Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Kelly T. Clark


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between preceptor mentorship to athletic training students and first-attempt success on the Board of Certification (BOC) exam. Adult learning theory provides the theoretical framework. The study followed a mixed-method approach, using a focus-group discussion to gain a qualitative understanding of results from the online survey.

All candidates for the exam in November 2014, February 2015, and April 2015 were invited to complete the researcher-developed Athletic Training Preceptor Mentoring Traits survey. Weekly email reminders were sent until an acceptable response rate had been achieved. After the close of each survey window, the data were analyzed for each exam cohort and for the aggregate. A focus group from the sample discussed the aggregate data to satisfy the mixed-method design.

The present study found significant associations between all 25 Likert-type mentoring traits and first-attempt success on the BOC exam. Independent sample t tests also revealed significant differences between the overall Likert-type scale score for first- attempt pass candidates and candidates who did not pass the BOC exam on the first attempt. Mentor recognition was most prevalent among students under 30 years of age, but no significant difference was found between overall Likert-type scale scores for preceptors of undergraduate and graduate students. The results of the present study indicate that athletic training students who perceive mentoring characteristics in their most influential preceptors pass the BOC exam on the first attempt more frequently than candidates who do not perceive mentoring characteristics in their most influential preceptors. This association may be a function of a strong interpersonal relationship that facilitates the students’ self-confidence for clinical skills.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.