The Chicago Cubs invited University of Arkansas professor Jeff Bonacci to speak at the team’s annual sports medicine and athletic training staff spring training symposium in Phoenix recently.
Bonacci, clinical assistant professor of kinesiology, directs the graduate athletic training education program in the College of Education and Health Professions. Mark Oneal, the director of sports medicine for the Cubs organization, asked Bonacci to discuss the future education of athletic trainers and how it will affect the professional development of the Cubs’ current staff and hiring of future athletic trainers.
“Based on the reputation of the athletic training education program at the University of Arkansas, our staff believes your program provides a strong foundation for previous and future graduates for the athletic training profession,” said Oneal, who is a 1989 graduate of the University of Arkansas.
The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education recently announced a new requirement that athletic training education be offered as a graduate-level degree. The entry level master’s program at the U of A was initially granted national accreditation in 2005 and it received a 10-year re-accreditation in 2010. For the past six years in a row, the program has a 100 percent pass rate for the Board of Certification exam. It has a 95 percent pass rate overall since its inception.
Bonacci said the invitation from the Cubs also gave him the opportunity to make connections to help students acquire internships and full-time positions in professional baseball. While in Phoenix, he visited with Adrian Pettaway, a 2011 graduate of the U of A athletic training education program. Pettaway is an assistant athletic trainer with the Cubs.
CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE