History of Castleton University and the AT Program


Founded in 1787, Castleton is the oldest institution of higher learning in Vermont and the 18th oldest in the country. Today, the campus includes 32 buildings situated on a 165-acre main campus and one 40,000 square foot arena located 11 miles east of the campus.  The university is located in the rural lakes region of western Vermont, twelve miles east of Rutland and six miles east of New York State.  Three of the university’s oldest buildings, along with much of the village of Castleton, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Vermont’s spectacular Green Mountains are visible to the east, and the Adirondack Range and Lake Champlain lie to the west and north.

 On October 15, 1787, the General Assembly of the Republic of Vermont granted a charter to the Rutland County Grammar School.  The school evolved to become, in turn, the Vermont Classical High School, Castleton Seminary, State Normal School, Castleton Normal School, Castleton State Teachers College, Castleton State College and in July 2015, Castleton University.

 The Castleton Medical College, founded in 1818, was the first such college in Vermont and for some time the largest in New England.

 Castleton came under direct public control in 1912, when the property was purchased by the State of Vermont.  Since that time, Castleton has grown into a comprehensive institution of higher education offering a wide range of programs in the sciences, the arts, the humanities, and career and professional fields.

 Castleton University, has over 2,000 full and part-time students, over 30 undergraduate programs, and nine graduate programs.  


The Athletic Training Program (AT Program) at Castleton University saw its beginnings in the mid 1970’s when a few students completed the Physical Education program at Castleton and pursued masters degrees in Athletic Training from Indiana State University. Three of these alumni, Dr. David Perrin, Mr. Mike Terralault, and Dr. John Cottone all returned to Castleton State College to hold faculty positions. They all played a role in the development of the academic and clinical program in athletic training.

When Dr. Cottone left Castleton in 1985 to become the Director of Athletic Training at SUNY Cortland, John Feenick began his twenty years of service to Castleton as the Program Director. Under John Feenick’s direction, the program received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in 2000. In 2005 it was reaccredited by CAAHEP, and then in 2006 it became accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), which is the new accrediting body for athletic training education programs. Professor Feenick turned over the reins as program director to Professor Reese Boucher in 2006, and he continued to serve as the Chair of the Department of Health, Human Movement & Sport at Castleton until his retirement in 2015. Reese Boucher began her service to Castleton in 1997 as a member of the Athletic Training faculty as well as Clinical Coordinator of the AT Program, and currently serves as the director of the program.

Students complete the curriculum at Castleton and are encouraged to enter graduate programs in athletic training. Often students enter Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, or other allied health graduate programs. Our alumni work at private boarding schools, public high schools, sports medicine clinics, professional teams, colleges and universities. Many alumni from the program have distinguished themselves as among the leaders in the profession.

Athletic training is an exciting and ever changing field of health care. Since its inception in 1977, the AT Program has grown and changed with the times. We have a history of outstanding educators who have founded our program, and are proud of the many accomplishments of the alumni of our program. The current instructional staff of the program, like that of our predecessors, is dedicated to offering our students a sound academic and clinical experience which fully prepares them to enter the profession of Athletic Training.