SRU’s athletic training master’s program received accreditation, with the process initially proposed in Fall of 2015.
The program was approved by the Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) in January of 2016 and was officially granted accreditation this month. In order for a program to be accredited, it has to be recognized nationally. The athletic training undergraduate program has been accredited at Slippery Rock since 1974, and now has a graduate program as well.
“Anytime you propose a graduate program, it is a challenge to justify it and for the institution to support it,” Bonnie Siple, associate professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences said. “It requires a lot of paperwork.”
There are currently about 75 undergraduate students in the athletic training program. Due to the structure of the program, current seniors will not be able to participate in the graduate program. However, current undergrads in the fields of recreational therapy, exercise science and biology can apply for the graduate program upon graduation. The current freshmen exercise science majors are the first students that are considered pre-athletic training majors and are eligible to complete the 3 + 2 program in the field. Siple said that it would be difficult for current juniors and seniors to do this unless they had already been working toward the prerequisite.
Siple said the new curriculum is very unique and that she had never seen another program quite like it. As of now, undergraduates take courses in individual topics such as rehabilitation and return-to-play. With the new program, an integrated curriculum will be introduced. Students will have cadaver and anatomy labs that will teach them how to diagnose and rehabilitate each part of the body, representing how the scenario would play out in real life.
“We are all pretty excited about it,” Siple said.
Applications are now being accepted. There will also be an information session on Tuesday, Oct. 17 put on by the graduate office during common hour in Patterson Hall Room 202.