Students chasing after the new master’s of arts degree in the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport are putting in a little more leg work to get it.
The new program concentrates on athletic training and allows graduate students, who are required to be board certified or eligible for the board’s exam, to learn the material in different ways.
“Once they’re board certified, we know they are prepared for more advanced training,” said Kimberly Peer, athletic training education program coordinator.
Students take four new core athletic training courses developed specifically for the program.
In Contemporary Issues in Athletic Training, students learn about changes in the industry and policies or trends that affect it. The class covers reimbursement for athletic training services, women in athletic training and the push for athletic training to be used in an industrial environment.
“Athletic trainers have kind of merged with people who got hurt on the job,” Peer said. “Industrial workers are like, ‘I see a guy playing football sprain his ankle and he’s back the next week.'”
Students will also learn about curriculum design and educational learning theories in Education and Supervision Processes in Athletic Training. Students will learn how to motivate students and properly assess the amount of learning in a clinical environment.
Advanced Clinical Applications in Athletic Training simply allows each student to increase his or her knowledge base – but, rather than listen to a lecture for a couple hours, they work with lasers which use heat from the beam to help the body heal tissue.
Students will apply lessons learned in Clinical Inquiry in Athletic Training where they complete a clinical research project. Peer said a student could learn about something such as leg movement and knee injuries through different clinical research techniques.
The program, which doesn’t require any additional funding, will also include Leadership in Sport and Recreation and Ethics in Exercise, Leisure and Sport among other general courses.
Five students are enrolled in the program, which broke Peer’s initial estimate of two to three students. Students take classes in the evening because they are busy with field training during the day, working as graduate assistants in high schools, colleges or clinics.
Graduate student Kathy Kemp is working for Summa Health System where she treats and prevents ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries in athletes.
“We try to strengthen the ACL and educate the athlete about the proper techniques to care for it and to prevent any other injuries,” Kemp said.
Megan Bush, a graduate student who did her undergraduate studies at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., works at the MAC Center’s athletic training office and treats injured players at their practices for her field requirement. Coming from a Division II school, Bush said she was really excited to be working with players and staff from a Division I school.
“The experiences that I have had, even the bad, have made my ability to apply the knowledge that I received in my (undergraduate work) much more worthwhile,” Bush said.
Contact School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport reporter Amadeus Smith at [email protected]