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Drake adds new athletic training program, director


Drake University is making big waves with the installment of a new athletic training master’s program set to begin in the fall semester of 2019.

An athletic trainer works on “the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions,” according to nata.org.

Bridget Davidson, a first-year student studying health sciences, is planning to enter the new master’s program and said the program is a big reason she decided to enroll at Drake.

“I am confident that after this program I will be prepared for a career in the field of athletic training,” Davidson said.

The first three years of the program will require students to complete an undergraduate degree in health sciences, leaving the final two years for the master’s program.

At the helm of this program is the newly appointed director Nathan Newman. Newman completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa before working as a graduate assistant at Western Illinois University for two years.

He then moved to Loras College, where he worked with the soccer and track and field teams for six years. During his time at Loras, he completed his doctorate degree and worked as an instructor, where he discovered a passion for education.

Newman said making the switch from Loras College to Drake University was a matter of resources.

“There is something about the potential at Drake,” said Newman. “To come here and start a new program, have the resources, the facilities, the faculty and the opportunities to work with the pharmacy program and the occupational therapy program. In this specific college, I felt I could build a program.”

Instilled in the new program is Newman’s educational philosophy of cultivating a student-friendly atmosphere and a rigorous and innovative program. He highly encourages students to pursue concentrations that will be offered in potential areas such as pharmacy and brain injury. The master’s program curriculum is in the process of being approved.

Newman said the academic timetable for students in the program is ideal.

“If a student starts here, they can get done in five years,” Newman said.

Newman is also working on finding a pathway for students completing an undergraduate degree in kinesiology to the master’s program. The master’s program would take a total of five semesters, including a summer semester, over the two-year span. Newman said the program timetable is designed “to be really advantageous for the students.”

Davidson said the program gives students a boost up after they graduate from Drake.

“I have the option to do this accelerated master’s program because it will only take one additional year of school, but I will come out with two degrees, which will be very helpful when looking for a job post-Drake,” she said.

Newman said students who obtain a master’s degree will have the ability to work as athletic trainers in high schools and colleges and physical therapy clinics. Other non-traditional workplaces include manufacturing companies, where their skills will be used to prevent injuries of manufacturing workers.

Newman said the master’s program curriculum should be approved on Nov. 17, and in the following week, more details for the program will be put onto the program’s website. There will also be program announcements made through Drake’s social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

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