UWM has signed the first of a planned series of agreements with area universities and colleges to provide an accelerated, dual degree program for students interested in pursuing a career in athletic training.
Through a new partnership with Wisconsin Lutheran College, students will be able to earn both a bachelor of science degree in sport and exercise science from Wisconsin Lutheran and a master of science degree in athletic training (MSAT) from UWM’s College of Health Sciences in just five years. It takes six years to finish both degrees in the traditional format.
Through the dual degree program, called a 3+2 program, WLC students complete three years of undergraduate coursework and then transition to UWM for their last two years.
The accelerated dual degree program has been available to UWM undergraduate kinesiology students since last year. The first UWM students enrolled will begin their professional phase (the last two years) this summer.
UWM hopes to sign similar agreements with other partners, making the accelerated program available to a wider pool of college students.
“We are thrilled to establish this partnership, giving WLC students the opportunity to save tuition expenses and enter the workforce sooner,” said Jennifer Earl-Boehm, UWM’s MSAT program director. “Expanding this program to other colleges in the future will give more students from Wisconsin and the region access to MSAT education in the diverse urban environment.”
The demand for professional athletic trainers is expected to grow 19% through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While a bachelor’s degree and licensure/certification are typically required, many employers prefer master’s-prepared athletic trainers.
“This dual degree program positions our graduates for future career advancement and leadership right out of the gate,” said Rachel Kuehl, head of Wisconsin Lutheran’s sport and exercise science program.