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Oak Leaves

September 27, 2019


Dr. Huntington

Dr. Mark Huntington is the dean for Natural and Health Sciences and program director for Graduate Athletic Training Education. 

Photo by Chloe Arndt

Masters of Athletic Training Moves to Ft. Wayne Campus



Carlos Argueta

 

This fall, the master’s program for athletic training moved to the Fort Wayne Campus in order to revitalize the educational experience and to meet accredited standards.

The move comes after a low interest in the master’s program in its rural North Manchester location, and was made believing that both the new urban environment and the new facility would draw more students. With the move to Fort Wayne, the university hopes to attract more attention to its athletic training program from clinics and other institutions in the area for students to work with and gain experience from.

“Because Manchester’s focus on health professions is going to be on the Fort Wayne campus, we thought that it was a great opportunity to improve our visibility, to improve our perception of athletic training as a healthcare profession,” said Dr. Mark  Huntington, dean for Natural and Health Sciences and program director for Graduate Athletic Training Education. “With graduate students, we felt that Fort Wayne was a much more desirable place to live. There is a lot more to do, and we have a lot of more clinical experience opportunities.”

Seeking higher enrollment was not the only reason for this move. The program had to move to meet accredited standards by housing all the health profession programs in one location. “We are a part of an accredited program with a standard we have to meet, and that standard is that if there is another health profession at the institution, then you have to be administratively housed at the same place,” Huntington said.

The move has gone well for the program. With the Fort Wayne campus already being dedicated to medicine and health, the university did not have to make too many significant changes to accommodate the athletic training program. “It was a chance to move into an almost brand-new facility,” Huntington said. “We did reconfigure a room on campus for our athletic training laboratory, and it worked out well for us.”

Manchester is already seeing the benefits of the transition. Enrollment numbers have gone up, the change is more convenient for the professors who commute, and it is just the start of the athletic training program transitioning to Fort Wayne. “We saw our enrollment go from a class of two to a cohort of 14 that came onto the Fort Wayne campus,” Huntington said. “A lot of that is due to the fact that we are at Fort Wayne.”

This is just the beginning of a shift to move the athletic training faculty and curriculum to the Fort Wayne campus permanently in the future. “Dr. Beer, Professor Foreman and I have teaching responsibilities on the North Manchester campus,” Huntington said, “but eventually we will shift over to Fort Wayne full time.”