Improving Athletic Training with a Master’s Degree

By Published On: June 17, 2022

How can our Master’s in Applied Exercise Science help your current practice? For one graduate, our program helped her take her athletic training practice to the next level. 

In 2017, Ashley Jenkins, LAT, ATC, earned her athletic training degree from the University of Kansas, received her certification from the Board of Certification, and accepted a fellowship with Athleticare, a non-profit that aims to connect athletic trainers with youth sports programs. 

Through the fellowship, she began to pursue her Master’s in Applied Exercise Science, in the Human Movement Science concentration, while also serving as head athletic trainer at University City High School.

“It was the best situation for me, because the fellowship allowed me to be a student and focus on my studies while also being a working adult,” Jenkins said. “I’m always a busy person, so I love that the program was online. It was difficult having all online classes, because I needed to be more strict with myself, but it wasn’t unmanageable. Once I found what worked for me, things were a breeze. I loved it.”

Completing the master’s program gave Jenkins better tools to be able to help her athletes with, especially with a Corrective Exercise Specialist certification, which the program prepared her to sit for. Jenkins says she utilizes that certification, and her degree, every day. 

“I know with the Human Movement Science focus, we focused a lot on the overhead squat. That’s what every big assignment was focused on; breaking down the overhead squat and figuring out the dysfunctions, and that’s literally what I do dealing with the athletes. Every evaluation I do, especially for the lower extremities, we’re doing an overhead squat assessment and I’m breaking it down.”

Jenkins said the program allowed her to teach her athletes how to take care of themselves beyond being an athlete. Additionally, throughout the program, Jenkins could transfer what she was learning in the classroom directly to her practice.

“You’re able to utilize what you’re learning in a real-world sense, right when you’re learning it, instead of having to wait for the class to be over and then trying to apply it,” she said. “It’s helped me learn how to truly explain exercises.”

She said while time management and some of the program content can be challenging to learn, overall the program was manageable. 

“If you can stay consistent with a time schedule, you’re going to be successful,” Jenkins said. “Nothing is excessive.”

In 2019, Jenkins transitioned her fellowship into a full time position, serving as the administrative assistant to the athletic director and the head athletic trainer at University City High School. She said she has not ruled out pursuing her PhD in the future.

Interested in learning more about our master’s program? Check out our webinar hosted by program director Dr. Theresa Miyashita, that goes over everything you need to know about our Master’s in Applied Exercise Science. 

Ready to take the next step in your career? Fill out our free application today.

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