Lander Trustees vote to suspend athletic training program
March 11, 2013
The Lander University Board of Trustees voted this week to suspend the university's athletic training program, as part of Lander's efforts to help correct a $1.2 million budget imbalance announced last month.
While no new students will be admitted to the program, courses for those students currently enrolled in the athletic training major will still be offered for the next two to three years, and the university will maintain its accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) during that time, according to Dr. David Mash, vice president for Academic Affairs. This will allow those students to graduate from an accredited program, which is a requirement in order to take the Board of Certification exam to become a certified athletic trainer.
The Board and university administration discussed several factors that led to the decision to suspend the program, including a low number of graduates and more stringent requirements coming from the accrediting body. Over the past seven years, the athletic training program has averaged one to two graduates each spring.
Board of Trustees chair Raymond Hunt said athletic training is a high-quality program at Lander, and one that has produced very successful graduates. However, he added, because of the rigorous accreditation requirements, it is difficult for many students to complete the degree. In addition, the university was faced with having to hire additional Ph.D.-level faculty to meet CAATE requirements.
"Suspending the program is not something that the university or Trustees take lightly," Hunt said. "This was something we thoroughly investigated, and several options were examined. In the end, we felt this decision was the most feasible option."
University president Dr. Dan Ball said that, while the program is suspended, it is not eliminated and it could be brought back in the future, adding that it may even work well as a graduate program.