Lock Haven, Pa. -- The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) has announced that Dr. Eric Lippincott, Lock Haven University associate professor in the Health Science Department, as their new athletic training commissioner. Dr. Lippincott will begin his duties with CAATE in September.
In his 20 years at LHU, Dr. Lippincott has led the athletic training program through several significant changes. After assuming the role of program director in 2004, he led the program through successful accreditation site visits in 2006 and 2013. The transition process included a full proposal to the University Council of Trustees, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and a substantive change degree request to CAATE.
Under Dr. Lippincott's leadership, the graduate program has seen significant growth over the last four years. He is currently leading the program through a full curricular review in preparation for the 2020 Accreditation Standards. Dr. Lippincott currently teaches several undergraduate health science courses, graduate athletic training courses, and works clinically in the on-campus rehabilitation center. He serves on both the department and university curricular committees and recently participated in a year-long university leadership forum.
In his almost 15 years volunteering with CAATE, Dr. Lippincott has been an accreditation site visitor for the last 13 years; a member of the CAATE review committee for six years, serving as team lead for three years; chair of the quality assurance committee from 2017 to 2019; and the ad hoc site visitor selection committee.
“My volunteer work with the CAATE has provided me an intimate knowledge of the accreditation standards for athletic training education,” Lippincott said. “As program director of the graduate athletic training program at LHU, it is vital that I stay informed of industry trends, professional changes and best practices for educators, and what better way than serving in a leadership capacity with the accrediting organization.”
Last fall, CAATE put out a call for commissioners, specifically looking for an individual with expertise in professional program education. Dr. Lippincott submitted an application and was chosen among two finalists after interviews. Each accredited athletic program was given a vote, and Dr. Lippincott was notified of his selection in April.
“I look forward to working alongside other leaders in the profession to assess and improve the quality of athletic training education that occurs across the country,” Lippincott said.
As commissioner, his duties will include monthly conference calls to discuss the business of the organization and make accreditation decisions. He will attend semi-annual in-person meetings for ongoing reviews of accreditation standards and practices, assist in the development of CAATE strategy governance and policy, and provide input to CAATE specifically as it pertains to higher education and impacts on faculty, students, and administration of accredited institutions.
The CAATE accredits three levels of programs: professional and post-professional programs and residencies. The primary duty of the 14 commissioners is to confirm the quality of education happening at all three levels. Education drives the athletic training profession forward, and so the Commission has a responsibility of setting a long-term vision for the profession.
“My service with the CAATE has, and will continue to have, a direct and positive impact on the MS-AT program at LHU,” Lippincott said. “I feel strongly that my service to the CAATE has improved the AT program at LHU and also my skills as an educator and program director. It has also provided me countless opportunities for professional connections and networking.”