The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB) has granted approval for Arkansas Tech University to establish two new master’s degrees.
Arkansas Tech will begin offering a Master of Science degree in strength and conditioning studies and a Master of Science degree in applied sociology during the fall 2014 semester.
Both program proposals were previously approved by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees, and the AHECB gave its approval during a meeting in Little Rock on Jan. 31.
According to a program proposal submitted by the Arkansas Tech Department of Health and Physical Education, the new master’s degree in strength and conditioning studies was designed using standards set forth by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
“This represents a visionary evolution of the traditional fitness pedagogy component of the physical education and exercise science disciplines,” reads a portion of the program description submitted by Dr. Annette Holeyfield, professor of physical education and head of the Arkansas Tech Department of Health and Physical Education. “The 33-hour program is designed to meet the needs of coaches, physical educators, physical therapists, athletic trainers and others interested in the fitness profession.”
Graduates of the strength and conditioning studies degree program may pursue certifications such as NSCA Certified Personal Trainer or NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
The program proposal states that Arkansas Tech will become the first institution in the state to offer a graduate program in strength and conditioning studies that aligns with NSCA standards.
Students who received their undergraduate training in a field other than health and physical education may pursue the Master of Science degree in strength and conditioning studies at Arkansas Tech following the successful completion of leveling courses in anatomy and kinesiology. Those courses will be available at Arkansas Tech during summer 2014.
The Master of Science degree in applied sociology was developed by the Arkansas Tech Department of Behavioral Sciences.
A program proposal submitted by Dr. Daniel Martin, professor of sociology and head of the Arkansas Tech Department of Behavioral Sciences, indicates that the development of an applied sociology master’s degree is consistent with emerging trends nationwide.
“The increase in options at the master’s level in sociology is, in part, a response to student demand for degrees that improve job opportunities outside of the traditional academic setting and traditional sociology department,” reads a portion of the program proposal. “Among the most prominent and successful options available in sociology graduate programs is an emphasis in applied sociology. Graduates from such programs are in demand in the job market for their expertise in community organization, human resource management and research methodologies.”
According to the program proposal, Arkansas Tech will be the first institution in the state to offer a graduate program that focuses specifically on applied sociology.