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Benedictine College has announced the Athletic Health Care major for the Fall 2017 semester. The new major will allow for continuation into Master’s level programs leading to certification in a number of allied health care professions.
“A central focus of the major will be to provide introductory health care knowledge and skills to a wide array of allied medical disciplines including physical therapy, athletic training, chiropractic and sports medicine (pre-med),” said Dr. David Slack, associate professor in the Benedictine College Department of Health, Wellness and Exercise Science. “The Athletic Health Care major will introduce helpful information to guide these students toward their chosen profession.”
The new major replaces the Athletic Training major and is in response to the Commission of Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) decision to require a Master’s Degree for athletic training licensure and discontinue accreditation for a Bachelor’s degree. The CAATE decision eliminated the undergraduate Athletic Training major across the country.
“Students are attracted to the field of athletic health care because they love sports and physical activity,” said Slack. “Successful sports health care professionals have an affinity for physiology and science and possess a strong commitment to advancing and improving the health and physical capabilities of others.”
The new Athletic Health Care major involves the application of medical and scientific principles to sports, exercise and the ability of the body to perform physically. It focuses more on the medical aspects of physical activity. This degree will not only involve courses in injury prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management, but will also include an understanding of how illnesses and disease influences health and physical performance.
Slack said there are many opportunities within the allied health fields for which the Athletic Health Care major will be an entry point. A degree in Athletic Health Care can lead to career opportunities in athletic training, physical therapy, coaching, sports psychology and nutrition.
“As athletes at the professional, college, and high school level continue to push their bodies to be bigger, faster and stronger, and as the popularity of personal trainers and nutritionists increase, there will continue to be many opportunities for employment in sports performance and health care,” he said.
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predictions, job opportunities for fitness and recreation professionals will grow faster than average over the next decade, and job opportunities for athletes and coaches will continue to grow. Physical therapists and athletic trainers will find that their job opportunities will grow faster than average, while careers for nutritionists and dieticians will grow at an average rate.