Colorado Mesa University will offer a master’s degree in athletic training program to enable students to meet more rigorous professional standards.
“We are taking the steps now to get out in front of the changes that are coming,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “This is an ever-growing and evolving industry. It is in our students’ best interests for us to be nimble in providing them the opportunity to get ahead of the game.”
The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, the accrediting body for athletic training programs, recently changed its accreditation policy, mandating that accredited professional athletic training programs must result in the granting of a master’s degree in athletic training by fall 2022.
CMU will discontinue its bachelor’s degree program in athletic training in conjunction with acquiring required approval of the new master’s degree program.
Emphasis will be placed on accommodating current students in either the bachelor’s program or as part of the new master’s program. The new graduate athletic training program will ideally begin no later than fall 2019.
To become certified, athletic trainers must pass an exam administered through a national board of certification. To sit for the exam, the candidate must have completed an accredited athletic training program and, as of 2022, only programs culminating in a master’s degree will be accredited.
There are currently 63 CMU students in the bachelor’s degree athletic training program and another 68 students classified as pre-athletic training for a total of 131 students.
“We are working now to ensure that our students get the education and credentials upon which they will be able to build their careers as athletic trainers,” Foster said, adding that the specific options open to students are being evaluated and will be communicated to students once finalized.