SRU will be implementing a graduate level athletic training program to begin in the summer of 2020. This comes after all programs nationwide must phase into the graduate level in order to move forward.
Jackie Williams, the program director of the athletic training program, said they are currently phasing out the undergraduate athletic training education program, a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training. This new program will teach students in two years how to become athletic trainers.
“We provide them with skills and knowledge for the national certification exam and for graduation,” Williams said.
The new program allows students to get their master’s degree by getting any undergraduate degree that they choose, as long as they take the pre-requisite courses for the athletic training graduate program. Williams said the most common undergraduate major to get into this program would be exercise science.
“Students can finish and become an athletic trainer in five years if they take the 3+2 pre-professional athletic training undergraduate program in three years and then apply to graduate school and finish that in two years,” Williams said.
These students would finish with an undergraduate degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in athletic training. She said that everyone is positive about the new program.
“We are taking applications and accepting students,” Williams said. “We will have students coming to our graduate program from other places as well as SRU students.”
She said the program will begin with a few courses in the summer and then right into the fall and spring semesters.
Williams said that she is excited for this new program to give more students the opportunity to complete the program and become athletic trainers. She said many students prior to this wanted to change their major to athletic training during their Sophomore, Junior or Senior year, but that was not doable for undergraduate students.
She said SRU has also had several student athletes interested in the program, but the timing of both clashed.
“The time restraint from their sport and the time students spend doing clinical experience happen at the same time,” Williams said. “If a student athlete is at practice then the athletic training student might be providing medical care to that specific team.”
She said with the new program, it will be easier and more doable for student athletes because they would go to graduate school after their sport eligibility.
Williams said the department is ready to begin growing this program.
“For 45 years, we have had Athletic Training at SRU in some form, so we are excited to start at the new level as a master’s degree,” she said.