UW-Stevens Point: Launches athletic training master's degree program
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The first University of Wisconsin institution to offer an athletic training undergraduate major, UW-Stevens Point is now transitioning the program into a master of science in athletic training (MS-AT).
This new graduate program meets the national standard requiring athletic trainer education to be at a master’s degree level, starting in 2022. The first session of the two-year program begins in May 2018. Those interested may apply now. Application review begins Oct. 1 and will continue into winter.
This master’s program will provide learning opportunities in the classroom and real-world settings. Clinical practicums will be offered each semester through UW-Stevens Point Athletics Department Sports Medicine, area high schools and clinics. Master’s students will practice hands-on techniques alongside athletic training professionals. In their second year, students can complete clinical practicums across the country.
“Our curriculum builds on students’ previous knowledge and challenges them to think critically and apply their skills early in the MS-AT program,” said Professor Holly Schmies, director of the UW-Stevens Point athletic training program. “We have great athletic trainers in the area who provide strong mentorship and help mold strong, confident professionals during clinical experiences.”
Career prospects are strong for graduates, Schmies said. The UW-Stevens Point athletic training undergraduate program has had a 100 percent employee placement rate every year since 2004.
“When I hire a UW-Stevens Point athletic training graduate, I'm confident we will get a competent, mature individual ready to make sound clinical decisions,” said Jim Nesbit, athletic training manager at Marshfield Clinic. “We are excited to build on these strengths with UW-Stevens Point’s new master’s program.”
To prepare for this program, undergraduate students may declare a major in health science with an option in pre-athletic training. This provides the foundational knowledge to be successful in the MS-AT program. In addition to health-related undergraduate degrees, students with bachelor of science degrees in such areas as communication, business, fine arts and biology are encouraged to apply. Visit uwsp.edu for more on admissions requirements and to apply.
The graduate-level program meets new accreditation and licensure requirements for athletic trainers. These professionals specialize in the prevention and treatment of patients whose injuries result from physical activity. UW-Stevens Point is accredited at the master’s level by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.
“The profession is working with a wider range of patients and settings, and athletic trainers have more demands than even before,” Schmies said. “UW-Stevens Point works to ensure graduates are ready for successful careers and stay current with the changing professional requirements.”