A Study of Individual and Institutional Demographic Factors That Predict Candidate Performance on the Board of Certification Examination




Parham, Candace S.

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The purpose of this study was to determine if individual and institutional factors predict candidates’ performance on the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (BOC) examination and to determine if institutions’ demographic profiles of athletic training predict pass rates on the BOC examination for people of color (POC). A BOC candidate dataset was obtained with demographic variables for 18,127 candidates from 346 institutions. Race, sex, funding type, institution type, and geographic location were predictive of candidates’ performance on the BOC examination. Of the individual variables that were statistically significant, POC and female candidates were more likely to fail the BOC examination than White and male candidates, respectively. Private institutions and historically Black colleges and universities also had higher associations with failure than public and predominantly White institutions. Of the ten geographic locations studied, candidates in Districts 8 and 10 were less likely to fail compared to the reference group, candidates in District 4. Additionally, demographic profile data was collected from 170 institutions and analyzed to predict pass rates on the BOC examination for POC from the number of years since accreditation, minimum required grade point average to remain in the program, secondary admissions process, maximum enrollment, percentage of students of color accepted, percentage of faculty of color, and percentage of preceptors of color. The seven variables did not predict pass rates for POC. Overall, the recommendation for athletic training education is to increase diversity within programs and identify intervention strategies to help POC succeed on the BOC examination. Future researchers should include experimentation with specific interventions, detection of best practices, and reassessment of the variables of interest from the present study at the master’s level.



Education, Higher education, Kinesiology, Athletic training education, BOC examination, Certification, Diversity, Hierarchical linear modeling, Pass rate