CAATE Newsletter – Fall 2021

Message from CAATE President: Eric Sauers, Ph.D., ATC, FNATA

It was a pleasure getting to interact with over 200 of our stakeholders during the latest CAATE Town Hall Webinar on Sept. 23. The webinar has now been posted on our website and can be viewed here. It is our goal to communicate via this town hall format on a quarterly basis moving forward. In addition to these town halls, we will continue to communicate through all of our outlets, including newsletters and e-blasts, and via our annual accreditation conference. 

The Commission is focused on developing resources to help you, our program administrators, faculty and preceptors. Most recently, we developed a series of resources to support the launch of the new set of standards for both the Professional AT Programs Accreditation Standards and Residency and Fellowship AT Programs, reflecting concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. This new section of our website will be continuously updated. On the webpage, you will see access to the education sessions we’ve developed to support our DEI and social justice standards and to assist programs with compliance to these new standards.

We heard from many of you that the challenges presented by COVID-19 have decreased your ability to travel and reduced access to funds for continuing education. As such, the board approved complimentary access to the 2021 CAATE Accreditation Conference. Stakeholders will be able to participate either in person or via unlimited access to recorded content after the event at no additional cost. I am looking forward to connecting with all of you who are able to join us in person in Orlando, Florida.

During the Board of Commissioners meeting, Sept. 10-11, we connected in person at our new Washington, D.C., headquarters. Not only is it a space I know you will be proud of, but this location puts us in the heart of the city among thousands of nonprofit and accreditation organizations, including the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), our CAATE accreditor. We did significant work to advance the strategic plan execution, and this will continue through 2021.

During this meeting, and in coordination with our SmithBucklin leadership team, the board voted to pause the leadership succession that traditionally takes place during this meeting for one year. This decision was based upon several factors: the ongoing impact of COVID-19; the transition to an association management company; our new strategic plan, which will lead to significant changes to our organizational structure; and the onboarding of a new executive director in the next several months. This pause will enable us to provide stability and continuity to our organization and was suggested by our leadership team at SmithBucklin as a best practice in times of significant organizational change.

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome two new commissioners to our ranks. Drs Kysha Harriell and BC Charles-Liscombe have both been elected to the board. They will begin participating in Commission meetings as of October, pending their schedules, and will become full voting members as of our next in-person meeting in February 2022.

I couldn’t be more proud of the DEI & Leadership Development Committee, led by Dr. Toni Torres-McGehee, for its exceptional work on the nominations process. By engineering such a thorough, inclusive and well-organized nomination process, the committee was able to present these two terrific candidates and have laid a blueprint for future nominations as we seek to continue to diversify our volunteer corps at the CAATE and, in particular, on the Commission. I am thrilled that our Commission Board is increasingly representative of the athletic training community we serve.

I am lucky and thankful to work with a team of exceptionally gifted volunteer leaders. I am also thankful for your commitment to the CAATE and the critical work you do to advance the AT profession. We are in a period of transformation, and I am very optimistic about the future.

Welcome New CAATE Commissioners

Kysha Harriell, Ph.D., LAT, ATC
Dr. Kysha Harriell is currently professor of clinical practice in the athletic training graduate program, senior associate dean of undergraduate education and executive director of the Office of Academic Enhancement at the University of Miami. Harriell served as chair of the NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee and has numerous professional presentations and publication in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion in athletic training and health care.

BC Charles-Liscombe, Ed.D., ATC
Dr. BC Charles-Liscombe is currently an associate professor and chair of the Department of Exercise Science and Integrative Health at Mount St. Joseph University. Charles-Liscombe has served as a program director and coordinator of clinical education at various institutions and has a number of professional presentations and publications in the field of public health and athletic training.

Congratulations 2021 CAATE Award Winners

Bob & Lynn Caruthers Service Award: Luzita Vela, Ph.D., LAT, ATC
Each year, the CAATE invites peer and self-nomination(s) of individuals for the Bob & Lynn Caruthers Service Award. This award is presented to an individual who demonstrates the character and performance traits Bob and Lynn Caruthers exemplified in their respective careers. Bob and Lynn demonstrated significant and distinguished service to the professional and specialized accreditation and excellence when working directly with constituent institutions.

Congratulations to Dr. Luzita Vela, whose strong work ethic, humility, integrity, and ability to organize and successfully manage the CAATE Standards Committee produced outcomes that will serve the CAATE for years to come. These outcomes include finalizing the 2020 Professional Standards and developing, vetting and publishing the DEI and Social Justice Standards.

