|LVC Launches Two New Academic Programs—Athletic Training and Exercise Science
Dr. Stan Dacko, chair and associate professor of physical therapy, has announced that Lebanon Valley College has added two new majors to join its nationally known physical therapy program. Athletic training, a 3+2 program leading to a master’s degree, and exercise science, a four-year baccalaureate program, will welcome their first classes in fall 2015. The application process to be part of this competitive—and historic—class is already underway.
“I am pleased that the College is adding programs in the health and wellness sciences that build on the already nationally recognized LVC doctor of physical therapy program,” Dr. Dacko said. “I am equally pleased that our graduates will have strong employment options once they graduate from LVC. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be an anticipated 19 percent increase in employment prospects within the next decade for athletic trainers and exercise science majors.”
The freshman entry master’s degree program is purposefully designed for engaging collaboration with health care majors, professionals, and LVC’s nationally successful intercollegiate athletics program. Athletic training majors will work with student-athletes and coaches from the College’s 24 intercollegiate teams and will benefit from LVC’s excellent training and competition facilities. They will also have opportunities to work and/or intern with other athletics-related facilities and events.
Athletic trainers are members of a health care team involved in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating individuals with sports-related injuries, and who also advise on best methodologies for the active prevention of injuries. At LVC, after a competitive admission process, athletic training majors will spend their first three years on campus taking foundational and general education courses before moving onto two years of professional training and courses.
Luke Berguson ’15, D’17 is a member of the men’s basketball team and entering his fourth year as a student athletic trainer, one of 20+ current student athletic trainers. In the fall, Luke works with the football team and works with the men’s and women’s tennis teams in the spring. He has also been known to help out with the women’s basketball team at times, helping them before suiting up to play in his own game.
“I think it’s great that majors in these new programs will have the opportunity to work with LVC’s certified athletic trainers—Erin Ulrich, Caitlin Foltz, and Megan Inama—which I believe are among the best in the Middle Atlantic Conference,” Berguson said. “LVC will provide these students with real-life experiences and learning opportunities that I know they will directly benefit from.”
The unique nature of this 3+2 program will enable athletic training majors to earn a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in four years and a master’s degree in athletic training after the fifth year.
In addition to a national search for a program director, the College will seek accreditation of the program from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), which is expected in 2020. This will allow graduates to be eligible to take the Board of Certification Exam (BOC) after completion of the program.
An athletic training master’s degree provides several additional career options, including certification as an Emergency Medical Technician or as a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Graduates work in a variety of career settings, including in colleges and universities, professional sports teams, high schools and middle schools, as physician extenders, and industrial or occupational medicine.
A complementary option, a bachelor’s in exercise science, will also be available to those wishing to graduate in the traditional four years. Students in LVC’s Exercise Science Program will explore the interaction between exercise and human performance with supportive, responsive, and experienced faculty. They will also examine the factors involved in health and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise science majors will initially take courses in basic foundational sciences, followed by a content area that has a direct application to exercise prescription and rehabilitation. They will also complete an impactful, hands-on practicum experience during their fourth year.
Like athletic training, exercise science majors can also seek additional certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association or the American College of Sports Medicine to increase opportunities for employment.
Career opportunities for graduates with a B.S. in exercise science range from serving as a personal trainer or corporate fitness/wellness expert to clinical exercise special or clinical exercise physiologist. Other graduates pursue careers as strength and conditioning coaches or pursue additional graduate studies or research.
The College’s track record in physical therapy bodes well for these new programs. LVC DPT graduates boast 100 percent job placement rates as well as 100% pass rates on the physical therapy board exam. A strong and active alumni network ensures that athletic training and exercise science graduates will have extensive support during and after program completion.
To learn more about these programs, including admission requirements and the best times to visit LVC, visit Athletic Training or Exercise Science.