Pre-AT students, those not yet admitted to the program are required to "observe" Athletic Training Services on campus during the fall and spring semesters as part of HSAT 2050 and HSAT 3420.  The following are guidelines and procedures related to the Observation Process.

Requirements as a part of HSAT 2050 and the Directed Observation component: (additional information provided in HSAT 2050 course syllabus)

  • Criminal Background Check: Background Checks must be obtained through the Valdosta Policy Department. The Valdosta Police Department has informed us that our students should have the “Purpose Code W” form processed for the criminal background check. See Criminal Background Check Form information under Packet 2.
  • There will be one class period (HSAT 2050) in which a mandatory OSHA Standards and CDC Precautions in-service will be taught. The in-service will be offered once. Students must attend the in-service or they CANNOT begin the “Directed Observation” portion of the admissions process (as per accreditation standard). (OSHA information is available in the academic and/or clinical section of the policy and procedure manual online)
  • Signed Student Responsibility Statement.
  • Signed Confidentiality Statement Form.
  • Signed Release and Waiver of Liability Form.
  • Signed ATP Authorization for Release of Records and Information.
  • Documentation of Vaccinations/Immunizations including Hepatitis series
  • Hepatitis B information form/waiver (if applicable)
  • Technical Standards Agreement.
  • Requirements as stated in the Directed Observation and Course Information Booklet and Policy and Procedure Manual


Directed Observation (as a part of HSAT 2050)

  • Directed observation will usually consist of 2 to 4 students at each site.  
  • Directed observation students will be informed on which settings they will be placed.
  • Directed observation students must be at each setting for the entire length of assigned experience.
  • Directed observations students will report to a specific person (indicated by the Program Director) at each site.
  • Directed observation students must be aware of the policy and procedure manual (via a signed “Responsibility Statement”) and must be aware the policies and procedures will be enforced.
  • Number of rotations (see HSAT 2050 syllabus)
  • The contact person will have a form that they will complete regarding your directed observation experience.
  • A letter indicating why you chose VSU, why you chose Athletic Training as your major, what we can expect from you has a student, and where you see yourself working after you have completed the program will be due at a time determined by the Program Director (as per HSAT syllabus).
  • Social discussions with athletes during observation should not occur. You are observing as part of a class and as part of the admissions criteria. If social discussions occur, you will be dismissed from observation for the day.
    • Other basic athletic training room rules and regulations applicable to observation can be found in the clinical education portion of the policy and procedure manual and/or will be made available to you as part of HSAT 2050.
    • For eligible students, additional Directed Observation will be required in the spring as part of HSAT 3430.
  • Students should arrive on time and check in with the supervising AT or designated contact person. If you are late, you may be dismissed from observation for the day. Learn this motto: To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is unacceptable.
  • There is not to be any horseplay, visiting, loitering, swearing, or shouting in the athletic training room. The athletic training room is not a lounge.
  • Students observing in the athletic training room should bring minimal items due to space limitations.
  • No one is allowed to use the phone or computer in the athletic training room for personal reasons without permission. Failure to comply with this rule/regulation will result in dismissal from observation for the day.
  • Cell phones must be in the non-ring mode. Non-emergent calls are not permitted. Failure to comply with this rule/regulation will result in dismissal from observation for the day.
  • Nothing will be taken from the athletic training room. If you take something from the athletic training room that does not belong to you, you will be dismissed from observation for a length of time deemed appropriate (suspension from observation could result).
  • If you are unable to attend a scheduled observation time for any reason, you must contact the ATP Program Director as soon as possible via phone 229-333-5354 or email at
  • If the supervising AT or any other faculty member, including graduate assistants feels that your appearance or behavior is unprofessional in any way, they have the right to dismiss you from observation for the day.
  • Being dismissed from an observation experience or missing an observation experience indicates your inability to follow policy and procedures of the VSU ATP.  Remember that according to the HSAT 2050 syllabus, you only have a certain number of directed observation experience opportunities. Missing an experience or being dismissed from an experience is unacceptable. Refer to the HSAT 2050 syllabus for specific information.



  1. Students are expected, at all times, to present a professional appearance and attitude.
  2. Inclement weather: check with the Preceptor
  3. Clothing
        a.  Clothing must be modest.  All clothing must cover the belly and buttocks and not be excessively tight.
        b.  NO jeans, sweat pants, yoga pants.
        c.  Wind suit pants or khaki pants are the choice during cooler weather.
        d.  Pants and shorts should have a clean hemline (no cut-offs) and no holes.
        e.  The length of shorts will be considered appropriate when the shorts extend beyond the fingers with arms resting at side, and not going below the knee.
        f.  A belt must be worn with Khaki shorts or pants, black is the preferred color.
        g.  No underwear may be showing.  It is the discretion of the supervising AT as to when pants are too low.
        h.  Tank tops or sleeveless shirts will not be allowed.
        i.  Sweatshirts/jackets should not have logos other than VSU or they should be plain.  Color of sweatshirt/jacket should be red, black, gray, or white. 
        j.  Hats with a non-VSU logo are not permitted.  Hats should be red, black, gray, or white.  Hats may not be worn inside buildings
  4. Shoes
    a.  Athletic shoes must be worn at all times within the athletic training setting. 
      b.  No sandals, flip-flops, open toed, heel less or high heel shoes will be allowed.
  5. Athletic Training Students must wear a watch with seconds reading.
  6. Hair
    Maintain appropriate hair length and professional looking hairstyle that is well groomed. 
          a. Males: side burns above the middle of the ear, and must be clean shaven daily. 
        i.      For males, if the student has a medical condition that results in not being able to shave daily, then the student must provide written documentation from a treating physician to the Clinical Education Coordinator
       ii.  Females with shoulder length hair must have hair pulled back, and hair beyond shoulder length must be in a pony-tail.
  7. Piercings
    a.  Males:  NO facial piercing for male (includes earrings).
      b.  Females:  piercing is limited to ears and must be limited to 2 per ear.  Female earrings must be modest for safety purposes (no large hoops or dangling earrings).
    c.  Males and females:  No visible body piercing is permitted.
  8. Fingernails must be properly manicured per CDC regulations.
         a. Artificial fingernails or extenders are prohibited
         b.  When viewing from the palmar surface fingernail tips must not be visible beyond the tips of the fingers.
         c.   No fingernail polish
  1. Tattoos
    1. Visible tattoos must be covered.
    2. The student must provide the supplies to cover tattoos. The method and material utilized to cover tattoos must be approved by the student’s ACI/CI.
    3. The Preceptor may require that the student wear long sleeves or long pants if another method of covering tattoos cannot be determined.

     10.   Breath should be fresh.

     11.   Body odors should be pleasant with fragrances kept to a minimum.