed the ATLAS Project survey.
Today on the podcast John Ciecko catches Larry Cooper and Rob Huggins for an update on the ATLAS (Athletic Training Location and Services) program which started in 2015 as a joint initiative between the Korey Stringer Institute and the NATA.
The ATLAS project is designed to track to AT services, improve communication between athletic trainers and produce research for the advancement of the profession of Athletic Training in the secondary school setting.
What are the updates from ATLAS?
Rob reports that ATLAS has had a successful year. Over 13,488 schools are reporting AT services in the US and that is 66% of schools. Over 16,000 AT’s have completed surveys in the last 2 years and they are finding an increased response rate from AT’s and schools.
Why the increased response from Secondary AT’s?
Larry believes that the BOC adding a reminder at the end of our reporting document is aiding in more AT’s taking and re-taking the survey. State levels continuing to push it at the grassroots level are also helping.
The state of Florida is only 70 schools away from 100% participation, and the goal is for every state to reach that level.
How does ATLAS help AT’s in the secondary setting?
Data collected and reported from ATLAS to the individual states is helping push legislation through for things like AT presence at every school and cold water immersion tubs.
“ATLAS supports the policy initiatives that are making even bigger impacts in this country than this project is.”
Aside from the numbers of which schools have AT’s, what else do we learn from these surveys?
We are learning about how socioeconomic status affects the likelihood of an AT being at a high school. In the EATA Districts 1 and 2, there are 10 times greater odds of AT services in upper-class areas versus lower class and a 4 ½ time greater odds in middle versus lower class areas.
This information can help states or districts get AT services in those areas and present to those who have high stakes in youth athletics (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB) and together we can come up with creative solutions to manage this public health crisis.
Has ATLAS had a direct effect on legislation?
Absolutely! Recently in Arkansas, there was legislation brought forward threatening the practice act in that state for AT’s. Jason Cates used that data while sitting with his legislator to show him the actual numbers of students, teachers, and families that would be affected if this law was passed and that data helped the legislator block the bill.
What is the future goal of ATLAS?
We would like to have 100% participation in the ATLAS survey and we would like the data we collect to drive AT services throughout the country so that every school has an AT.
Rob encourages everyone in the secondary setting to please complete and update the survey each year. He believes that ATLAS “can make the biggest impact in what is arguably the largest area for growth in our profession, secondary schools.”
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