Limestone University is taking its athletic training program to the next level.
Beginning in the summer of 2022, Limestone University will begin offering its fifth graduate program with the addition of a new Master of Athletic Training degree.
The new degree will be joining Limestone’s other graduate programs that include Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (Healthcare Administration Concentration), Master of Social Work, and Master of Science in Health Informatics.
Limestone’s Master of Athletic Training program was awarded its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) earlier this year, paving the way for the program to begin next summer.
The Master of Athletic Training program at Limestone will be a vigorous 60 credit-hour graduate program that takes place over 24 months in face-to-face and hybrid formats to prepare students to earn the certified athletic trainer credential.
Beginning in the fall of 2022, becoming a certified athletic trainer will require students to graduate with a master’s from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a comprehensive test administered by the Board of Certification. Limestone’s undergraduate athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Current students enrolled in an undergraduate program will not be required to obtain a master’s degree to be eligible for the exam. Limestone’s undergraduate program will apply to the CAATE for a change in level of degree in 2022.
“We are so excited to have obtained our SACSCOC accreditation to begin our Master of Athletic Training program here at Limestone,” said Director of Athletic Training Vanessa Fulbright, who is an Assistant Professor of Athletic Training and Physical Education, and Department Chair of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University. “We are transitioning out the undergraduate athletic training – with only two cohorts left. We have developed a major in health science with a concentration in pre-athletic training to allow students to seamlessly transition into our new Master’s program. We are also looking forward to welcoming new Saints who will join our Master of Athletic Training program after earning their bachelor’s degrees at other institutions.”
Fulbright noted that the mission of Limestone’s Master of Athletic Training program is to develop and foster the professional preparation of future athletic trainers. The program aims to produce competent clinicians with the ability to operate in an inter-professional environment that is founded on evidence-based principles. The program encourages personal and professional growth through ethical decision making, and critical thinking underpinned by the ideals of the University.
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians. The services provided comprise of prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic Trainers work under the direction of physicians, as prescribed by state licensure statutes.
Students are provided with academic instruction and hands-on clinical experiences as well as learning alongside other healthcare professionals.
Outside of an athletic setting, a certified athletic trainer may work in a clinic, hospital, or business and provide wellness services, manual therapy, and illness prevention coaching, and teaching.
Athletic training is considered an allied health profession by the American Medical Association, Health Resources Services Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services. According to ExploreHealthCareers.org, there are five million allied health professionals in the United States. These professionals work in more than 80 different careers and constitute 60 percent of all health care providers. The website indicated that athletic trainer job opportunities were expected to grow 19 percent between 2018-2028, an increase of 5,900 jobs over that time frame. Total jobs are expected to reach 37,000 across the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We appreciate so much the efforts of Vanessa and her team to gain SACSCOC accreditation and to launch Limestone’s new Master of Athletic Training program next fall,” said the University’s Provost, Dr. Monica Baloga. “Limestone’s undergraduate program in athletic training is well-known for its academic excellence. We are committed to making sure that our students continue to receive the highest level of education and training necessary to flourish in the field of athletic training, which led to our decision to add the master’s program. Part of our strategic plan is to grow graduate programs in competitive fields to position Limestone students for professional success.
“The field of athletic training is developing at a faster rate than other healthcare professions and needs a growing number of highly qualified professionals,” Baloga added. “Limestone is devoted to producing highly qualified graduates from our program to meet those needs.”
To learn more about Limestone’s Master of Athletic Training program, including admission requirements, click HERE.