Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


The Relationship Between Athletic Training Program Directors Self-Reported Leadership Style and Program Success

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Chris Willis (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Sara Worley (Other)

Third Advisor

Debra Ball (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Paul Johnson (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Kristina LaVenia (Committee Member)


This dissertation explored the relationship between Athletic Training Program Directors’ (ATPDs) self-reported leadership style and Athletic Training Program (ATP) success. The metrics of determinants of ATP success were derived from data that the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) annual report seeks from all ATPs for continuing accreditation. Forty-six ATPDs from CAATE-accredited Athletic Training Programs (ATPs) completed the survey. Most ATPDs from this sample came from undergraduate ATPs, with a few responsible for graduate degree programs, and even fewer responsible for undergraduate and graduate programs. All ATPD participants completed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ; Avolio & Bass, 2004), demographic information, educational history-related questions, years of experience as an ATPD, and other leadership roles/experience.

This study established that ATPDs’ self-reported predominant leadership style is transformational in nature. This study demonstrated a statistically significant relationship when examining ATPDs’ self-reported leadership style and ATP success within one of the four ATP success metrics examined: Percent ATS post-graduation employment. This study was not able to demonstrate a statistically significant relationship between ATPDs’ self-reported leadership style and percent ATP retention, ATP percent first-time Board of Certification (BOC) pass rate, or percent ATP graduation rate. The lack of significance in three of the four variables likely is due to the small sample of participants. This study was underpowered. Furthermore, additional variables likely should be considered when determining the relationship between ATPD leadership style and ATP success.