Bridgewater College announced today that it will establish its first graduate degree program – a Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) – building off one of the college’s strongest and most in-demand undergraduate programs. The college anticipates welcoming its first group of graduate students in May of 2017.
Bridgewater has offered a highly successful and well-regarded bachelor’s degree in athletic training since 2001. After the 2016-17 academic year, the college will no longer admit undergraduate athletic training students and will instead admit undergraduate students to a 3+2 master’s program in addition to admitting graduates of other four-year institutions to its two-year post-baccalaureate master of science program.
The two-year, 63-credit post-baccalaureate program focuses on preparing the athletic trainer of the future. The program continues the college’s exceptional undergraduate tradition of successful credentialing by engaging students in enhanced areas of inter-professional education, deeper understanding of the science of human function and dysfunction, recognition of relevant research and ways to incorporate that information into clinical practice. The students will also benefit from the college’s strong liberal arts tradition, melding professionals who understand the skills required of healthcare providers with those who can navigate positive strategies for communications, civic responsibility, ethics and healthcare in a more global context.
“It’s an important step for the college to strategically add graduate programs to its offerings,” said Bridgewater College President David W. Bushman. “We want to meet the educational needs of our student body and the greater community. The past successes of our prestigious and prominent undergraduate-level athletic training program make it the logical place to take what will be just the first step on the journey into graduate education.”
“Bridgewater’s first graduate program is one that has demonstrated success and maintains alignment with the institution’s core ideals,” said Barbara H. Long, associate professor of health and human sciences and head of the Division of Professional Studies. “For more than 15 years, we have been educating athletic training students in a liberal arts context. That combination has made our graduates extremely successful throughout the region, demonstrating that liberal arts and professional programs are not exclusive of one another. The Division of Professional Studies faculty are very excited to start a new chapter in a storied Bridgewater College history.”
Long added that the MSAT program will delve deeply into the profession, allowing students to gain real-world experience on campus and at a variety of off-campus clinical sites. She noted that the final-year capstone course focuses on full-time engagement in the real-world healthcare of a variety of patient populations. This full-time engagement immerses students into healthcare settings yielding not only proficient professionals but ones that are more confident and mature practitioners upon graduation.
To learn more about the MSAT program at Bridgewater College, go to bridgewater.edu/MSAT.
Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduate students.