To investigate preadmission criteria, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, and high school grade point average (HSGPA) and to determine the ability of those criteria to predict the college grade point average (CGPA) of graduates from programs in athletic training and 5 other allied health disciplines.
Design and Setting:
Descriptive data, including age, sex, year of graduation, HSGPA, CGPA, and SAT scores (SAT mathematics [SATM], SAT verbal [SATV], and SAT total) were gathered from the files of graduates (1992 to 1997) of allied health education programs.
The complete records of 373 graduates (244 women and 129 men) of 6 allied health education programs in athletic training, health management systems, occupational therapy, perfusion technology, physician assistant, and physical therapy were used in this study. Subjects with incomplete files were excluded from this study.
We collected data from official college transcripts, official high school transcripts, and SAT scores reported to the university. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, Pearson correlation, and stepwise forward regression analyses were used to determine the ability of SATV score, SATM score, and HSGPA to predict CGPA.
Both SATV score and HSGPA were found to predict 14% of the variance in student success (CGPA) in all allied health programs; however, only HSGPA was predictive of student success in athletic training (P = .00). Both SATV score and HSGPA were predictive of CGPA in both physical (P = .02 and .03, respectively) and occupational (P = .02 and .00, respectively) therapy graduates; however, they predicted only 12% and 21%, respectively, of the variance in CGPA. The SATM score was predictive of CGPA in both perfusion technology (P = .05) and physician assistant (P = .00) graduates, accounting for 7% and 18% of the variance in outcomes.
Overall, HSGPA and SATV score were predictive of student success (CGPA) in the allied health group as a whole and should continue to be used as part of the process of admission in higher education until such time that more predictive criteria are determined. The HSGPA was predictive of CGPA (r
2 = 0.38) in athletic training graduates, predicting more than one third of the professional program success. Athletic training educators should continue to use HSGPA as a predictor of success; however, they may wish to establish similar baseline comparisons between athletic training and other disciplines at their schools before determining the importance of standardized preadmission criteria for future students. This work should be considered a pilot study for the profession of athletic training and should be repeated at individual schools to determine the findings' applicability to other athletic training education programs.