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Masters of Athletic Training Moves to Fort Wayne Campus

Jackson Johnstone

The Masters of Athletic Training program has officially moved to MU’s Fort Wayne Campus. Although Program Director Lucas Dargo is sad to leave North Manchester, as he is going to miss the “homey” feel that made him fall in love with the campus, he is ultimately excited about the transition.

Why did the program move? Dargo stated that the program needed to eliminate all of the issues of being in a small town such as the driving distance for clinical education, resources and having a limited amount of space. He believes that the move also allows the program to grow from one of the smallest into one of the largest in the region. By having more resources Manchester is now able to compete with larger schools and increase its enrollment. The move has also allowed for new accreditation standards such as the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Dargo believes that Manchester’s program has easily become one of the best in the state, if not the nation.

Dr. Jessica Huett, assistant professor of exercise science and athletic training coordinator of Athletic Training Clinical Education has been hard at work finding more clinical education sites. Most of these sites are in the Fort Wayne area, as large hospitals such as Parkview are nearby.

According to Dargo, Fort Wayne provides a lot more opportunities for students to have interprofessional education with its facilities, school of pharmacy and numerous neighboring schools. Dargo believes that MU’s facilities in Fort Wayne are “second to none” as they provide ample space for all 14 Master’s students to work. The new facility is a state-of-the-art, 80,000-square-foot building with top-rated technology, along with the latest equipment. He notes that the larger facility size allows the students to still participate in interactive learning during the current global pandemic.

Dargo is also very excited about having rooms to host standardized patients, who are trained actors for the students to practice with. This allows students to test their knowledge with semi real-life patient scenarios. And he is glad to have a large enough lecture hall to host outside speakers while allowing for social distancing.

Dargo is deeply invested in creating a successful program. Growing up in Muncie, IN, he always knew that he wanted to be a health teacher and athletic trainer. This goal pushed him to get a Doctor of Athletic Training from Indiana State, a Master’s in Athletic Training from Ohio University, and a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Ball State. And now he’s overseeing a program that currently boasts that 100 percent of MAT candidates have passed their National Board of Certification exam. He hopes to continue to make the entire Manchester community proud.