Date of Award


Document Type

Access Controlled Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Katherine Polasek, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Peter McGinnis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joy Hendrick, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to explore the career experiences of female athletic trainers at the NCAA Division III setting. This research examined women’s experiences working within the field. More specifically, the research examined: (a) the effect (if any) of the participant’s sex on their work experience, (b) common obstacles females faced in their career, (c) the relationship women had with other women in the profession, and (d) the appeal (if any) of the NCAA Division III setting. The participants consisted of 22 female certified athletic trainers employed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III setting. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants from March 2008 to May 2008. The audiotaped interviews were transcribed verbatim. The interviews were analyzed with the use of open and axial coding. The findings were organized into three major themes. The three major themes categorizing the participants’ interviews included: (a) A Need for Balance, (b) Working in a Male Dominated Profession, and (c) Relationships with other Female Athletic Trainers.