Under the new agreement, LETU students will have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in athletic training in approximately five years, instead of six. Students will complete their bachelor’s degree in three years at LETU and then transfer to SFA to complete their final two years. Coursework at SFA will “reverse transfer” back to LETU to complete the bachelor degree requirements in kinesiology, while also counting toward the student’s master’s degree in athletic training.
“The positive aspects of this idea kept it moving forward to fruition,” said Dr. Judy Abbott, dean of the James I. Perkins College of Education at SFA. “Collaboration in higher education is vital, and we look forward to the many opportunities this agreement will open for students.”
Dr. Larry Frazier, dean of LETU’s College of Education, Arts and Sciences, agreed the collaboration is beneficial.
“This agreement is good for LeTourneau and good for SFA,” Frazier said. “We are both committed to the higher education of East Texas. We have great students at LeTourneau and are excited to provide them with this opportunity to pursue a graduate degree through SFA. We hope this will be a model we can replicate.”
Dr. Linda Bobo, professor of kinesiology and health science at SFA, and Dr. Wayne Jacobs, professor of kinesiology at LETU, were the driving forces behind this agreement.
“I have known about the quality of SFA’s athletic training program for a number of years, but our students have not had the ability to pursue a master’s degree in this field,” Jacobs said. “Now that we’ve moved to graduate-level preparation for athletic trainers, this was the perfect time for us to begin this partnership. We are very thankful we will be able to offer this to our students.”
Bobo and Jacobs adjusted LETU’s curriculum to accommodate SFA’s requirements and ensure students experience a smooth transition into the graduate program.
SFA’s graduate athletic training program works on a cohort system and limits admission to keep class sizes small. The program is based on community service and offers students the ability to work in a range of diverse clinical sites, including the university, area high schools, orthopedic and surgical units, and others.
Students enrolled in the program also have the opportunity to earn three professional certifications before graduation, which include CPR instructor certification, Graston Technique in Soft Tissue Mobilization certification, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Corrective Exercise Specialist certification. SFA’s program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.