September 9, 2020 For more information, contact: Su Ofe, (334) 833-4515; firstname.lastname@example.org
Huntingdon Announces Master of Athletic Training Program
Montgomery, Ala.—For more than 166 years, Huntingdon College has offered undergraduate degrees exclusively, but that status will change in summer 2021 as the College introduces its first graduate program: the Master of Athletic Training. Applications are being accepted now, with a deadline to apply in January 2021.
“We are thrilled to make this monumental change for the College and for the higher education community,” said Huntingdon President J. Cameron West. “As licensure has changed for those who want to become Certified Athletic Trainers, requiring a master’s degree prior to sitting for the certification examination beginning in 2022, Huntingdon will be among the first graduate programs in athletic training in the state of Alabama.”
Huntingdon learned last week that the College had been approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer graduate-level programs. “The request for a substantive change accompanied a stellar SACS-COC accreditation review, which granted a ten-year extension on the College’s accreditation and, in a rare report, offered no recommendations for improvement,” added West. “We could not have hoped for a better outcome.”
Huntingdon’s MAT program will be a six-semester commitment. The first cohort of students will enter in summer 2021 and will graduate following the spring semester 2023. “Athletic trainers work with physicians in the areas of injury prevention, injury evaluation, emergency care, therapeutic intervention, and organizational administration in a sports or active population environment,” said program director Dr. Jennifer Ballard, who is working with a team of Certified Athletic Trainers, licensed physical therapists, and sports medicine physicians to develop the program. “Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who provide service or treatment under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician. As part of the health care team, services provided by athletic trainers include injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.”
According to Ballard, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics expects more than twenty percent growth in demand for ATCs by 2024. “ATCs may work in myriad career settings, including colleges and universities, secondary schools, hospitals or rehabilitation clinics, military, industrial, performing arts, and amateur or professional sports. Huntingdon’s program will include hands-on training with every unit of study, with students completing six clinical internships working with Certified Athletic Trainers, physicians, or health care providers as part of the program. The sixth placement will be an 8-week immersion experience during which each student will participate in the totality of care as an athletic trainer in a setting supportive of his or her chosen career-specific field. This intensive training will ensure that graduates have ample experience through working knowledge and through study to enter the profession,” said Ballard.
Huntingdon will seek specialized accreditation for the Master of Athletic Training program through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The College will submit a self-study to begin the accreditation process in July 2022, a process that is anticipated to be completed in spring 2023.
“Huntingdon has offered undergraduate degrees in sport science for many years,” said West. “In fact, the Department of Sport Science and Physical Education is one of our largest and most popular academic departments. We are excited to begin this new adventure as we grow the institution into the realm of graduate education.”
Interested students may apply through the Athletic Training Centralized Application System (ATCAS) at https://atcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login. More information will be available soon on the College’s website at www.huntingdon.edu or may be obtained by contacting Dr. Jennifer Ballard at email@example.com or (334) 833-4433.