The CAATE President’s Award: Peer Review Committee: Amanda Benson, Ph.D., ATC; Shawn Felton, Ed.D., ATC; Scott Heinerichs, Ed.D., ATC; Kelley Henderson, Ed.D., ATC; Jolene Henning, Ed.D., ATC; Ryan Krzyzanowicz, DAT, ATC; Mark Laursen, MS, ATC; Dani Moffit, Ph.D., ATC; Chris Schmidt, Ph.D., ATC; and Todd Neuharth, MA, ATC, CPH

The CAATE President’s Award is presented at the discretion of the CAATE president to recognize and honor an individual who has demonstrated exemplary service and leadership to the CAATE organization and the athletic training profession nationally and internationally. Through this award, the board wishes to recognize impact and service to the CAATE.

The Peer Review Committee members truly and sincerely embody the spirit of this award. As a new committee constituted in May 2020, they were charged to recruit, develop and support the peer-review volunteer corps of the Commission to perform comprehensive programmatic reviews for both quality assurance and quality improvement purposes. Through their tireless efforts, the CAATE pivoted from the traditional on-site reviews to virtual reviews, thus enabling us to carry out our most basic important functions as an accrediting body. They stepped up at a time when we needed them most!

The Awards and Volunteer Recognition Ceremony will take place on Friday, Oct. 8, at 6:30 p.m. ET as part of the 2021 CAATE Accreditation Conference in Orlando, Florida.

2021 CAATE Accreditation Conference

Colleagues and peers will meet in person at the 2021 CAATE Accreditation Conference from Oct. 8-9 in Orlando, Florida. For those who are unable to attend in person, all sessions will be recorded during the in-person conference and available at no cost on the CAATE website. Registration is required for the in-person event. No registration is needed to access the recorded sessions.

Visit the CAATE website to view the full schedule. Recordings will be posted approximately two weeks following the end of the conference.

2021 CHEA Update: Enhanced Transparency in Reporting of Accreditation Actions, and Student Achievement and Performance Data

As part of our normal 10-year recognition cycle, the Commission submitted an Interim Report in July 2020 to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the CAATE’s nongovernmental accreditor. Subsequently, the CHEA responded in December 2020 requiring the Commission to provide additional details about our public reporting of accreditation actions, and performance and student achievement.

The CHEA is seeking greater transparency in our public reporting of programmatic accreditation actions, and of our oversight of programs in their public reporting of student achievement and performance data (programmatic outcomes).

A detailed overview of changes that are in progress to enhance transparency in reporting of accreditation actions and student achievement and program performance data can be found here.

Deadline Reminder: Transition to the Master’s Degree for Professional Programs

The timeline for the transition of professional programs to the master’s degree was first released on Sept. 25, 2015. This announcement provided the following language: Baccalaureate programs may not admit, enroll or matriculate students into the athletic training program after the start of the fall term 2022. Professional programs transitioning from a baccalaureate to a post-baccalaureate may apply for continuing accreditation through this substantive change request for change in degree.

Programs are reminded that the last cycle to submit a notification of intent for substantive change-level of degree will be the Oct. 1, 2022, window, with a mini self-study due date of Dec. 1, 2022.

Additional information on the substantive change-level of degree process can be found on the CAATE website, and questions can be directed to the CAATE Office at 512-733-9700 or

Updates to the CAATE’s Fee Structure

With the goal of providing programs and institutions with the ability to plan their budget for future years, the CAATE has released the program fee structure for academic years 2022-2023 through 2023-2024.

An annual program fee is charged to all accredited programs to maintain the quality accreditation processes. Programs that are not yet accredited are not required to pay an annual program fee. Updates to the annual program fee structure are published on the CAATE website: Professional Programs, Post-Professional Programs and Residency & Fellowships.

Fee Schedule*

Fee Type




Professional Program Annual Accreditation Fee




Post-Professional Program Annual Accreditation Fee




Residency & Fellowship Program Annual Accreditation Fee




Initial Application Fee




Comprehensive Programmatic Review Fee: U.S. Program




Comprehensive Programmatic Review Fee: Non-U.S. Program




Initial Application Fee




Appeals Fee




Substantive Change Fee –  Level of Degree (until Fall 2022)




*All fees subject to change
**Application fee includes registration for two attendees to the CAATE Accreditation Conference and Pre-Conference Workshop.

Upcoming Dates

Oct. 8-9 – CAATE Annual Accreditation Conference