Gannon University Adds Master of Athletic Training Program at Florida Campus

Posted: March 3, 2017

Gannon University announces a Master of Athletic Training (MAT) program at its Ruskin, Florida campus. The new program is accepting applications for the first cohort of students who will begin classes this year. The MAT program is the third to be offered at the Ruskin campus, which opened in 2015, joining programs leading to Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degrees.

According to the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education (CAATE), Gannon University is the only institution of higher learning to offer MAT programs on campuses in two different states.

The Ruskin MAT program offers a two-year postgraduate degree for individuals who have already completed their bachelor's degree and incorporates didactic and clinical education experiences necessary to prepare them to become certified athletic trainers through the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. The program's comprehensive curriculum has been designed to integrate formal classroom instruction, online coursework and hands-on clinical experiences.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for athletic trainers are expected to grow by 30 percent between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the average for overall occupations. Such employment trends highlight the need for Masters level athletic trainers in order to advance the fields of exercise science and athletic training. Further, CAATE has required that all athletic training professional programs move to the master's level by no later than 2022.

"With the number of programs offered in occupational therapy, athletic training and physical therapy at both the Erie, Pennsylvania and Ruskin, Florida campuses, Gannon University has to be on the shortlist of anyone preparing for a career in the rehabilitative sciences," said Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D., Gannon University vice president for academic affairs.

"With a climate that promotes year-round outdoor athletic activity, Florida is an ideal location in which to educate the athletic trainers of the future," said Susan Wehring, ATC, LAT, the director of the Ruskin MAT program.

The 3+2 direct-entry MAT program at Gannon's Erie, Pennsylvania campus received accreditation in 2016 by CAATE for the maximum period of five years, becoming one of 51 accredited Master of Athletic Training programs in the nation.

Gannon University, Ruskin, Florida, is currently seeking accreditation for their new Athletic Training program and is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The institution will be submitting a self-study to begin the accreditation process on July 1, 2018. 

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