By Seth Morin
Hearing about having to attend an extra semester would send chills down most students’ spines, but for some it is a necessity.
Athletic training students have a demanding schedule because those participating in a fall sport must extend their education by one more semester.
They must do so because one of the requirements for athletic training is to observe, as a part of their clinical rotation, a team in the fall for a full season in a sport that is equipment-intensive, said Kathy Remsburg, director and professor of athletic training at Franklin College.
“Therefore, the only sport that offers that in the fall is football,” Remsburg said.
She added that Franklin is one of few schools that allow this, as many other schools require the student-athlete to quit playing their respective sport and focus on their athletic training education.
“Coaches, professors and our program director are willing to work with each other and us so that we can fulfill the responsibilities of both school and our sport,” said senior Brandy Ramaj, who is majoring in athletic training and plays soccer – a fall sport. “I feel like this is a campus-wide understanding, which is amazing.”
Remsburg said the student athletes going an extra semester must be enrolled part time at the college, meaning some students choose to spread out their class schedule whereas others enroll in a zero credit hour class that prepares them for their certification exam.
Christa Hendrickson, Danielle Owens and Ramaj are the only three senior athletic training majors that participated in a fall sport, and all are on the women’s soccer team.
But there is another option.
“We did, however, have the choice to sit out our junior year of soccer to fulfill our football requirements,” Ramaj said. “We would then have been able to join the team again for our senior year, or play our junior year and skip our senior season.”
She said that would have been the only way to do so without going an extra semester.
Ramaj said she already has potential plans lined up after graduation in December, as she will be working as pharmacy technician in her hometown of Washington, Indiana. She will also be working with Washington High School’s football team.
Other possibilities include graduate school, and some other jobs she has been offered but cannot accept until she is certified in December.
She said she is glad she chose to become an athletic major due to the challenges and relationships that come with it.
“No two days are the same because no two injuries are ever the same,” Ramaj said. “Every injury starts out as a mystery and my task is to figure out what is going on.
“And to be a successful athletic trainer, you have to make countless relationships with people, whether that be coaches, parents, athletes, professors and peers. Trainers carry a lot on their shoulders and can have a huge impact on athletes’ lives, and I want to be someone they can trust and depend on.”